I will present an overview of the dramatic and highly energetic explosions of stars at the end of their lives. They are essential as cosmological distance indicators, in heavy element production, and driving galaxy dynamics. New state-of-the-art sky surveys have uncovered an incredible diversity in the properties of supernovae and stellar collisions, which is testing the boundaries of stellar evolution and current explosion modelling. I will describe the latest research in understanding stellar explosions and the link to neutron-star mergers and kilonovae (with and without associated gravitational-wave detections). In particular I will highlight the role that current and future transient sky surveys (Zwicky Transient Factory, ATLAS, Vera Rubin Observatory) will play in uncovering the origins of these catastrophic events.