Greg Nicotero Tries to Compare Walking Dead Cliffhanger to Empire Strikes Back
Spoilers for the season finale of The Walking Dead ahead!
The powers-that-be behind The Walking Dead have tried to defend their decision to cop out and not reveal which character dies in the horribly disappointing season finale in several ways, each less convincing than the next. First, Scott Gimple said that this season was about Rick's journey through hubris, culminating in the death of someone he cares about, and next season will be about the death and Negan. But that depends on us knowing the emotional impact this would have on Rick, which means we would need to know whether it was someone like Michonne or someone like Eugene. Then, they used the same ridiculous excuse they used during Glenn-gate, and tried to say that they wanted us to experience being "part of the group." You mean, like the members of the group who actually watched someone die and knew who it was? That group?
But now, in a new interview with EW, Greg Nicotero gives possibly the worst excuse yet, and claims that we shouldn't be upset about the cliffhanger because we weren't upset when Darth Vader was revealed to be Luke Skywalker's father:
"I remember sitting in the theater watching Empire Strikes Back and having Darth Vader say 'I am your father' and I was shocked and amazed, and I don't remember being angry. I don't remember saying, 'Oh, I give up on Star Wars because that's lame.' It's an exciting time to be a fan of The Walking Dead. Yeah, it's agonizing to have to wait, but this was the end of our story, and we have an entirely new story coming up... So people can be upset. A week from now, they won't be upset anymore, and it'll be fun."
Um... what? There are so many problems with this comparison, I don't even know where to begin. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he wasn't being arrogant by comparing his work to Star Wars, that he was just speaking generally about cliffhangers. Except—Empire Strikes Back wasn't a cliffhanger. When Darth Vader says, "I am your father," that's it. That's the whole reveal. It was crazy and game-changing at the time, but it wasn't really a cliffhanger. If Star Wars had been like The Walking Dead, Darth Vader would have lined up Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and Chewie, and said "I am your father" to one of them before cutting to black. If that sounds absurd, that's because it is.
And speaking of things that are absurd, Nicotero claimed that the actors really didn't know who was going to die when they filmed that final sequence:
"No. It was specifically written that way. The POV shot looking up at Negan in that last moment, I don't think anyone on that knew what happened. As a matter of fact, if I'm not mistaken, I think we had wrapped all of the actors, because the shot we did with Negan, the sun was coming up and Jeffrey was about to get on a plane and fly back to New York and we didn't have anybody there because we didn't want even somebody on the crew or somebody there to go, 'Oh I get it, I know what's going to happen.' So I think they were all gone. We built a little rig for Jeffrey to hit so that there would be impact with the baseball bat."
To be fair, they filmed the finale months ago, so it's possible that the cast members know by now. But Chandler Riggs claims that he, at least, still doesn't know:
if it makes you feel any better i still don't know who got killed and it's been like 6 months since i read the script #whoisit— chandler riggs (@chandlerriggs) April 4, 2016
If the cast members still don't know, or if they're only finding out now, that's just cruel. That means that all of the actors in that scene aside from Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan presumably have no idea if they have a job next year. I thought the actors were just blowing hot air when they said they threw up and couldn't sleep at night after reading the script, but maybe they were just worried about their job security.
And if the actors still don't know, that can only mean one thing: the writers don't know. They probably had some idea when they filmed the finale, but were waiting to see the audience's reaction before deciding who to kill off. So based on the fan reaction, they'll probably kill off... all of the writers?
The Walking Dead-Pool pt 2