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This past Tuesday, the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice "Ultimate Edition" was released on digital HD, providing 30 extra minutes of content and enough added violence to push the movie to an R rating. While this extended version doesn't change much in the way of tone or characterization for most of the main players, many have agreed that the new scenes helped add context and telling a more cohesive story. Still, there was one moment that both versions of the movie didn't include that would have helped in the way of fleshing out Batman's past and delving into one of the other losses in his life: the death of Robin, as revealed by the defaced costume kept in the Batcave.
Most of Bruce Wayne's anger in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stems from his distrust towards Superman He witnessed firsthand the destruction caused by the Kryptonians in Metropolis 18 months earlier, and he lost people he cared about during Zod and Kal-El's fight. That was enough to for him to be angry at Superman, but the Knightmare pushed him over the edge. However, the movie didn't delve deeply into the other tragedies in his life aside from his parents being murdered, a moment which even non-comic book fans will agree has been seen plenty of times. That's fine, because as Bruce said, 20 years of fighting crime in Gotham City can change people. That said, when he pauses at the Robin memorial, folks not familiar with the comics only got a vague sense of how the Caped Crusader's partner perished. Comic book fans know what the deal is. In the 1988 story "Death in the Family," The Joker bludgeoned Jason Todd, the second Robin, with a crowbar. While Jason was resurrected nearly two decades later, his death remains one of the most shocking moments in comic book history.
It has yet to be directly confirmed if the Robin who died in the DCEU is Jason Todd or someone else, but either way, his demise understandably shook Batman to the core. He keeps that costume on display as a reminder of how he failed the boy, and may be the reason why he hadn't worked with anyone besides Alfred for years. Nevertheless, there was little context provided for the graffitied Robin suit, and since the old adage with movies is "Show, don't tell," that moment would have benefited from showing some of what went down. As you can glean from that earlier description, the Robin murder would have been way too graphic to show in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's PG-13 version. Fortunately, with the Ultimate Edition's R rating, they could have gotten away with it, even just as a quick glimpse. Maybe as Bruce is looking at the costume, the audience sees quick flashbacks of Joker attacking Robin and cackling with insane glee. Extremely dark, yes, but for the Ultimate Edition, it would have fit.
It's also worth noting that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was originally supposed to come out in July 2015, but it was eventually pushed to May 2016 and then finally settled on March 25, 2016. The movie was completed around December of last year, but that still gave an extra five months where they could have shot at least a few extra minutes of content. Two of those months coincided with Suicide Squad's principal photography, meaning Jared Leto was in character as The Joker. Considering that Ben Affleck flew to Vancouver to shoot a couple Suicide Squad scenes, they could have shot with Leto as the Clown Prince of Crime to squeeze into Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. After all, the Ultimate Edition is three hours long. It's not like an extra minute (at most) would have been deemed excessive.
Of course, perhaps the reason we didn't see Robin being killed is because they're saving that for another movie. Maybe Suicide Squad will feature somehow, albeit a less graphic interpretation since the movie is rated PG-13. There is also a solo Batman movie on the way, and one of the plots that's been rumored over the last year is Jason Todd coming back to life as The Red Hood. If that's the storyline being adapted, then yes, that's definitely the best place to show the brutal murder. However, going off the information we have so far, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - The Ultimate Edition would have benefitted from elaborating on how the Boy Wonder met his gruesome end and showing that Batman's pain comes from more than his parents being killed and the destruction in Metropolis. He also lost someone who he took care of and fought crime alongside, and one doesn't just get over that.
What do you think? Should Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - The Ultimate Edition have shown Robin being killed? Is that a moment they're saving for a different movie? Should it even be shown at all? Let us know what you think in the comments below!