Why Is Darth Vader The Most Popular Villain Of All Time?
Written By: Max Powers
Darth Vader can certainly be claimed by many as the most popular villain produced by the world of cinema. The character, which debuted on the big screen in the year 1977, has soon become an iconic figure in the world of cinema. In fact, Darth Vader has also slowly grown to become the face of the popular comic and movie series, Star Wars. The Star Wars franchise is also one of the most popular film franchises ever with millions of followers. The franchise also has an estimated worth of over $40 billion, making it one of the most successful film franchises in the modern cinematic world.
There are very few villains that can claim to enjoy popularity within the vicinity of Darth Vader, although The Joker from the Batman series and even Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series come pretty close. The popularity of Darth Vader is also unified among common entertainment sources such as movies, animated series, novels, comics, merchandise, video games and several others. Now, there are a number of reasons behind this widespread popularity of this villain from the Star Wars Series.
So, who is Darth Vader?
Darth Vader is the prime antagonist character in the Star Wars trilogy. Ironically, he is also the principal protagonist character in the prequel trilogy of the series. The man behind the mask, Anakin Skywalker, was inducted into the Jedi Order at an age above the average age of new inductees. He was believed to be “The Chosen One” by the Jedi Council, a person who would offer substantial balance to the entire force. However, he always felt a temptation to turn to the Dark Side, which eventually won over, transforming him to the Lord Darth Vader.
In this evil avatar, Darth Vader and his master, The Emperor, went on to rampage and torment the galaxy for over two long decades. Hence, we have actually seen the character appear in a trilogy of films as the good guy, Anakin Skywalker, and also a trilogy of films as the bad guy, Lord Darth Vader. This is, perhaps, what makes him incredibly unique and interesting as far as Villains in the cinematic universe or any other universe is concerned. His main rivals include his own son as well as his former master. Hence, his story involves a number of different layers that include emotions, family ties, love, despair, and many others.
In fact, it is his story that makes him so unique and special. He was a hero once until the Dark Side emerges for a number of years. Ultimately, he battles his own son, who succeeds to bring him back and put an end to his dark side.
Why is he the best villain ever?
There are a number of reasons that can be attributed to the massive popularity enjoyed by Darth Vader. Some of them include:
- His appearance
The moment you lay your eyes on this character wearing black colored capes and armor, you know that he is the bad guy. Vader is also surrounded by a whole legion of Stormtroopers, who are clad in the starkly opposite color – white. This makes him appear even more villainous and evil. Now, there have been villains who are known to dress up in odd styles and colors that are often found to be gloomy. There is, however, something about this Dark Lord and his army of Stormtroopers that sets them apart. There is not much to boast of in terms of colors, but the entire setting is certainly eye-catching.
- He survives all
In a cinematic universe that thrives on the victory of Good over Evil, there is very little that this Dark Lord can achieve in the form of success. However, despite everything he goes through and all the failures that he is faced with, he seems to survive it all. Even though his expressionless helmet does not allow you to see his face, you still get to feel his anger and frustration through some of the finest one-liners ever spoken.
- His constant fight with destiny
Anakin Skywalker was told from a very young age that he was “The Chosen One”, and that he would be the person that would eventually balance the Force. Now, this does take a toll on the mind, and so was the case with Anakin. Eventually, when the Dark Side began to prevail, he began to feel that every action of his led towards that eventual balance. To a certain extent, it did balance everything out. He brought down the Jedi Order by a great extent and increased his power. However, when he sensed his master gaining too much power to fuel the Dark Side, he took his master down too. This certainly managed to bring things to a balance.
- His journey
The story of his journey is that of the rise of a hero, his fall and then his redemption. This makes him even more popular as a villain in the world of cinema. After all, who does not love the story of a bad guy rising up and redeeming himself? Moreover, when that guy turns out to be one of the most dangerous villains ever, it makes for an even better story.
Cashing out on his widespread popularity
The second installment of the Star Wars Sequel series, The Last Jedi is scheduled for release by the end of 2017. This has once again raised the interests of followers of the series around the world. There is a constant buzz around the whole franchise at the moment, and it promises to stay right up until the end of this trilogy at least. Now, the Darth Vader is the primary antagonist of this series and he enjoys widespread popularity around the world. This has prompted a number of merchandise companies to come up with villain shirts, play-models, costumes and number of other merchandises.
This is surely a great way to cash in on the popularity of one of the best cinematic villains that world has ever seen. However, this is also a way in which followers of the series and fans of this amazing villain can wear and flaunt their love for the character. After all, he is one of the best-known villains in the world of cinema!
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