No, I'm not going to make this an excuse to showcase grotesque scenes of gore that is the staple of oh so many a horror film. Instead, I'll be showcasing the top ten most thought-provoking, emotional, humorous (can death be humorous?) or downright blaze-of-gloryesque deaths.
Spock: Yes, he came back to life one movie later, but that certainly didn't lessen the impact his death had on audiences across the world in that summer of '83.
Spock, like Data a generation later, embodied the human potential to grow and killing him off was like a swift kick to the hearts of Trekkies everywhere.
Wash: The witty pilot of everyone's favorite cowboy spaceship, Hoburn Wash's sudden and unexpected death at the hands of cannibalistic, barbaric Reavers, after just having saved the entire crew through a series of incredibly skillful maneuvers was a shock to many fans of the short-lived Firefly series.
Though his death was upsetting, (especially to me :\) some of the latest Firefly fiction has established an interesting plot line wherein Zoey, Wash's widow is pregnant with their child.
Vinzinni: After being tracked down and having witnessed both his unfortunate allies fall before him to the 'masked man', Vinzinni resorted to simple trickery, hoping to poison his opponent in a so called game of will. To Vinzinni's demise, the masked man, none other than Buttercup's long lost love, Westley (SPOILER!), had trained himself to develop an immunity to the very same poison that Vinzinni had put into his glass.
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader: The death of Anakin Skywalker, hero, villain and the focal point for the entire Star Wars saga, was nothing short of tragic. Anakin's rise, fall, redemption and ultimately death, remains to this day an epic; one of the greatest cinematic stories ever told.
Boromir: Of all the deaths we witness in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, none is more tragic and depressing than that of Boromir's. His possession by the ring and his desperateness to defend his people sent him into near madness, betraying his oath, his morals and in the end his very life to the power of the One Ring. What makes his demise all the more bitter is his redemptive fight at the end of the first film, sacrificing his life for his childlike Hobbit companions and regaining his honor in postmortem.
If you haven't already shed a tear during the film (Cylon?) you're sure to do so now.
Maximus: After having fought valiantly as a gladiator in the Roman Colosseum, Maximus was injured before his final encounter with Emperor Commodus. As his final act of vengeance against the cruel Caesar, Maximus slew him in the sand, but not before Commodus mortally wounded Maximus.
Collapsing in the blood-tarnished sand of the arena, Maximus finally reunited with his family.
Unnamed "Joker's Vanishing Trick" Thug: While it may very well be one of the most iconic moments from Batman's The Dark Knight, I couldn't actually find a good picture of this guy. Oh well, if you've seen the film its likely you won't have forgotten this particular scene.
Suffice to say, the Joker pulled off one of the best magic tricks ever.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below!