The number of times you can say "I thought you were dead!" in science fiction is probably only rivaled by characters in soap operas. In honor of Easter, here are eleven of the best resurrections.
1. Daniel Jackson (Stargate SG-1)
While pretty much the entire team has died and come back, Daniel wins the prize for doing it the most. He gets shot, he gets radiation poisoning, he gets killed, he gets killed again. And then again. And then again. You know, it's hardly any wonder he's gotten compared to Kenny from South Park.
2. Ellen Ripley (the Alien movies)
As far as resurrections go, Ellen doesn't totally adhere to the strictest definition. But when she's brought back as a clone in Alien Resurrection, it's in order to bring Sigourney Weaver back. This time with enhanced strength and acidic blood. So she's not only back, but she's also even more badass than she was before. (Which actually seems to be a trend with scifi resurrections.)
3. Captain Jack Harkness (Doctor Who and Torchwood)
In "The Parting of the Ways," the finale of Series 1, Jack is killed by the Daleks, but is brought back by Rose Tyler, who's essentially ingested the power of the time vortex, making her pretty much all-powerful. When she brings him back to life, however, she kind of overdoes it, and now Captain Jack cannot die.
4. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
In the hundredth episode, "The Gift," Buffy sacrifices herself for her sister Dawn. After she's been dead for five months, she's brought back by her friends in "Bargaining." Whoever said you can't get by with a little help from your friends?
5. Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Pushing Daisies)
Really, every single dead person Ned touches comes back to life. (Remember the Resurrection Glove in Torchwood? That's basically Ned, only Ned bakes pie too. And has a few more rules about how long he's allowed to keep the dead alive.) Well, he breaks those rules to let his dead childhood sweetheart, Chuck, remain in the land of the living, making her the most permanently resurrected character on the show.
6. Pretty Much Every Dead Superhero Ever
It would take forever to even tip the iceberg here. I figure it's a pretty fair assumption that if a superhero's died, they've also come back, maybe more than once. And if they haven't, you just have to wait a few years and they will. (Or they'll somehow manage to keep showing up in death. Exhibit A: The Dibnys.) Superman, Jean Grey, Batman, Jason Todd (Robin II), Hal Jordan (Green Lantern I), and on and on and on . . . No wonder they say death is a revolving door in comics.
7. The Iron Giant (The Iron Giant)
Now, once you open the list to robots, it gets a little messy. You can, after all, repair and rebuild them. (You have the technology.) In this case, however, the Giant sacrifices himself in order to prevent the entire town getting destroyed by a nuclear missile from the USS Nautilus sent to destroy the Giant. Several months pass, and everyone thinks the Iron Giant is dead, but we see him in pieces at Langjökull glacier in Iceland, slowly calling all his parts together, ostensibly to reassemble. (On top of that, I still hold that voicing the Iron Giant is Vin Diesel's greatest role to date.)
8. Sam and Dean Winchester (Supernatural)
In the finale episodes of Season 2, Sam is killed by Jake, another "special" kid ("special" being "potentially demonic"), who really does think he's doing the right thing. Dean, however, feels that killing Sam is decidedly the wrong thing, so he makes a deal with a Crossroads Demon: Sam back to life in exchange for one year left of life for Dean. That's Winchester Resurrection #1. Unfortunately, Dean only has a year left to live, so at the end of Season 3, he, er, dies. Lucky for him, however, he gets dragged back by an angel named Castiel. (Unlucky for him, it's because it's his job to stop the Apocalypse.) And that's Winchester Resurrection #2. (Actually, it's probably also the second or third time Dean's died. But still.)
9. Captain James T. Kirk (The Return, a novel by William Shatner)
While the canonicity is most definitely in question, The Return also most definitely has Kirk coming back from the dead. He's resurrected by the Borg and implanted with false memories designed to make him hate the Federation. The goal is, of course, to destroy Picard, but at the end of the day, Kirk sacrifices himself in Picard's place, thereby making it seem that he is once again dead. Spock, however, does not believe that.
10. Pat Henry "Hobbit" Hobbins (The Armageddon Rag by George R. R. Martin)
Pat Hobbins was the frontman for a rock band called The Nazgul, but was assassinated at a 1970 concert. When the band reunites with a young lookalike singer named Larry (who's even had the cosmetic surgery to look like Hobbins), they begin noticing a change in Larry at concerts, but only when they perform songs off their aptly named last album, Music to Wake the Dead. Larry, for all intents and purposes, becomes the once-dead Hobbins. Maybe it could be argued more as possession, but the novel's title is taken from one of the band's songs, the second half of which is "The Resurrection Rag."
11. Aslan (The Narnia series, C. S. Lewis)
Hey, what better way to end a post in honor of Easter with a little allegory? He's tortured, humiliated, and murdered by the White Witch and her followers, but come dawn and he's back in all his glory, which he explains thus:
"But if she could have looked a little further back, [...] She [the White Witch] would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."