Why Franchises Should Be Praised, Not Condemned For Killing Off Characters

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Warning: MASSIVE spoilers ahead for Pacific Rim Uprising! Read ahead at your own risk!

Now that Pacific Rim Uprising has debuted in theaters and audiences have had a chance to check out Steven DeKnight's sequel for themselves, there's a lot to dig into and talk about. One of the most significant topics of conversation is the way Uprising treats the heroes from Guillermo del Toro's original film, particularly with regards to the death of Mako Mori at the hands of a rogue Jaeger. Many corners of the internet have expressed outrage over the decision to kill the hero of the original film, but we're here today to re-emphasize the fact that killing off fan-favorite franchise heroes is something to be praised for a movie such as this.

To get a sense of how the internet has reacted to Mako's death, check out this tweet expressing the anger towards her untimely demise, below.

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That's not the only tweet expressing dismay at Mako's death. Check out another one, below.

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And finally, just in case you thought those last two tweets were outliers, check out one more.

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So there's some intense passion out there, as well as some serious opposition to the decision to kill Mako. While it's certainly valid to feel anger and sadness when a beloved character dies in a franchise, it's also worth mentioning that it's something worth celebrating. In an era in which heroes continuously find themselves saved from the brink of death to live on in franchises that continue in perpetuity, the decision to kill someone as beloved as Mako feels fresh, exciting and downright bold.

It doesn't matter if it's Mako Mori, Star Wars' Luke Skywalker and Han Solo or Skyfall's M. As long as the death feels earned by the movie and provides a proper impetus to galvanize our other heroes to move forward and rally themselves, then franchises should allow themselves to let go of the past and kill beloved heroes. There appears to be a strong sense among some fans that certain characters and heroes deserve happy endings and a chance to ride off into the sunset. That's appealing in theory, but if every character gets that, then it takes all of the risk and drama out of a big-budget blockbuster.

Audiences need to believe that a character can die for the stakes in these movies to remain tangible, and for the creators behind these movies to feel uninhibited in their approaches to the material. The fact that audiences have responded to Mako's downfall with this much passion proves how beloved she was/is and reminds us of the ever-present risk of death and failure that these films need to maintain.

Moreover, this is not a situation like the Fast and Furious franchise's decision to kill Han at the end of Fast and Furious 6 (originally seen in Tokyo Drift). Audiences widely criticized Han's murder at the hands of Deckard Shaw for the way in which the heroes responded to it and eventually let the elder Shaw brother into the fold. The emotional payoff for Han's demise was reversed by removing any of the catharsis of seeing Shaw punished; on the other hand, Mako's death was correctly built up to and earned by Pacific Rim Uprising, and we mourned her. It worked, whether we liked it or not.

Pacific Rim Uprising is currently in theaters, so if you haven't seen it yet, then make sure to check out the full CinemaBlend review of the film and watch the controversial moment for yourself. As for the rest of this year, head over to our movie premiere guide and fill out your moviegoing calendars accordingly!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.