A great 90s philosopher who spent a lot of time behind a Kwik Stop counter once opined that ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is the best Star Wars film because of it’s Downer Ending being more like real life.  I’m not sure that’s 100% accurate, what with the cyborg hands, the cryogenic freezing, the telekinesis and stuff, but that ending is one of the best parts of any Star Wars property.  When things go entirely wrong, when everyone dies, when Butch & Sundance leap off a cliff, it can make for a truly memorable final chapter, leading to today’s Deus Ex Machina query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still believes that any sequel to ‘Watchmen’ will fail because it undermines that amazing, depressing close, asking: What’s the most effective Downer Ending in all pop culture?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Daniel Langsdale on

    Planet of the Apes. It spawned a franchise when franchises weren’t a ‘thing.’

    And I’m going to pretend you meant “Empire Strikes Back.” :P

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