6 Characters Whose Lives Fell Apart In Little Known Sequels
We don't usually get to find out what happened to our favorite fictional characters after their stories wrapped up. For all we know, the Breakfast Club gang formed an actual gang, beat the principal to death, and now they're all in jail. Checking in on the heroes of your youth isn't always as easy as going on Facebook and typing the names of your old high school friends -- but the results can be equally depressing. If you thought Luke, Han, and Leia's lives turned to dogshit in the new Star Wars, that's nothing compared to how ...
Indiana Jones Became A Sad, Creepy Grandpa
Unless you're a Nazi, a Communist, or the parent of one of his students, chances are you love Indiana Jones. He's like the dad you always wanted, if you wanted your dad to be cool, handsome, and best friends with a homeless Chinese boy for some reason.
The Depressing Epilogue:
You might think that the movie where Indy meets aliens was the most recent (and most undignified) place we left the character, but that's not exactly correct. Those who grew up in the '90s might remember a little show called The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which followed Indy's early adventures. One jazz-themed episode even featured a cameo from a saxophone-playing Harrison Ford.
"Where d'ya light this thing?"
While the show was primarily a prequel, it was bookended by scenes set in the '90s, where we see Indy the way we never wanted to: as an angry, senile old man. In the first episode, he's hanging around a museum (presumably yelling about how all the artifacts in the museum belong in a museum), where he promptly frightens and threatens to "clobber" two young children. To be fair, at this stage in his life, youths are way scarier than Nazis.
Then he punched a Latino kid, yelling "You will not betray me again, Satipo!"
Indy then forces the kids to listen to a story from his youth -- but not one of the awesome ones about the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant, because these little jerks don't deserve them. This setup is how most of the episodes play out: Old Man Indy just starts reciting stories to anyone who will listen as he runs painfully banal errands. One involves Indy arguing with, then hitting on, a female postal worker.
Probably the most exciting moment comes in an episode in which Indy goes from fighting the forces of evil to fighting a teenage donut store clerk, putting the teen in a chokehold with his cane for sassing an old lady.
His bullwhip had already been confiscated by the manager of the local McDonald's.
As punishment, he tells the clerk yet another story from his youth ... allowing enough time for the cops to show up and arrest him. But surely the episode doesn't end with a feeble Indiana Jones being shoved into a squad car? He makes a daring escape, or they let him off because he tells them an amazing story, right?
Not sure if adding John Williams' music would make this more or less sad.
Nope, that's seriously the end of that episode. Others found the adventurous Indiana Jones going to the hospital for a bee sting, yelling at his grandson for playing rock music, and going to see a psychiatrist because his kids think he's crazy and want to put him in a goddamn home. Though to be fair, if your dad kept ruining Christmas dinners by insisting that he once saw ancient god lasers melt the faces off Hitler's army, would you have any other choice?
If all this doesn't seem familiar to you, it's probably because George Lucas had these segments removed for the show's home video release, proving that he can use his DVD-meddling powers for good instead of evil. Unless he wants to re-shoot them with present-day Harrison Ford, in which case ... uh, sorry for the Indy 5 spoilers, everyone!
Will Smith's Independence Day Character Died Off-Camera (In The Sequel's Ad Campaign)
Independence Day: It's the beloved '90s blockbuster that had the balls to make a direct comparison between a global alien invasion and a holiday where Americans drink beer and light things on fire to commemorate the time they told the British to fuck off. One of the most memorable characters was NASA reject, Air Force pilot, and noted welcomer-to-Earth Steven Hiller, played by Will Smith.
Who was so cool, you almost forgot he was one letter away from invading Poland.
The Depressing Epilogue:
As you probably know, Independence Day recently got a sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, starring Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner, and the boxcar hobo that killed Bill Pullman and stole his identity.
Alternatively, he came down with the Santa Clause curse.
Notably absent from the cast of characters fighting back against the lazy-ass aliens (who apparently wait 20 years between invasion attempts) is Captain Hiller. Turns out Will Smith was "too expensive" to hire back, so they naturally had to find some graceful way to explain the character's absence. And by "graceful," we mean they decided to be petty assholes and brutally kill him off in the small print of some viral marketing.
Couldn't they just, we don't know, send him off to live with some relatives in an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood?
Yup, thanks to the movie's website, we found out before the movie even came out that Hiller blew up in a freak accident while test piloting a jet infused with alien technology. Not fighting some stranded aliens, or taking out an alien landmine to save a bus full of children -- it was a random malfunction. Even Randy Quaid got a better death scene. Worse still is the decision to let us all know his tragic fate through some dumb publicity campaign. Not surprisingly, Smith was bummed to find out that his character died. Aw, shit. Nobody tell him about Muhammad Ali.
Kevin McCallister's Family Immediately Fell Apart (And His Dad Became A Real Piece Of Shit)
The Home Alone movies taught kids a whole slew of lessons, from the importance of self-reliance to the fact that you should ignore any fears you might have and befriend even the scariest of strangers.
Shockingly, the following is not about how she died of E. Coli.
But like every '90s sitcom and Fast & Furious movie, the real message is the importance of family. Even when your family's parental neglect is bordering on criminal, you've got to love them, right?
The Depressing Epilogue:
Those who thought Kevin McCallister's story ended back in the '90s are sorely mistaken. While Home Alone 3 centered on brand-new characters -- presumably to show that more than one family treats their children like garbage -- in 2002, the powers that be crapped out a straight-to-video sequel, Home Alone 4. Once again, the story follows Kevin, who is somehow younger than the last time we saw him, and sounds and looks completely different. They couldn't even be bothered to find a kid with roughly the same hair color.
The trauma of the previous movies clearly stunted his development.
Despite the fact that Home Alone 2 ended happily, Kevin's parents seem to have immediately split up in its aftermath. Home Alone 4 finds Kevin spending Christmas with his dad, who's now a rich douchebag living in a swank mansion with his hot young fiancee. Yup, midlife crises can be a real paint can to the face of your family.
Buzz looks somewhat different too, and now works as a butler.
Soon, Kevin's old nemesis Marv shows up -- shorter, clean-shaven, and with his new wife instead of Harry. Because in this movie full of fractured relationships, even the Wet Bandits can't seem to make it work. Love is dead, people.
Alternate theory: He murdered Harry for his hat and scarf.
Here's the really fucked-up thing: Kevin is never accidentally left home alone. He's left alone, sure, but only because his tool of a dad has more important shit to do. And most upsettingly, when the house is eventually broken into, his dad blames Kevin for the mess. He literally says: "You're out to destroy my relationship."
Our reaction, too.
That's right: Two adults break into his house and threaten the life of his child, and his reaction is to accuse Kevin of cockblocking him. A parent not believing a child when he tells them he's been attacked by a stranger makes abandoning him on Christmas seem like a Norman Rockwell painting by comparison.
RoboCop's Family Is Forced Into Poverty
Punching up the story of Christ to include cyborgs, machine guns, Detroit, and rapists getting shot in the balls, the original RoboCop is one of history's all-time great movies. The RoboCop in question was a cop called Alex Murphy who died and came back as robo (look, it's pretty self-explanatory). In order to spare Murphy's family any further trauma, RoboCop decides to stay away from them. At one point, he even lies to his wife, claiming he's not her husband, but some toaster with a human mask slapped on it.
"Your husband's face was OCP property. We had to do something with it."
They're probably better off, right?
The Depressing Epilogue:
Those who gave up on the character after he fucking flew in RoboCop 3 might not be familiar with RoboCop: The Series, which replaced the gratuitous violence and social satire of the original with TV-friendly conflicts and a goddamn kid sidekick. One particularly depressing storyline finds RoboCop busting up a protest against the cancellation of welfare when he recognizes one of the protesters as his "widow," Nancy. Why does RoboCop's wife care so much about welfare, you ask? Well, she's dirt poor now.
She can't even afford brunette hair dye anymore.
It seems that after Murphy's death left her with no income, she also never got his police pension, due to some clerical fuck-up, and now she's really hit the skids. She has to work through the night at an illegal sweatshop while their son sleeps at a nearby homeless shelter. That's some Charles Dickens dickery right there.
"I'd buy that for a dollar! Because that's all the money I have."
By the end of the episode, RoboCop defeats the bad guys, but there's no scene where he, say, buys his family a house, or offers them any kind of financial assistance at all. He doesn't even reveal his true identity -- probably so he can keep avoiding child support payments.
If he pulls down the cap over his face, you can sort of see the resemblance.
The Princess Bride's Ending Is Followed By Awkward Sex And Attempted Baby Murder
The Princess Bride tells the story of the heroic pirate Westley, the beautiful Princess Buttercup, and the ungrateful little brat who doesn't give a shit that his grandfather is Columbo.
"Who's Colum-- Holy shit, you were in A Woman Under The Influence! I love Cassavetes!"
At the end of the movie, Westley rescues Buttercup from the evil Prince Humperdink, and it sure looks like they're going to live happily ever after ...
The Depressing Epilogue:
The Princess Bride was originally a book, also written by William Goldman. For a while now, Goldman's been "desperate" to write a sequel to the beloved novel, but hasn't been able to crack it. He even wrote the first chapter to this hypothetical sequel, Buttercup's Baby (included as a sort of epilogue in recent editions of The Princess Bride) ... and things get weird fast. For starters, the romantic conclusion of the original story is followed by some super awkward sex. Westley is pretending to be a virgin, despite the fact that "things happened" when he was a pirate.
"Certain mollusks are hard to resist."
Conversely, Buttercup is pretending to be super-experienced, because it seems there were lovemaking classes in "Royalty School," which is a rather gross revelation.
Since this is a school for royalty, lesson one would be "Keep It In The Family."
The two eventually consummate their relationship, but only after a few more awkward moments where they can't decide whether to stand or lie down, and end up deciding to get under a blanket and "experiment." So it's less of an epic adventure and more like a drunken prom date.
Happily, this eventually leads to the birth of a cute baby. Less happily, the baby is soon thrown off a goddamn cliff. After a "madman" with a "skinless face" tries to murder the baby, the beloved giant Fezzik leaps to save the kid, sacrificing his own life.
"My name is Waverly Buttercup, you killed my giant babysitter" does have a nice ring to it.
Goldman implies that Fezzik might somehow survive, but since he hasn't been able to get his shit together and finish the story, this is where we leave the Princess Bride saga: with a dead giant and a traumatized infant. If your kindly old grandfather popped by to read that to you, you'd probably beg your mom to put him in a home.
E.T.'s Life Went To Utter Shit After The Movie
It's odd that there's never been a sequel to E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. After all, the classic story of a boy and his alien buddy made buckets of money, and Steven Spielberg has let lots of his other classic films get turned into dumb sequels. The closest we ever got to another E.T. movie was this bullshit:
Still more respectful to the original than Jaws 4.
The Depressing Epilogue:
We've talked before about the E.T. novelization, which turned E.T. into a sexually frustrated peeping tom. Well, it turns out that that creepy book was such a hit that Spielberg OK'd a follow-up novel, for which he helped craft the story. It's called E.T.: The Book Of The Green Planet, and it begins with E.T. returning to his planet ... only to immediately be yelled at and demoted for fucking up so badly on Earth. If that's not bad enough, E.T.'s description of his time on Earth sounds less like the heartwarming story we remember and more like an episode of Cops.
Eventually, E.T. realizes that life at home blows, and that he'd like to go back to Earth -- which really seems to undercut the whole third act of the movie. Also undercutting the end of the movie: E.T.'s bond with Elliott being ruined by hormones. E.T. continually tries to contact Elliott, using his powers to spell out messages, but Elliott doesn't notice because he's too busy leering at girls:
Yeah, his "knee" hit the table. Sure.
E.T. is worried about Elliott going through puberty, because it means he's becoming "the most terrible thing of all ... Man." (He's gonna kill us all, isn't he?) In the end, it looks like the Earth-bound E.T. is going to die, but he manages to telepathically shoot his soul energy (or something) into Elliott, which inadvertently gives him the confidence he needs to get with the girl he's been lusting after. Look, we're just glad they decided to age Elliott a bit before he got "entered" by E.T. (fanfiction writers are usually not that thoughtful).
Fortunately, E.T. doesn't die, and makes it safely back to our galaxy. Of course, if Elliott thought he had a hard time with girls before, wait until he has to try to hook up while his doddering scrotum creature pal is constantly tagging along.
Zoroastrianism used to be one of the biggest religions in the world, but their idea of heaven had a slight twist on it: To get there you'd have to cross a bridge, sometimes rickety, sometimes wide and sturdy. If you fell off, you'd go to the House of Lies for eternity. Fun! Not terrifying at all! This month, Jack, Dan, and Michael, along with comedians Casey Jane Ellison and Ramin Nazer discuss their favorite afterlife scenarios from movies, sci-fi, and lesser-known religions. Get your tickets here, and we'll see you on the other side of the bridge!
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