Laura Nicole

SciFi Death

By Laura Nicole

I don’t watch as much SciFi as the rest of the Flying Island Press crew, but I watch my fair share. There is something that really bugs me as a writer in many of these shows.

Let me start with my favorite SciFi spoof movie “Galaxy Quest”. (Spaceballs is in my top 10 of all time so it doesn’t count.) Now, (*SPOILER ALERT*)in this movie, the cast of the show Galaxy Quest get abducted by aliens who have based their entire society on the show. When they have to go on an away mission, Guy Fleegman (played by Sam Rockwell) refuses based on the fact that his character is an unnamed crew member. Based on the trope that the unnamed crew member on the away mission gets killed, he argues to stay on the ship.

This is a very frequent trope in SciFi, closely followed by the death of a main character. Yet, every time a principle character dies or is about to die, there is always some miraculous cure or last minute attempt that brings them back again and again. Seriously. How many times did an incarnation of Tasha Yar come back in ST:TNG?

And if I get started on the villains that never die… well we would be here for awhile. But you see the fingers of the “corpse” twitch or the eyes suddenly open. All I can think of is hearing Dr. Claw saying “I’ll get you next time Gadget. Next time.”

2 Comments

  • Yeah, but it wouldn’t be SciFi/Fantasy if dead meant REALLY dead! Not to mention all of the franchise options that would be lost! Like the Riverworld series. But it DOES get old when you lose count of how many times the protagonist gets offed. There are so many ways to kill Captain Jack, but your get bored with the number of times he’s been blown up or buried for thousands of years. Does anyone know how he keeps his sanity during those periods?

    That may be the attraction of the short story; self-contained and when characters die they normally stay dead (unless they get revived as zombies!

    Thanks for the great observations!

  • I am about to show how much crazy research I have done for these Captain Posts that I have been doing. You mention Tasha Yar coming back. If memory serves she was only really brought back once as that Character, in Yesterday’s Enterprise. They showed her has a hologram a few times, but as that character Denise Crosby only played that Tasha one time beyond the first season. What you are probably thinking about is when Denise Crosby played Sela, Tasha Daughter from the alternate time line see http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Sela Sela is a Romulan operative, and she was in more than one episode and ended up playing a pivotal role in the later seasons.