The prevailing wisdom among movie fans is that a big-screen blockbuster lives or dies based off the quality of its main villain. It’s not hard to see why – after all, if the baddie in question isn’t a memorable or credible threat, watching our heroes triumph over them isn’t particularly satisfying.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course. With the exception of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the rogues gallery of the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe have largely proven a disappointing bunch. But even so, the marketing machines behind virtually every blockbuster film – including those released by Marvel Studios – put a significant amount of effort into generating pre-release excitement around the supposed awesomeness of their villains.
Sometimes, these big bads really do live up to the promotional buzz. Brilliantly twisted creations like Heath Ledger’s Joker have since gone on to become iconic examples of what a cinematic antagonist should be, far exceeding audience expectations along the way. But more often than not, the hoopla surrounding these nefarious characters turns out to be grossly exaggerated.
Check out our list of 15Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.
Over the course of the last five months, I’ve focussed primarily on posts dedicated to the original Star Wars trilogy, mostly because, well…they’re kinda much better than the prequel films that followed.
Even so, it seems a bit of a missed opportunity to totally gloss over what currently amounts to 50% of the Star Wars saga, which is why this month we’re going to take a look back at the latest – and at the time of its release, final – instalment in the series, Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Ever since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the modern supervillain in the form of Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis Professor Moriarty, pop culture has been home to countless larger than life figures exhibiting wicked inclinations.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the movies, which have provided us with numerous classic evildoers. From Bela Lugosi’s Dracula to Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector and on to Heath Ledger’s Joker, films have been a showcase for some of the most memorable bad guys in all of fiction.
Of all these cinematic supervillains, I’d argue that the title of greatest of them all should go to a true icon of the screen: Darth Vader. In this latest article in the Pop Culture Studio’s Star Wars-themed series, I’ll look at Vader’s constant evolution as a character throughout the Star Wars saga, and explain why this sets him above his distinguished competition.