Death in film is only as meaningful as the impact it has on the story going forwards. Whether a second act shocker or a drawn-out endgame swansong, it's the void the character's departure leaves that lingers on in the minds of the viewers, however big or small.
And a lot of the time, death of a major character is every bit as weighty as it wants to be - until the sequel rolls around and turns it completely on its head.
Ever been sat in the cinema, speechless that your favourite character has just bit the dust, only to find out months later that they're making a sequel and end up thinking, "well, guess we know where this is heading..."? Annoyingly, this trend seems to be occurring more and more these days.
Sometimes, a character should just be left to rest. Other times, when said character does, indeed, stay dead, they shouldn't then be mentioned every five minutes until you're sick of hearing about them. Whatever the case, their 'role' in the sequels often robs their original exit of some or all of its value, as the following 11 examples show.
11. Jaws - Jaws 2 (1978)
Now, hear me out.
The original Jaws was blown up in spectacular fashion by Martin Brody aboard the Orca, as we all know. It was a definitive end to the great white menace, and neatly closed the book while assuring us that the waters of Amity Island would be sufficiently shark-free thereafter.
So, when Jaws 2 introduced another great white shark, just as deadly and prolific as the first (and hunted by Brody once again, no less), the film's very existence created an unfortunate implication: that the first Jaws was not just a one-off, and that the risk of great white sharks wandering in and snacking on swimmers is practically constant, effectively making Brody's efforts for nothing.
It's a terrifically awful way of belittling the threat that the shark in Steven Spielberg's 1975 original posed. And if that wasn't bad enough, this problem is drawn attention to even further in the two sequels that followed Jaws 2. What a way to ruin a timeless classic.