#3. Sparing the Villain in The Karate Kid, Part II Only Made Things Worse
How It Ended:
Daniel-san is challenged to a fight to the death against Chozen, the cartoonishly villainous nephew of Sato, Mr. Miyagi's rival. Daniel's silly crane kick proves to be wildly ineffective, because Chozen is a Japanese fight machine fueled by hatred.
Since at this point the movie becomes less about martial arts and more about how the 1980s were awesome, Daniel-san eschews karate and just throws wild haymakers to fell his foe like Sam Elliott in a fight at Bennigan's. With Chozen defeated, Daniel raises his hand to deliver the killing blow ...
Getting your ass kicked by Ralph Macchio is thought to be the deepest layer of hell.
... but decides to have mercy and mockingly honks his nose instead, demonstrating his belief in the value of human life, even the life of an angry shithead. Mr. Miyagi smiles proudly, everyone celebrates and we're free to ignore the rest of the films in the series.
The Horrific Aftermath:
While "he honks his nose" may play better with most parents than "he punches him until he's dead" in the Movie Mom plot synopsis, the truth is that somebody's ass is going to die regardless.
Kind of a step up from the old "defeat your bullies through scoring more points" philosophy of the first movie.
The whole setup of the film is that Chozen's uncle Sato held a grudge against Mr. Miyagi based on pride and personal honor ... for 30 goddamned years. So this is a family that takes that honor shit seriously. In the film, Chozen hates Daniel so much that he refuses to help him save a child's life, and in order to force Daniel into the aforementioned fight to the death, he crashes his village's Obon Festival and holds a teenage girl at knife point. Clearly, Chozen has demonstrated how committed he is to the idea of doing (or not doing) things based solely on principle.
"Oh, sorry, I thought you were Daniel."
Our point is that, after ambushing his community, taking a girl hostage and then being subsequently defeated in front of the entire village by an Italian-American who then denies him the dignity of death, it's quite clear where this is heading: Chozen is going to either kill himself or dedicate the rest of his life to killing Daniel.
The way the film sets it up, he has no other choice. After his wildly criminal behavior, it's doubtful even his own family would accept him, let alone the village as a whole. So really, the only choices available to him are to take his own life in shame or to track Daniel-san across the globe as a disenfranchised violence hurricane, powered by vengeance.
That's the face of a boy with more restraining orders than sexual experiences.
#2. The Nazis in The Sound of Music Will Take It Out on the Nuns
How It Ended:
Austrian nun Maria marries Captain Von Trapp, but soon after, the captain is drafted into the German navy on the eve of WWII.
The Von Trapps then plan a daring escape from Austria, and the Nazis find they are unable to pursue the draft-dodging family because their vehicles have been disabled by some of the other nuns in the abbey. With their path to freedom clear, the Von Trapps head over the mountains into Switzerland, the credits roll and your third-period music class ends.
"You know, if you play it while listening to Dark Side of the Moon ..."
The Horrific Aftermath:
Overlooking the fact that, geographically speaking, the Von Trapps were actually heading directly into Germany, we never learn the fates of the nuns who helped them escape. It wouldn't take the Nazis long to figure out someone had sabotaged their cars (about as many seconds as it takes for them to look under the hood) and that the most likely culprits were the nuns, because the only other people around were the Nazis themselves.
"I'm going to solve this puzzle, of which there are exactly two pieces."
It also wouldn't help that the Nazi Party and the Catholic church weren't exactly on good terms at the time. Nazis were more than happy to execute clergy who were political dissidents or who aided wanted fugitives, and the Salzburg Abbey nuns were guilty on both counts. Even if they weren't killed outright, the offending nuns would definitely be sent to a labor or concentration camp. It's also likely the Nazis would imprison or execute the entire convent (and not just the guilty parties) to set an example for other would-be dissenters, because they're Nazis.
"We ... may not have given this enough thought."
#1. Return of the Jedi: Endor Is Screwed
How It Ended:
The Rebel Alliance and their fish-headed commander defeat the Imperial fleet, Darth Vader redeems himself by saving his son, Luke, and killing the Emperor and the second Death Star is destroyed by Billy Dee Williams. The Empire is effectively dissolved (keep that Expanded Universe bullshit the hell out of our faces), and a new era of peace is ushered in throughout the galaxy.
And nothing could ever, ever change our feelings of happiness upon seeing that scene.
The Horrific Aftermath:
What happens when billions of tons of metal go supernova while orbiting just beyond a planet's atmosphere? The answer is the Endor Holocaust, the complete destruction of all life on that tiny Ewok-filled moon.
If it were in Empire Strikes Back, we could totally see this scene happening.
According to Dr. Curtis Saxton, an astrophysicist who apparently gets just as bored as we do, the destruction of the second Death Star by Lando Calrissian and Wedge Antilles should have left the forest moon of Endor "a depopulated wasteland." And he's thought this through: Dr. Saxon's analysis is so exhaustive that he takes into account everything from the radioactivity of the Death Star's reactor core to the progress of the independent contractors' work. All his findings point to certain doom for the Ewoks and whatever else is living there.
Saxon even suggests that the damage could be enough to dramatically alter the chemistry of the air and the water in a "nuclear winter" effect, causing mass extinction of all life on the moon. Essentially, the celebration we see at the end of the film would be like having a ticker-tape parade for the end of World War II through the streets of Hiroshima.
This isn't even taking into account the 30-year forest fire Han probably caused with this shit.
We can't promise a happy ending to Cracked's Adventures in Jedi School mini-series, but we can promise a funny one.)
Jacopo della Quercia is the proud author of "Go @#$% Yourself!" -- An Ungentlemanly Disagreement, by Filippo Argenti and "The Sound of Laughter" in Wordplague's The Four Humors. When he's not tearing apart pop culture, Chris also writes for his website and dispenses invaluable wisdom on Twitter.
For more overlooked movie tragedies, check out The 6 Most Depressing Happy Endings in Movie History and 6 Movies That Didn't Realize They Let The Villain Win.
And stop by LinkSTORM to see why you should not put your hand on a hot stove.
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