People can hate it all they want, it's still not a handwave or a cop out or any of a dozen other descriptions. A character is shown dying. Don't like it? Good, because you're not meant to.
I don't hate it - I say above, I think they were marked to die anyway. That's all good, it's how
you deal with established characters is the point. That's the handwave/cop-out part. "Ahh, f**k it, we'll kill 'em off in the first reel, it'll resonate." Well, yes it does, but for all the wrong reasons.
It's not about "bringing Hicks back" -- But snuffing him out essentially off camera doesn't work well - and clearly, I'm not the only person that thinks that. Though I seem to be on this thread, it must be noted.
As I've said above -- Alien3 (Assembly) is a good movie, but in terms of the franchise, it was not the right call in terms of what had been established previously. Tonally, the deaths work for that movie
, but it was the wrong movie (especially if we go on the theatrical cut!) - a square peg in the round hole of Aliens. But - standing alone without
the events of Aliens, then Alien3 is as bleak and as fitting as it gets.
You know, I've just thought as I write this, I think what may stick in people's craw is the double deus ex. It's not just Hicks, its (for some the very irritating) Newt as well. Clearly, they're inconvenient for the plot of Alien3 (I still maintain, whoever on here came up with AL III EN is a hero in my eyes - its so much better) so they're just done away with, handwaved or whatever you want to call it. That's
the point. As you say, you're not supposed to like it when a character dies: you know as well as anyone, film is supposed to illicit emotion. A major character dies, we're supposed to feel sad, angry or both. We've invested in these characters, we want to be satisfied and have some emotion. The way Alien3 dealt with those those characters in a way breaks the fourth wall... you're not upset for the character, you're upset with the film.
All that said, in the final analysis, it is what it is and they made those decisions for whatever reasons. I don't know why they opted not to bring Michael Biehn back - I guess you (SiL) would know more about the production background to that I would. If it wasn't behind the scenes stuff (read: money and egos), then in terms of story for me it was a bad choice. Again, as I type, for me it's about lack of closure.
Yes. I think I have nailed it for myself and got to the heart of the matter (as far as I'm concerned, for me personally - doesn't have to apply to anyone else). It's like therapy in here - there is no closure for that character, his death is just mentioned and that's not good writing. As I say, the truth may be that it was all about off-screen stuff (in which case they had no choice).
Sorry to start my posting on a negative note, but in what planet can you compare Superman and Alien tho.
On planet "illustrating a point about killing a major character off screen in a sequel to serve the plot."
Hicks had an arc in Aliens (from "just a grunt" to "Hicks is in command now" - which even Gorman accepts in the end). He was a protagonist (not "the" protagonist of course). It's bad form to kill them off screen without so much as by-your-leave. As I say, even GI Joe showed that, man... we had closure on Channing Tatum *lol*.
As for you words on the what kind of future there would be for Newt, I think in "A.N.Other" version, it would have taken place in the future with a grown Newt (if she was even going to be in it at all). But you're right, in whatever future, both of them would have been f**ked - if not initially, then certainly after the third movie that never was.
Again, as I type, maybe setting the story directly after Aliens caused problems? Though, I'll admit, kicking off another adventure that DIDN'T happen directly after ALSO has problems. The very first comic handled Hicks and Newt very well (and plays into your oligarchy stuff as well) but a machine gut toting Ripley was not as well done, I thought.