Clarification of Answer by
01 Jun 2004 14:07 PDT
I am at a disadvantage, not having seen the movie. Apparently the
original script of the movie did kill Duke, but at the last minute,
changes were made so that he was comatose rather than dead:
"But didn't Duke die?
Originally the Movie was slated for a theatrical release, and Duke was
supposed to die after being struck by Serpentor. Early storyboards are
written this way. What changed this was the release in 1986 of
Transformers: The Movie. It did poorly at the US box office and
angered fans by killing off many of the older characters to make room
for the new ones. The death of Optimus Prime hit especially hard,
partly because of the younger audience - many of whom were not yet old
enough to understand death. (Remember, this was before The Lion King,
and the scene is very moving, thanks to Vince DiCola's musical score.)
Sunbow decided to play it safe and redubbed the relevant lines so that
Duke merely went into a coma and was restored at the end of the film."
GUIDE TO G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO
"The movie was being produced by the same company, and at the same
time, as Transformers: The Movie, The (1986). It had been agreed that
both movies would suffer the loss of the lead heroes, Optimus Prime
and Duke. Production had begun on G.I. Joe first, and was thus
expected to be released first. During the production of the two films,
G.I. Joe got held up while Transformers finished production. Release
dates were changed and Transformers got a theatrical release in 1986.
Optimus Prime's death sparked some controversy and caused the writers
to change Duke's death to a coma. G.I. Joe never got to the theaters,
and was released to video instead. Had G.I. Joe been released first,
Optimus Prime might have survived the movie."
Internet Movie Database