“Give Into Your Anger.”
The Force Awakens has been out for about a month now, but if there is one thing that Episode VII awakened, it is my old love of Star Wars. So I figured why not rank the big bads of the universe and board the hype train to Rogue One and Episode VIII a little early. Oh, and just so that expanded universe fans don’t get upset: I will only be counting Sith that made it into the movies. The EU was great, but we have to let it go sometime. (Just because Darth Plagueis was mentioned in Revenge of the Sith does not mean I will count him.) On to the list!
5. Count Dooku, AKA Darth Tyranus
Hey, I love Christopher Lee as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t make Count Dooku any less boring. Sure, The Clone Wars did a great job fleshing him out and actually making him menacing, but that doesn’t change my disappointment over Attack of The Clones’ big bad being an old guy with a cool voice and a slightly curved lightsaber hilt. One of my biggest gripes with the prequels was its lack of a strong villain, save for Palpatine, and this guy is the worst example. Is he the worst villain ever? Absolutely not. But if you ask me, he is the worst sith.
4. Darth Maul
I almost ranked this badass a little higher, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that he had a total of four lines in his one movie. Darth Maul is a great example of how excellent character design, a super cool weapon and almost no terrible George Lucas dialogue can take a character that on paper should be forgettable and practically turn him into a franchise mascot. It is a crying shame that he was “killed off” at the end of The Phantom Menace, never to be seen again (at least not in any following movie). But there is always hope that Disney could bring him back in some form, whether by having him show up in Rebels or maybe giving him his own spin-off movie. Maybe if they decided to do something with the character, he could move up the list in the future.
3. Darth Sidious, AKA Chancellor Palpatine
Darth Sidious is the epitome of what the dark side is supposed to be. Old, withered, with red sunken-in eyes, Darth Sidious is a master manipulator, choosing to stay on the sidelines of conflict as much as possible. That isn’t to say that he can’t hold his own in a fight, what with his force lightning and lightsaber, but that just isn’t his style. Sidious prefers to trick the more vulnerable among him into doing his bidding, and is capable of planning things 20 steps ahead. His scheming directly led to the downfall of Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Order, the Senate and very nearly Luke Skywalker. He is the baddest of the bad, the man behind the curtain and he more than deserves his spot on this list.
2. Darth Vader
Darth Vader is one of the most iconic and memorable film villains of all time, and he deserves it. A flawless and intimidating design, a head-turning voice and incredible force powers make Darth Vader the terrifying enforcer of the Empire. But underneath the helmet hides a man with a dark and tragic past, leaving him emotionally cold and task-focused. Vader’s failure to protect the woman he loved led to his betrayal of the Jedi Order, but it wasn’t until many years later that he began to realize that he had been manipulated. Unable to go back and right his wrongs, Vader was stuck doing the bidding of an evil Emperor who made it no secret that he wanted to replace him. When he was finally forced to choose between his son and the man who destroyed his entire life, Vader finally revolted against the Emperor, sacrificing himself in the process. Vader finally brought balance to the force as his final act, finally fulfilling the prophecy that he should have never abandoned. Darth Vader’s tragic, but ultimately satisfying, story defined the first two Star Wars trilogies, inspiring countless future stories.
1. Kylo Ren
Before anyone leaves a nasty comment, I know that Kylo Ren isn’t technically a Sith; he is a “Knight of Ren.” But, seeing as no one really knows what that actually means yet, and due to his obsession with Darth Vader, I am counting him as a Sith. It is telling that Kylo Ren made such an impact after only one movie, whereas Darth Vader and Darth Sidious had six(!), and I still think Kylo is better. Kylo Ren is the absolute perfect antagonist for the new trilogy. After such an iconic villain in Darth Vader, how could Star Wars have a new one that could possibly live up to the original? Simple: Have him be a villain who is constantly striving to be like Darth Vader but never quite living up to it. Where Darth Vader constantly had absolute control of his anger, calmly and efficiently killing anyone who disappointed him, Kylo Ren has explosive temper tantrums which involves him taking out his anger on computer terminals with his lightsaber. Where Darth Vader needed his helmet and suit in order to live, Kylo Ren wears his mask to make himself look intimidating. Having the new villain be so obsessed with meeting the standard of Darth Vader was a bold choice in the new trilogy, but it actually ended up making him more compelling. Kylo Ren is flawed in real, human ways. He keeps trying to be the ruthless killer that Darth Vader was, but he can’t. A character like this could have come across as a joke, but a fantastic script and a pitch-perfect performance sell the would-be Vader wonderfully, making Kylo Ren my personal favorite Sith of all time.
Is Kylo Ren better than Darth Vader? Will Darth Maul ever make a reappearance? Tweet me @adam_mcconnell. And be sure you follow us @YouNerded.
The Night Of: “The Call of the Wild” Review
Vice Principals: “The Foundation of Learning” Review
The Night Of: “Ordinary Death” Review
Joe Hill’s ‘The Fireman’ Review
How Speedrunning Changed My Perception of Games
Vice Principals: “Circles” Review
The Night Of: “Samson and Delilah” Review
‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Review
Vice Principals: “Run for the Money” Review
The Night Of: “The Season of the Witch” Review