SFs 26 Greatest Tearjerkers (10-6)

Departed Friends

Many voted for either Wash’s death or Book’s death, but to be honest, both these events are so sudden and random, they're more shocking than tearjerking. It's not until the funeral at the end of the film that viewers really get the chance to grieve, and this touchingly simple, silent, understated ceremony is a moment of tragic beauty.

Blublines: No dialogue, but there's a very moving firework

9 BABYLON 5 “Sleeping In Light”
JM Straczynski switches off the lights

As JM Straczynski’s five-year plan came to an end, the show's creator himself appeared as the technician who threw the level which shut down the lights on Babylon 5. It’s a move that could be construed as a tad self-referential, but actually comes across as very moving. You hope he got off before the ship exploded, though. Meanwhile, Delenn has to say goodbye to her dying husband Sheridan, who goes for a little "Sunday afternoon drive”. The final shot of her watching the sun come up with a ghostly Sheridan at her side can leave even the most cynical viewer with – ahem – something in their eye. Sniff.

Blublines: "As for Delenn, every morning for as long as she lived, Delenn got up before dawn and watched the sun come up.”

ET goes home

Curmudgeonly old actress Beryl Reid once said of ET that she, “found it hard to become emotionally attached to a Hoover attachment.” She was one of the few. For the vast majority ET was a triple Kleenex experience. When he died it was bad enough, but then he got better. Then his folks came to rescue him in a finale of unashamed schmaltz. Our tears are both of happiness – because ET has escaped a Roswellian fate – and sadness, because Elliott has lost the best friend he's ever had. But he's a better person for the experience, probably. And Spielberg has you so in the palm of his hand you don't even upchuck when the departing spaceships paints a cheesy rainbow across the sky.

Blublines: "I’ll be right here.”

7 ANGEL “A Hole In The World”
Fred is scared

Fred is dying is Wesley’s arms, having been infected by demonic force. She’s trying to remain stoic. Wesley’s trying to say the right things. But his voice is cracking. And so is Fred’s resolve. With the words, “Why can’t I stay?” the gutsy, feisty Fred is gone, and there's a scared little girl in her place. It's heartrending to watch. TV heroes aren’t supposed to break down in the face in their death.

Blublines: “I'm not scared. I'm not scared. I'm not scared. Please. Wesley. Why can't I stay?”

He is Superman

He wanted to be Superman, even though the military treated him Atomo, the Metal Menace. When the townsfolk of Rockwell are threatened with nuclear apocalypse, the Iron Giant sacrifices himself to save them, launching into orbit to draw the oncoming missile away. As he reaches the edge of space he strikes a Superman-in-flight pose… and smiles in the face of his impending destruction.

Blublines: "You are who you choose to be."

Go to tearjerkers 5-2

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