Solution to Don't Let Me Down

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by Anderson Wang

We are presented with 24 movie screenshots and blanks. As hinted at by the title, in each scene there is an offscreen character holding onto the depicted character for dear life. The name of this character always fits into the blanks, so we fill in the names and take the boxed letters:

MovieOffscreen characterExtracted letterReference video
My Little Pony: The MovieTempest ShadowS
Indiana Jones and the Last CrusadeElsa SchneiderE
GoldeneyeAlec TrevelyanV
Rush Hour 3KenjiE
Die HardHans GruberN
The Emperor’s New GroovePachaP
Star Trek III: The Search for SpockKrugeE
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingFrodoO
Puss in BootsHumpty DumptyP
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’HooleKluddL
CubeHelen HollowayE
The MatrixTrinityI
North by NorthwestEve KendallL
Dawn of the Planet of the ApesKobaB
Fast & Furious 6GiseleE
The Dark KnightJokerE
The Lion KingMufasaS
Avengers: EndgameBlack WidowC
DarkmanLouis StrackU
The Hunchback of Notre DameClaude FrolloE
Blade RunnerRick DeckardD

The boxed letters spell out SEVEN PEOPLE WILL BE RESCUED. Of these 24 characters, 7 of them are pulled up and saved, while the other 17 are let go for various reasons and die (or appear to die, in the case of Loki and Kludd). The 7 rescued characters are highlighted above, and their letters spell out the answer SPOILED.

Author’s Notes

This puzzle idea was originally inspired by watching the relevant scene in Legend of the Guardians, which felt so shoehorned in that it reminded me of other variations on this trope, especially in various Disney movies.

At some point I thought it might be fun to have the puzzle involve matching up similar instances of this trope from different movies, as there is a very large variety like “hero saves villain and villain becomes good”, “villain deliberately lets go because they don’t want to be saved by the hero”, “hero tries to save villain but villain attacks them and dies because karma”, etc. However I figured there might be too much subjectivity and eventually settled on this extraction after coming up with a reasonable cluephrase that included the answer as a subsequence.