10 Movies Where The Hero Originally Died At The End

Believe it or not, Alien could have been even darker.

Terminator Salvation Original Ending
Warner Bros. Pictures/Columbia Pictures

Chances are if you’re heading to watch a summer blockbuster things are going to end well for the hero; he’ll save the world, get the girl and maybe go for a vacation afterwards. While there are always expectations to this rule (poor Bruce Willis didn’t escape that asteroid in Armageddon), that’s the ending audiences have come to expect; they don’t want to spend two hours with a character to watch them die at the end. 

Things didn’t use to be so rigid, though, and even if a film didn’t end with the heroes death, it's likely was at least discussed. In some cases, the filmmakers even shot a death scene, but due to a variety of factors – bad test screenings, the director had a change of heart – they let the character live to fight another day.

They made the right call for most of these movies, but a couple of them might have worked better if they stuck to the tragic version. It’s all subjective of course, but if nothing else the original endings provide a fascinating alternate version of the story. 

10. Han Solo - Return Of The Jedi

Terminator Salvation Original Ending

Harrison Ford has spoken many times of his desire to kill Han Solo while filming Return Of The Jedi; not because he hated the character, but because he wanted to give the film a bit of gravitas.

An early version of the story would have seen Han rescued from Jabba, only to get killed while trying to shut down the shield generator. Lucas was firmly against the idea, though, since it might have affected the Han Solo toy sales. Instead, Han survives and gets to watch a bunch of teddy bears dance around a campfire; lucky him.

Ford finally got his Han Solo death wish thirty years later with The Force Awakens, where he gets killed by his evil son Kylo Ren. It was a fitting send-off for the legendary hero, and now Ford doesn’t have to worry about being asked to appear in any more sequels.


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