The Oscar Project
We have finally made it to the final round, and yes, I know it's not April anymore. With the Oscars wrapping this up the week before last, I decided to take a little breather from posting and this dropped off my radar. So now it's time to finish out the finals with the top two villains, according to your votes.
First up is our original #1 seed, Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, aka Anakin Skywalker, famous Jedi pilot and general for the Galactic Republic. Vader of course comes from the Star Wars franchise and has appeared in five films. Two previous films in the series focused on his early life as Anakin Skywalker, and the legacy of Vader appears in the Star Wars sequel trilogy as a driving force behind his grandson, Kylo Ren (Ben Solo).
For fans of the series, you already know that the image I've used here comes from the iconic moment of Vader's appearance on screen, and quite possibly the biggest reveal in cinematic history, the moment he reveals that he is Luke Skywalker's father.
There can be no doubt that Vader is a classic villain. He's clad entirely in black from the moment he "becomes" Darth Vader in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, until his demise at the end of Return of the Jedi. In every scene, his breathing is ever present and let's not forget the deep bassy voice of James Earl Jones that gives him that final menacing touch. When you can reach across a room, or even open space, to choke your rival to death, you possess true power. And the guy tries to kill his primary mentor twice, succeeding the second time, and ultimately tries to kill his own son twice as well. Those two take a new level of evil to pull off and still manage to be able to redeem yourself in the end.
Now, over to the Joker. Another classic villain, yet one that doesn't possess the immense power of the Force like Vader. He is just as evil when you get right down to it.
The Joker has been Batman's primary nemesis since the very beginning, appearing in Batman #1 back in 1940. The psycopathic clown has gone through many iterations over the years in the comics, and has at times been loosely associated with the Caped Crusader's defining moment, the murder of his parents in Gotham City.
On screen, The Joker has appeared in numerous television series, dating back to the 1960s, when he appeared in both live action and animated settings. And while I'm more interested in film versions here, I will note the curious fact that the animated version of The Joker has often been voice by Mark Hamill, none other than the actor behind Darth Vader's son, Luke Skywalker.
Similarly, multiple short animated films have featured the Joker, but the live action ones are where it's at. Starting with Jack Nicholson's portrayal in the 1988 film Batman, directed by Tim Burton, the character has an incredible lineage through to 2019's Joker, where Joaquin Phoenix plays the title character and took home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his efforts. But perhaps the most iconic portrayal of the character comes from the late Heath Ledger who took on the crazed clown in 2008's The Dark Knight. Even though he passed away before the film's release, he received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, which I believe makes The Joker the only character to receive two Academy Awards.
So now it's up to you to decide, who is the best (or worst) villain out of these two incredible baddies. Only one can win, so vote below before it's too late!
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?