I watch a lot of SciFi (and when available, fantasy) on TV and in movies. All too often, death means nothing. A major character can be killed off and I just shrug, knowing they’ll be back, sometimes before the episode is over. Then they show another character mourning this and I just wonder why. Like us, they’ve seen people brought back again and again, so why do they think this time is any different?
When death means nothing, it has no power over the audience. There’s less to fear for those characters we love so much. Note I say less to fear, not nothing. There truly are worse things than death, such as mental and emotional damage that one never gets over. The point is that even physically invulnerable characters can be hurt in other ways, so we can’t say that there’s “nothing” for them to fear.
Still, when I see people beating the stuffing out of each other but being fine afterward, and this happens so many times, then I just shrug as the action sequence continues while waiting for it to end. It’s funny how much effort is spent on these when they’re dramatically empty.
If you write books, I recommend avoiding this route. When you kill someone, kill them. Don’t bring them back unless it’s as undead or something else is really wrong with them now.
Or you can bring just one of them back. Once you make a habit of it, death means nothing.
And when death means nothing, what’s the point of killing them in the first place?
2 thoughts on “The Importance of Death”
You’re so right! It drives me crazy when everyone comes back to life. Let the dead stay dead!
I just find myself not caring. Funny how this never happens horror movies – everyone always stays dead unless it’s an actual zombie flick, for example. Hope they don’t ruin that genre, too.
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