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Villians

Posted by Chance on April 5, 2009

The Dark Knight Joker is a little disturbing, so I put in the Joker from the campy 60s show

The Dark Knight Joker is a little disturbing, so I put in the Joker from the campy 60s show

I was watching The Dark Knight the other day and noticed what a great job the late Heath Ledger did playing the Joker.  The character was truly terrifying, someone I would truly be scared to death to meet.  He was a villain without any redeeming quality, and his goal was to point out the villainy in the average person.  The Joker was someone who enjoyed being the scourge of all mankind, a truly evil, abominable person.  I don’t know if the Batman movies could ever have another Joker, because I don’t think this one could be topped.

I thought I would talk about some great villains in some of the more modern movies.

Lex Luthor played by Kevin Spacey.  I don’t think this would be an obvious candidate for a great villain, but because of this movie Spacey scares me.  There was something all-too-convincing about his performance when he was kicking the crap out of a Kryptonite-exposed Superman.  The look on his face makes me wonder if there is not a really, really mean side to the guy.

Magneto played by Ian McKellan.  Magneto is a fascinting character.  You almost like the guy until you remember he wants to eradicate humans, and he is blind to the irony of his mission.  He was persecuted as a Jew by someone who wanted to advance the “master race”, then he tries to do the same thing by having mutants take over the world.

A not so great villian.  Darth Vader voiced by James Earl Jones, played by Hayden Christiansen and some other guy.  Talk about a guy with lack of focus.  Just because his son gets zapped by electricity he totally blows a life-long career for the empire.

In my view, the ultimate great villian is The Emperor, played by some Scottish guy, (okay, I won’t be lazy, imdb says Ian McDiarnid).  This character, who doesn’t appear to be overwhelmingly evil, is probably the most evil.  Here is why.

He has the appearance of being good.  Like past and future villians (think some people’s vision of the antichrist), he is just a humble leader with seemingly benign motives.  However, gradually he gains more and more power.  Before you know it, the Republic becomes an Empire.  He is probably the most historically accurate villian.  He doesn’t have three eyes or purple skin, he’s just a seemingly normal person (albeit with Sith powers) who achieves power by rising through the ranks.

Liberals will no doubt draw a parallel with Bush, but libertarian-minded people will find that this story resonates with them strongly.  So many presidents are case studies of people gaining more and more power, whether it be through a police state, through running businesses, trying to stack the courts, etc…  I’m surprised I haven’t heard more and more talk concerning the last Star Wars movie among libertarians. In addition to the power grab, people willingly hand the power over due to fear.  They want complete safety

The Emperor, or Senator Palpatine, is a strong parallel to Satan.  He takes the dark parts of a person, hate, anger, fear of death, and uses it against them.  He constantly plays the part of the Serpent as he tells Anakin to kill his combatant.  He uses Anakin’s fear of Padme’s death as the ultimate cursed apple to lure him to the dark side.  There is a scene in the last Star Wars movie in which the Emperor has a conversation with Anakin and finally reveals his truth self.  Here, Anakin is given the choice between good and evil; he is facing temptation.  This scene was slightly jarring, because I imagine Satan works very similarly.  This scene can hit close to home for those who have faced temptation and made the wrong choice.

Have I left anyone out?  Who else is a notable villain, someone you love to hate, hate to love.  Feel free to mention your own.

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