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View Full Version : It's Good to Be Bad -- Coolest Antagonists



SkepticJ
2010-Jul-28, 02:30 AM
Alec Trevelyan, from the James Bond film GoldenEye.

Everything about him is cool: he's got an awesome name, he's intelligent, he looks cool, he's got a cool voice, his motivation for being "bad".

Dr. X, from The Diamond Age. He's very intelligent, not really evil at all, has a cool lair, and does interesting, mysterious things.

Fazor
2010-Jul-28, 04:00 AM
Hmm. It's hard not to nominate Heath Ledger as the Joker. And how many baddies are as cool as Vader? Though when I watched the movies for the first time this decade; he didn't seem the bad mother (shut yo mouth. I'm just talkin' bout Vader. I can dig it.) that I remembered from my childhood.

Gillianren
2010-Jul-28, 04:23 AM
Maleficent is deliciously evil. The best Disney villain ever. I'd say she may well be cooler than Hannibal Lecter, who's pretty cool. At least in Silence of the Lambs.

LotusExcelle
2010-Jul-28, 04:25 AM
Roy Batty. I win!

SkepticJ
2010-Jul-28, 05:43 AM
How could I forget Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, from The Fifth Element?

Spoons
2010-Jul-28, 06:29 AM
I nominate Forrest Gump.

What?

I mean, really - box of chocolates? Nobody told him about the obesity crisis.

Van Rijn
2010-Jul-28, 07:54 AM
Here's Johnny! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shining_%28film%29)(Jack Torrance from the movie The Shining). I don't know if he was cool, but he was memorable.

I also liked Nicholson's Joker in Batman. That probably fits the "cool" aspect better.

Gillianren
2010-Jul-28, 05:09 PM
How could I forget Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, from The Fifth Element?

If you're going with Gary Oldman, at least go with good Gary Oldman. Sure, his best role was as the classic Fool, and one of his best villains turned out not to be, but The Fifth Element? Bleah!

Tog
2010-Jul-28, 05:18 PM
I can't help but like Xykon from Order of the stick.

LotusExcelle
2010-Jul-28, 05:28 PM
If we're talking Oldman I'd have to go with Stansfield from Léon.

**edit**

Or Dracula. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Buttercup
2010-Jul-28, 06:07 PM
And how many baddies are as cool as Vader?

Yeah. :D

And Hayden in black leather...ouch.

Gillianren
2010-Jul-28, 06:12 PM
And Hayden in black leather...ouch.

Ouch is right. Or anyway I found those movies painful.

Solfe
2010-Jul-30, 03:04 AM
I nominate the hypothetical offspring of Cruella de Ville and Sauron the Great.

Solfe

Gillianren
2010-Jul-30, 03:35 AM
Bah. Cruella's a piker. Even Cinderella's stepmother is cooler. In every sense of the word--she's so beautifully calm when she encourages her daughters to rip Cinderella's dress to shreds.

Solfe
2010-Jul-30, 04:32 AM
Sure she is a little high strung - "Any way you like. Poison them. Drown them. Bash them in the head. You got any chloroform?"

But if you mixed in some of the patience of Sauron then you would have someone who not only had puppy fur coat, but also picked off those awful Bagginses, and celebrated under a Ent Christmas tree with a pint or two of Ale. Yes, they come in pints. :)

Solfe

closetgeek
2010-Jul-30, 01:49 PM
The only one that comes to mind for me is Tom Berenger's alter ego in Rustler's Rhapsody. Honestly, my age was still in the single digits the last time I saw that movie but I remember it being really funny.

megrfl
2010-Jul-30, 03:14 PM
I don't know if this one will get much support, but Bill "The Butcher" from Gangs of New York is one I love to hate. He's pretty talented with knives, among other things and I'm pretty sure he was proud of who he was.

Gillianren
2010-Jul-30, 07:09 PM
The thing I love about Bill the Butcher is that you really genuinely seriously believe he hates the Irish with every fiber of his being.

He is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who may be English by birth but is very, very Irish by heritage.

SydneyNot
2010-Jul-31, 03:38 AM
From Buffy the Vampire Slayer season three, Mayor Richard Wilkins.
His delightfully pleasant, upbeat and positive attitude was a neat contrast to what he schemed to achieve: the destruction of Sunnydale.

TJMac
2010-Jul-31, 10:57 AM
Agent Smith, regardless of what you think of the movie, was a pretty cool cat. "Mr. Anderson..."

It doesn't hurt that he is also an elf king in another dimension. (played by Hugo Weaving, and how can a guy named Hugo not be cool?)

When I first started reading the thread, my thought was... A Christopher Walken role, but then, nothing really came to mind. Which only means I have been up way too long, and cannot think straight.

Delvo
2010-Jul-31, 04:36 PM
I've gotten so used to this one character being called the best villain ever, the antidote to the failings of lesser villains, every time anything like this subject comes up at any website I'm reading anywhere, that I just expected that he'd naturally be the first one mentioned in this thread once again... and repetitions of his name would also be half of the ones to follow after that as well.

That we could make it through 20 posts without his even being mentioned at all yet is something I simply never even imagined possible! (And I'm talking about not just my own opinion of him but what I've gotten used to everyone else saying about him.)

-->Scorpius<--

Gillianren
2010-Jul-31, 06:36 PM
You know, an interesting study could be made of this, if you think about it. What villains you appreciate and why. Do you like the . . . exuberance of Cruella de Vil? Or are you a fan of the slick snark of Maleficent? Xykon who defines the "chaotic" part? The Joker by Jack or the Joker by Heath? The Joker by Mark? Or maybe Harley? (Personally, I have a weak spot for the good version of Mr. Freeze. We're talking Animated Series Mr. Freeze.) Certainly something to think about.

KaiYeves
2010-Jul-31, 10:32 PM
I will admit, Vader was definitely cool.

Spoons
2010-Aug-01, 03:58 AM
You are quite right, TJMac - all creatures named Hugo are both dynamically cool and evil.

novaderrik
2010-Aug-02, 12:19 AM
Dr. Evil
just because.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-02, 03:58 AM
I'm not sure. I like Vader, and there's a lot to be said for Cool when you can force choke someone, have oodles of starships at your command and the most powerful space station in the Galaxy.

But in all the movies I've seen, one who immediately comes to mind is Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction. He had some good one-liners, and if you can get Uma Thurman with you and got some gangsters like Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson to work for you... well, that's pretty cool.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-02, 04:19 AM
Not to mention the Wolf.

Spoons
2010-Aug-02, 04:30 AM
The Wolf transcends good and bad, and is given the supremely cool ranking of Harvey.

Now the Bad Lieutenant, he was bad and cool. Somehow, he was also Harvey. Go figure.

novaderrik
2010-Aug-02, 08:28 AM
I'm not sure. I like Vader, and there's a lot to be said for Cool when you can force choke someone, have oodles of starships at your command and the most powerful space station in the Galaxy.

But in all the movies I've seen, one who immediately comes to mind is Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction. He had some good one-liners, and if you can get Uma Thurman with you and got some gangsters like Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson to work for you... well, that's pretty cool.

Vader was an overrated bad guy. at least after seeing his back story in the prequels. i guess he looked kinda bad(butt) when he 'fought' Obi Wan by just standing there and waving his light saber around like it was no big deal. i could almost see him yawning during that sequence..
and what good is the most powerful space station in the galaxy if it can be taken out by a few teenagers that are essentially the 'galaxy far far away' equivalent of the Sea Shepherds on Whale Wars?

ineluki
2010-Aug-02, 11:23 AM
While I can't comment on the comics, I like Magneto from the X-Men.
- He is played by Sir Ian McKellen
- He has a reason for his villainy

Gillianren
2010-Aug-02, 06:52 PM
The Wolf transcends good and bad, and is given the supremely cool ranking of Harvey.

Now the Bad Lieutenant, he was bad and cool. Somehow, he was also Harvey. Go figure.

I need to see that. I've seen the Werner Herzog movie of a similar name but really not a remake, but not that version. I do recommend the Herzog, though, for the sheer joy of watching a crazy director interact with a crazy actor.


While I can't comment on the comics, I like Magneto from the X-Men.
- He is played by Sir Ian McKellen
- He has a reason for his villainy

Well, you can't beat Sir Ian, certainly. And in many ways, Magneto is one of the most sympathetic villains in the superhero canon, be it Marvel or DC. He can go a bit off the rails depending on writer, but Auschwitz changed a lot of people in a lot of ways. It's not unreasonable to create a well-intentioned villain, as it were, from a man who doesn't ever want that to happen to his people ever again. The fact that he doesn't notice he's just creating a different kind of oppression is, well, human.

marsbug
2010-Aug-02, 11:35 PM
The Master deserves a mention surely?

Gillianren
2010-Aug-03, 12:56 AM
The question is, do you take care of the place while he's away?

Spoons
2010-Aug-03, 01:52 AM
I need to see that. I've seen the Werner Herzog movie of a similar name but really not a remake, but not that version. I do recommend the Herzog, though, for the sheer joy of watching a crazy director interact with a crazy actor.

If only we could trade off experiences - I've heard very good reviews of that one. Glad you mentioned it actually, I might have to check that one out this weekend.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-03, 03:23 AM
I really do recommend it. No real villain to that one, but Nicolas Cage doesn't require one. He doesn't have any brakes in the movie, either. Full-on crazy.

Spoons
2010-Aug-03, 03:27 AM
I have a love / hate relationship with Nick Cage. I'm not sure why, but sometimes he really gets on my nerves. Maybe it's because of how good he can be. Most of the time I think he's pretty darn good though. I'm expecting this will be one for the love pile.

SkepticJ
2010-Aug-03, 04:12 AM
When I first started reading the thread, my thought was... A Christopher Walken role, but then, nothing really came to mind. Which only means I have been up way too long, and cannot think straight.

A condition I need to remedy, I've only seen one movie in which he plays a prominent villain -- A View to a Kill.

The movie's is not what could be called good, but he's good in it. The scene where he machine-guns down his own people while laughing freaked me the bleep out when I was a kid.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-03, 06:27 AM
I have a love / hate relationship with Nick Cage. I'm not sure why, but sometimes he really gets on my nerves. Maybe it's because of how good he can be. Most of the time I think he's pretty darn good though. I'm expecting this will be one for the love pile.

I have friends whose theory is that every other Nic Cage movie is great. Though seeing The Wicker Man--and anyone who thinks that has a great villain is someone from whom you should back away slowly!--with them was a lot of fun. I'm getting to Leaving Las Vegas soon, which is supposed to be brilliant and therefore might finally take the taste of Face/Off out of my mouth after all these years.


The movie's is not what could be called good, but he's good in it.

Frankly, it sums up the man's entire career. He's in some terrible movies, but you can still see that he's a fine actor who's just having incredible amounts of fun. And then every once in a while, he genuinely gets a good role. It's worth noting that, in one of his movies, he plays someone who's trying to assassinate a political candidate, and he isn't the villain. He's cheerful, good-natured John Smith.

Spoons
2010-Aug-03, 07:06 AM
I'm getting to Leaving Las Vegas soon, which is supposed to be brilliant and therefore might finally take the taste of Face/Off out of my mouth after all these years.

Now that is one movie I think he was brilliant in. Of course, that's only my opinion, and you may well think otherwise. Quite a sobering story. I know we've engaged in polite discourse on the alcohol topic, but I do generally agree with your observations of drunks - they are generally annoying. (I generally disagree in order to justify my own actions - I know this.) This movie, however, is different.

I have to agree with your assessment of Mr Walken and his career. He puts a whole lot of energy into whatever role he plays - he's got those amazing sparkling eyes that you can't help but enjoy too - it's clear he's having a good time. He'd have to be a master of the lovable villain, though I can't think of many roles where he's played such.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-03, 07:21 AM
It's funny--we automatically picture Christopher Walken as evil, but when it comes right down to it, it's hard to name roles where he played villains. (And the man himself always seems quite nice on The Daily Show.) He's just got that vibe. Even when he's dancing in the "Weapon of Choice" video, there's something sinister about him. Sinister and awesome.

My understanding about Leaving Las Vegas is that Cage's character shows how alcohol can play such a major role in self-destruction, whether it's the cause or effect.

Spoons
2010-Aug-03, 07:30 AM
It's funny--we automatically picture Christopher Walken as evil, but when it comes right down to it, it's hard to name roles where he played villains. (And the man himself always seems quite nice on The Daily Show.) He's just got that vibe. Even when he's dancing in the "Weapon of Choice" video, there's something sinister about him. Sinister and awesome.
I keep thinking it's because of his dracula-like hair line, and a vaguely Munsterish look, but now I wonder whether I'm just placing that look on him within my memory. He is awesome though, either way. I've got a Saturday Night Live Christopher Walken dvd which I ordered from the states recently - he's even funny in poster form (well, front cover). "I got a fever..."


My understanding about Leaving Las Vegas is that Cage's character shows how alcohol can play such a major role in self-destruction, whether it's the cause or effect.
That is a fair understanding.

Delvo
2010-Aug-03, 01:50 PM
See "The Prophecy"... or maybe just "Prophecy". It's a villain-off between him and pre-LOTR Viggo Mortensen.

Spoons
2010-Aug-03, 01:56 PM
Ah, The Prophecy 1, 2 & 3 - yes, I'll have to look out for those then. Cheers Delvo!

Nick Theodorakis
2010-Aug-03, 02:24 PM
I have a love / hate relationship with Nick Cage. I'm not sure why, but sometimes he really gets on my nerves. ...

"I lost my hand! I lost my bride! Johnny has his hand! Johnny has his bride!"

Nick (no, not that Nic)

LotusExcelle
2010-Aug-03, 03:05 PM
Th flower eating scene with Viggo in The Prophecy is *really* good. Terrible movie, though. And I would in fact call Viggo's role as Lucifer in that movie a protagonist. Though just barely.

jamesabrown
2010-Aug-03, 03:46 PM
Boba Fett is often remarked on with high praise as a cool villain, although I'm not entirely sure why. He shares the masked mystery with Vader, but in Empire, he doesn't really do much except stand around and take orders. In Return he does more standing around, then plays Keystone Kop at the Sarlacc Pit. In the remastered New Hope, he does more standing around.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-03, 05:09 PM
That's pretty much what I felt about Boba Fett, too. I don't get it.

marsbug
2010-Aug-03, 09:40 PM
The question is, do you take care of the place while he's away?

I used to, but when he began eating like a pig and scorching the wallpaper with lighting bolts I decided enough was enough.

Scorpius was a good antagonist: ruthless, focused, highly intelligent and with good motivation. He had that trait that is indicative of a person who does his villany for what he sees as a noble end worth any sacrifiice: He was as willing to sacrifice himself to achieve his goal as well as others.

Or, for a villian who would really go through wth leavng you...buried....alive.........KHAAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!! !

Delvo
2010-Aug-04, 03:33 AM
Two things about Boba Fett:

1. He was the only Imperial agent other than one admiral or such (Tarkin?) who talked back to Darth Vader and got away with it, and even had Darth Vader going out of his way to satisfy him. Without being able to threaten Darth Vader or having any hierarchical authority over him, that meant he just must have earned a uniquely high level of respect, so even without being shown the details, we knew he had something valuable to offer and an outstanding record of delivering it.

2. That kind of setup apparently just begged for more details to be added, so he then became the subject of additional media creations such as novels, short stories in anthologies, and comic books, to explain some details about what made him the guy Darth Vader was so concerned about preserving his working relationship with. So some of the reaction to him is reaction either directly to those materials, or to word-of-mouth descriptions from other people who have read them saying stuff about his awesomeness the way the additional stuff fleshed it out.

jamesabrown
2010-Aug-04, 01:56 PM
You'll have to refresh my memory about Vader and Fett's relationship. My understanding is that Fett was freelance, not an Imperial agent. He'd work for whoever paid him.

What I recall is A) Vader pointedly telling Fett, "No disintegrations!" before sending the bounty hunters out to find Solo et al. This implied they did have a history, some job when Fett actually disintegrated a target, to Vader's chagrin. B) Vader wanted to test the carbon freezing process on Solo to prepare for using it on Luke. Fett complained, "He's no good to me dead," meaning Jabba wouldn't pay Fett for a corpse. Vader reassured Fett that if Solo died during the freezing the Empire would compensate him. C) Fett was about to kill Chewbacca when the Wookie was knocking stormtroopers about in the carbon freezing chamber, but Vader pushed Fett's gun down, probably because Vader wanted Chewbacca alive for some reason.

Beyond that, I don't recall any instance when Vader went out of his way to satisfy Fett.

As for Fett's second life, I agree that he went on to a rich and storied life. But I distinctly recall the enthusiastic speculation about Fett after Empire was released in theaters, long before the first Star Wars novel was ever published featuring Fett. In other words, Fett was ultra cool five minutes after the closing credits of the first airing of Empire ever rolled off the screen. All the followup tales are a response to that anti-hero worship, the worship that I and others don't quite understand.

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-04, 02:25 PM
Boba Fett was cool years before Empire Strikes Back even hit the theatres. He was revealed as a new ESB villian in the infamous holiday special--described as "the best bounty hunter in the galaxy" by Darth Vader himself. For better or worse, Boba Fett was the only significant pre-release reveal most people were aware of.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-04, 03:54 PM
There is some history of Fett in the current Clone Wars series on Cartoon Network.

Delvo
2010-Aug-05, 01:41 AM
My understanding is that Fett was freelance, not an Imperial agent.Yes, he's a freelancer. I used "Imperial agent" not as a title or to deliberately imply loyalty to only one employer and a government employee ID number or anything like that, but simply that they hired him and paid him to work for them. It was a categorical term to include him together with anybody else who worked for the Empire, including military officers... essentially, anybody the Empire gave orders to. For the most part, they're not expected to argue or protest anything Darth Vader says or does, as one might expect his enemies to. So it's noteworthy when we're shown that one can do so.


What I recall is... Vader wanted to test the carbon freezing process on Solo to prepare for using it on Luke. Fett complained, "He's no good to me dead," meaning Jabba wouldn't pay Fett for a corpse. Vader reassured Fett that if Solo died during the freezing the Empire would compensate him.That's what I'm talking about. Other people who are supposed to be working for Darth Vader or the Emperor, upon objecting to Darth Vader's actions, don't get that kind of result. They get choked, or they get threatened ("Perhaps you think you're being treated unfairly?"), or maybe at best they could hope to get brushed off and ignored to suffer whatever the indirect results might be (like not getting paid by Jabba), although I can't think of another offhand who even came out of such a confrontation that well. With Boba Fett, Darth Vader not only didn't do anything to him for talking back to him like that, but even was going to pay him to prevent his own actions from bringing any negative consequences to him at all. Darth Vader never treated anyone else who worked for him so well.

The "no disintegrations" line gets at the same basic things from another angle. It tells the audience at least three things immediately. They've worked with each other before, he's known for being casually dangerous and ruthless, and Darth Vader values him highly enough to stick with him even though he can be difficult to control.

Also, to look at Star Wars as a set of archetypes or icons, Boba Fett is a model of a type that wasn't previously seen much (especially in fantasy & sci-fi) like it has been in the last couple of decades: a cold villain instead of a hot one, a villain not because he desires to harm others, but because he doesn't care.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-05, 01:59 AM
But see, I found him essentially furniture. I didn't think the dialogue established anything about Boba Fett per se, just how the Empire works with bounty hunters in general. I honestly didn't even see anything in that movie to back up any claim that he was good at what he did, just that he was convenient in that moment.

Kadava
2010-Aug-05, 02:22 AM
I would agree with this. Boba Fett is just the smartest of the collected bounty hunters, hanging back and waiting. The fact he wasn't force choked probably had more to do with Vader being in a good mood for a change. Vader had all the cards in his hands and his enemies at his mercy. I can't recall a time when he choked someone when things were going well, only when they were going bad.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-07, 04:51 AM
Boba Fett's an accidental villian, not much else until someone thought the outfit would be good for merchandising.

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-07, 10:02 AM
Boba Fett's an accidental villian, not much else until someone thought the outfit would be good for merchandising.
He was supposed to be a major villain, and received a lot of publicity before his role in ESB was severely reduced. He was like the Darth Maul of ESB, in terms of fan anticipation vs eventual screen role.

C) Fett was about to kill Chewbacca when the Wookie was knocking stormtroopers about in the carbon freezing chamber, but Vader pushed Fett's gun down, probably because Vader wanted Chewbacca alive for some reason.
Vader didn't want Chewbacca killed because he didn't want to kill Luke's friends. His goal was to win his son Luke as an ally to overthrow the Emperor.

It was more obvious at the time, before Return of the Jedi messed up the plot line. Originally, Darth Vader's name was always Darth Vader (never Skywalker). Darth was secretly plotting to overthrow the Emperor while pretending to be subservient. But he needed his son Luke as an ally to do this. The Emperor refers to Luke as "the son of Skywalker" to emphasize the plot point that he doesn't know Luke is Vader's son. He also refers to "the son of Skywalker" as a "new threat" to reveal the plot point that Darth has been obsessively seeking him out since before the Emperor was aware of him or his power.

Spoons
2010-Aug-09, 07:31 AM
I really do recommend it. No real villain to that one, but Nicolas Cage doesn't require one. He doesn't have any brakes in the movie, either. Full-on crazy.
Finally got to watching Bad Lieutenant New Orleans last night - I watched the first one then the second. The Nick Cage one was good, but I much preferred the original Bad Lieutenant. Much, much darker!

Gillianren
2010-Aug-09, 04:03 PM
I still haven't watched the original, and it won't be happening in the next few weeks. It's my busy time of year.

Ilya
2010-Aug-09, 08:05 PM
Also, to look at Star Wars as a set of archetypes or icons, Boba Fett is a model of a type that wasn't previously seen much (especially in fantasy & sci-fi) like it has been in the last couple of decades: a cold villain instead of a hot one, a villain not because he desires to harm others, but because he doesn't care.
Are you saying this particular trope used to be very rare in SF/F, and isn't any more? I confess I had not noticed.

But this makes me think of another very very cold character, who is IMO rather difficult to pigenhole into any one trope: Doctor Trintignant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Revelation_Space_characters#Dr._Trintignan t)

To call him a villain is bit of a stretch. Trintignant loves turning people into cyborg monsters, but only if they volunteer for it. Early in "Diamond Dogs" we hear about accusations that not all of his subjects were willing, but we never see any proof; he is certainly hated enough that false accusations are likely. Yet when Childe Roland, whose mental state makes notions of "willing" and "volunteer" rather uncertain[1] asks for his services, Trintignant jumps at the opportunity. Moreover, he promises Childe and Richard Swift that the changes he worked on them are fully reversible (not that Childe cares, but Swift certainly does), and then ensures they will never be reversed by faking his own death. For no other reason that he can't stand see his magnum opus undone.

So what exactly, in literary terms, is Doctor Trintignant?

[1] Enough wordplay, Roland is blatantly insane or at least insanely obssessed

Spoons
2010-Aug-09, 09:56 PM
I still haven't watched the original, and it won't be happening in the next few weeks. It's my busy time of year.

Ren Faire up? Good luck with the weather!

Yes, I would urge you not to watch it while feeling fragile at all - it's quite a confronting film, in a similar vein to, oh, A Clockwork Orange. Everything seems much more justified in the second one, by comparison.

grapes
2010-Aug-09, 11:48 PM
If you're going with Gary Oldman, at least go with good Gary Oldman. Sure, his best role was as the classic Fool, and one of his best villains turned out not to be, but The Fifth Element? Bleah!


It's funny--we automatically picture Christopher Walken as evil, but when it comes right down to it, it's hard to name roles where he played villains. I think I've mentioned this movie before: True Romance

1993 Tony Scott film written by Quentin Tarantino (who sold the script for minimum, to fund Reservoir Dogs), with super super bad guys Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken and James Gandolfini. Christian Slater as the central character, Patricia Arquette as his wife, Dennis Hopper as the central's dad, Brad Pitt as a loadie, Val Kilmer as (the) Elvis. And Tom Sizemore, Chris Penn, Bronson Pinchot, Samuel L. Jackson, and others.

Spoons
2010-Aug-10, 12:28 AM
Nice pick grapes! That's a good one. Good movie, better characters. The only person in that whom I don't like is Christian Slater.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-10, 01:22 AM
Ren Faire up? Good luck with the weather!

It rained last weekend, and it will be brushing 90 this weekend. Last weekend was better.


Yes, I would urge you not to watch it while feeling fragile at all - it's quite a confronting film, in a similar vein to, oh, A Clockwork Orange. Everything seems much more justified in the second one, by comparison.

I'll add it to my Netflix queue. Remember, though--the second is Werner Herzog and requires no justification outside of that.

Doodler
2010-Aug-10, 11:01 PM
It's funny--we automatically picture Christopher Walken as evil, but when it comes right down to it, it's hard to name roles where he played villains.

A View to a Kill, not the best Bond movie, but definitely a fun psychopath. At Close Range was another, but it was a massive flop. He does have an aura about him that makes him very unique.


As for Nicolas Cage, he does better with quirky characters, Raising Arizona was my personal favorite from him.

jamesabrown
2010-Aug-11, 01:31 AM
That's what I'm talking about. Other people who are supposed to be working for Darth Vader or the Emperor, upon objecting to Darth Vader's actions, don't get that kind of result. They get choked, or they get threatened ("Perhaps you think you're being treated unfairly?"), or maybe at best they could hope to get brushed off and ignored to suffer whatever the indirect results might be (like not getting paid by Jabba), although I can't think of another offhand who even came out of such a confrontation that well.

I thought of another possibility. In Ep. 4, a random officer questions Vader's capture of Princess Leia. The guy said, "Holding her is dangerous. If word gets out, it could generate sympathy for the Rebellion." Vader doesn't force choke him or threaten him, as I recall.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-11, 09:55 AM
The Master deserves a mention surely?

John Simm's characterisation had some very good moments, mostly in the episode 'The Sound of Drums'. When asked why he was wearing a gas mask, his reply (a muffled 'Because of the gas') was priceless.

Solfe
2010-Aug-15, 10:11 PM
I am rather amused by Boba Fett in the novels. I seem to recall a series where he can't/won't capture Han because he is paid to exclusively hunt someone else. Even he seems slightly amused by this because it happens a couple of times.

Now that I am in villain mode, I loved the Alan Rickman bad guys from Die Hard and Robin Hood. Almost the same character really, even in Quigley Down Under. Not the best villain if scored for effectiveness, but definitely one of the best to watch.

Solfe

Glom
2010-Aug-16, 01:00 PM
I nominate John "They call this a suicide vest, but I think that rather undersells all the homocide that goes with it." Cavil.

Sounds like Boba Fett would have been more interesting if they hadn't put Lucas back in control. I don't think the Jango Fett bit in the prequels did the character any favours. As Old Man Plinkett says, "Why can't he hit Obi-Wan's ship? He hits every molecule around his ship but his ship!"

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-16, 02:39 PM
Sounds like Boba Fett would have been more interesting if they hadn't put Lucas back in control.
His role was already reduced in ESB. Among the villains, it's really Darth Vader who got the shaft in RoJ. Before RoJ, he was secretly conspiring against the Emperor and also, in his own way, obsessively trying to connect with Luke as a father. There were complex secretive subplots going on, and the lines between good and evil more subtle--especially with Luke. So Luke got the shaft also.

But no one got it worse from RoJ than Obiwan Kenobi. Before RoJ, he neither lied to Luke nor was he an incompetent fool. In Star Wars and ESB, Obiwan was telling Luke the truth when he said Darth Vader killed his father. He was only guilty of not revealing to Luke the entire truth--that Luke's father Skywalker wasn't his biological father (Darth Vader was). And when Obiwan hid away young Luke, he did not hide him with Darth Vader's relatives nor did he give him Darth Vader's original last name (Darth Vader was always named Darth Vader).

I just rewatched part of ESB last night as it was on TV...and I was once again struck by the subtleties that were lost with RoJ. For example, when Luke confronts Vader, Vader starts by calling him "Skywalker". Not "Luke", but "Skywalker". Darth is testing him to see if Luke knows the truth. Of course, Luke doesn't and neither does the audience. Luke doesn't notice and neither do you--unless you watch a second time. Upon a second viewing, you realize that this is the first time Vader confirms that Obiwan never told Luke what happened to his father (himself).

And then there's how Vader reacts when Luke says Obiwan told him Vader killed his father. That wasn't the answer Vader expected, but Vader presumes that Obiwan told him the truth (after all, Obiwan is a Jedi, and Jedi don't lie). Vader may or may not recall killing Skywalker specifically, but he killed a lot of people. So, Vader doesn't protest with, "No, I didn't kill him." Instead, Vader returns with "No. I am your father." There's so much going on in this deservedly famous scene, and most of it is dashed away with RoJ.

jamesabrown
2010-Aug-16, 08:52 PM
But no one got it worse from RoJ than Obiwan Kenobi. Before RoJ, he neither lied to Luke nor was he an incompetent fool. In Star Wars and ESB, Obiwan was telling Luke the truth when he said Darth Vader killed his father. He was only guilty of not revealing to Luke the entire truth--that Luke's father Skywalker wasn't his biological father (Darth Vader was). And when Obiwan hid away young Luke, he did not hide him with Darth Vader's relatives nor did he give him Darth Vader's original last name (Darth Vader was always named Darth Vader).

This is new to me; who was Luke's surrogate father?

What I recall from reading novelizations of A New Hope was that many people knew who Luke's father was. The novelization (and later a graphic novel) were written straight from the working script, but included scenes that weren't in the movie, such as Luke's conversation with Biggs on Tatooine, and their later reunion on Yavin's moon--which explains Luke's reaction to Biggs' death at the Death Star. I specifically recall a scene when Luke is recruited to fly an X-wing due to a shortage of pilots, and Rebel Leader is told that Luke's the son of Skywalker. Rebel Leader remarks that if Luke's half the pilot his father was, he'd do just fine.


And then there's how Vader reacts when Luke says Obiwan told him Vader killed his father. That wasn't the answer Vader expected, but Vader presumes that Obiwan told him the truth (after all, Obiwan is a Jedi, and Jedi don't lie). Vader may or may not recall killing Skywalker specifically, but he killed a lot of people. So, Vader doesn't protest with, "No, I didn't kill him." Instead, Vader returns with "No. I am your father." There's so much going on in this deservedly famous scene, and most of it is dashed away with RoJ.

Again, I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you suggesting that Vader lied about being Luke's father?

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-16, 09:06 PM
This is new to me; who was Luke's surrogate father?
A Jedi named Skywalker (his first name is not specified in either Star Wars or ESB). It was Skywalker's blue light saber that Obiwan gave to Luke in Star Wars. Skywalker was killed by Darth Vader, another Jedi who was originally trained by Obiwan Kenobi.

Again, I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you suggesting that Vader lied about being Luke's father?
No, Darth Vader was being truthful. Darth Vader was Luke's biological father. A different Jedi, whose name was Skywalker, was Luke's adoptive father.

The source of your confusion is that you're thinking that Darth Vader used to be named Skywalker. But in Star Wars and ESB, Darth Vader was never named Skywalker. His name was always Darth Vader. It's not until RoJ that Lucas royally messes up the plot line by making him one and the same with Anakin Skywalker.

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-16, 09:21 PM
Oh--if you're thinking that this is a pretty complex backstory, remember that Lucas originally sketched out nine episodes, and chose to start with episode four because the middle had the most action. We'll never know the details of the original plotline, but we do know that Lucas compressed everything from 6-9 into RoJ and made a lot of changes to do it.

What we can piece together is that Darth Vader was trained by Obiwan Kenobi, before betraying the Jedi. He had a biological son Luke, who was hidden away either by Obiwan Kenobi himself or at least with his knowledge. Obiwan and Skywalker were friends and fellow soldiers in war; during one of their wartime adventures Skywalker was killed by Vader. Skywalker's relative Owen blames Obiwan for his death.

It's not clear whether Skywalker ever officially adopted Luke or even if he ever met him. It's possible that Obiwan simply showed up on Owen's doorstep bearing baby Luke (and the news of Skywalker's death).

Glom
2010-Aug-17, 08:05 AM
But there was that moment in ANH when Aunt Beru argues on Luke's behalf that he should be allowed to be the fighter jock he wants to be saying, "He's got too much of his father in him." Uncle Owen responds with, "That's what I'm afraid of."

His ending the sentence with a preposition indicates that he knew that Vader was Luke's father. Or maybe indicating he is afraid of what traits Luke's has inherited is what indicates that.

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-17, 11:44 AM
But there was that moment in ANH when Aunt Beru argues on Luke's behalf that he should be allowed to be the fighter jock he wants to be saying, "He's got too much of his father in him." Uncle Owen responds with, "That's what I'm afraid of."

His ending the sentence with a preposition indicates that he knew that Vader was Luke's father. Or maybe indicating he is afraid of what traits Luke's has inherited is what indicates that.
They're talking about their relative, Skywalker. They don't know about Luke's true father, they think he's Skywalker's son. They think he's got too much of an adventurous spirit in him, and that life as a humble farmer won't be good enough for him.

Notice the huge difference in attitudes between the two. Aunt Beru has a positive attitude toward Luke's obvious tendencies. She has a romantic view of his (adoptive) father's adventuring with Obiwan. Uncle Owen has a negative attitude. He blames those adventures for Skywalker's death.

It's theoretically possible that Owen knows the whole truth, but if so he doesn't let Beru in on the secret.

Obviously, Aunt Beru wouldn't have a positive view of Luke following in Darth Vader's footsteps, so she must believe Luke's father is Skywalker.

Ilya
2010-Aug-17, 12:43 PM
Are you saying this particular trope used to be very rare in SF/F, and isn't any more? I confess I had not noticed.

But this makes me think of another very very cold character, who is IMO rather difficult to pigenhole into any one trope: Doctor Trintignant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Revelation_Space_characters#Dr._Trintignan t)

To call him a villain is bit of a stretch. Trintignant loves turning people into cyborg monsters, but only if they volunteer for it. Early in "Diamond Dogs" we hear about accusations that not all of his subjects were willing, but we never see any proof; he is certainly hated enough that false accusations are likely. Yet when Childe Roland, whose mental state makes notions of "willing" and "volunteer" rather uncertain[1] asks for his services, Trintignant jumps at the opportunity. Moreover, he promises Childe and Richard Swift that the changes he worked on them are fully reversible (not that Childe cares, but Swift certainly does), and then ensures they will never be reversed by faking his own death. For no other reason that he can't stand see his magnum opus undone.

So what exactly, in literary terms, is Doctor Trintignant?

[1] Enough wordplay, Roland is blatantly insane or at least insanely obssessed
No comments?

BigDon
2010-Aug-17, 02:06 PM
The thing I love about Bill the Butcher is that you really genuinely seriously believe he hates the Irish with every fiber of his being.

He is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who may be English by birth but is very, very Irish by heritage.

As much as I hate replying to a first page post in a multipage thread, I have to say that my very first introduction to that character was while channel surfing and I stopped right at the part where he pulls the cleaver out of that guys back to show the guy that he's notching his "walking stick" and that the wounded guy was going to be number "46". And then he dashes out the wounded guy's brains with a full body strike from said walking stick.

I went "Oh my!" (Or the equivalent.)

Hey Gillian, are there a lot of ex-pat Irishmen where you live? If so, you would understand the character better. :lol:

Gillianren
2010-Aug-17, 04:17 PM
No comments?

"I haven't read the source material"?


Hey Gillian, are there a lot of ex-pat Irishmen where you live? If so, you would understand the character better. :lol:

I've studied the relevant history. The American Irish of that era have certain . . . modern parallels with another culture today. Believe me, I understand the character very well, though I'm now not sure you do. Remember, his issue is not actually anything to do with Irish culture or any individual Irishman. Bill the Butcher was a product of his historical time, when the Irish were dirty and lazy and coming over here to take our jobs. (Note that's a reference to the historical belief at the time; I myself even know what parts of Ireland my ancestors are from.) Not to mention that Ireland then had quite a few sociopolitical differences from Ireland now.

Parrothead
2010-Aug-17, 04:56 PM
01 Boxer played by Michael Filipowich in Charlie Jade. Just the way he portrayed the character.

clint
2010-Aug-17, 06:15 PM
In terms of coolness, Seth Gecko (played by George Clooney in From Dusk till Dawn) scores pretty high...

marsbug
2010-Aug-17, 08:32 PM
No comments? I came close to, but then I went back a re-read diamond dogs and decided I couldn't really add anything to what you posted above. Trintignant may not begin as a villian but in my opinion he is walking close to the line from early on and crosses it during the story.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-18, 04:48 AM
A Jedi named Skywalker (his first name is not specified in either Star Wars or ESB). It was Skywalker's blue light saber that Obiwan gave to Luke in Star Wars. Skywalker was killed by Darth Vader, another Jedi who was originally trained by Obiwan Kenobi.

No, Darth Vader was being truthful. Darth Vader was Luke's biological father. A different Jedi, whose name was Skywalker, was Luke's adoptive father.

The source of your confusion is that you're thinking that Darth Vader used to be named Skywalker. But in Star Wars and ESB, Darth Vader was never named Skywalker. His name was always Darth Vader. It's not until RoJ that Lucas royally messes up the plot line by making him one and the same with Anakin Skywalker.

But is it assumed that everyone would know that Vader was Anakin? Or would everyone assume that Anakin had died with the other Jedi and that Vader came out of the shadows afterwards? Of course, that leads us to wonder if everyone knew that the Emperor and Vader were both Sith adherents, and served them willingly or if they genuinely thought that the Empire was the legitimate government.

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-18, 06:25 AM
But is it assumed that everyone would know that Vader was Anakin? Or would everyone assume that Anakin had died with the other Jedi and that Vader came out of the shadows afterwards?
In the pre-RoJ plotline, Vader wasn't Anakin. Darth Vader was always Darth Vader, period. "Anakin" Skywalker was always "Anakin" Skywalker, period (I put "Anakin" in quotes because Star Wars/ESB never specified his first name). Skywalker never became Vader. Vader straight out killed Skywalker.

In the RoJ+ plotline, Vader was formerly Anakin Skywalker, but few people know Darth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker. Anakin Skywalker was well known as a skilled pilot, and Obiwan Kenobi has spread the lie that he was killed by Darth Vader. Oh wait, it was true, "from a certain point of view". Please.

Of course, that leads us to wonder if everyone knew that the Emperor and Vader were both Sith adherents, and served them willingly or if they genuinely thought that the Empire was the legitimate government.
The Empire was the legitimate government, for better or worse. Okay, for worse. In Star Wars, it's clear that it's no secret that Darth Vader is a Jedi. Whether anyone knows or really cares what a "Sith" is doesn't seem relevant.

As an aside, I have The Star Wars Storybook, from 1978. It introduces Darth Vader as "Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith", with no further explanation.

SkepticJ
2010-Aug-18, 07:13 AM
Huh, I thought "Sith" was made up just for the prequel trilogy, on account of how stupid it sounds as the name for The Bad Guys. Looks like I was wrong.

Glom
2010-Aug-18, 11:21 AM
There were so many things just pulled out of the derriere for the prequels. Old man Plinkett has the scoop.

Ilya
2010-Aug-18, 05:23 PM
"I haven't read the source material"?
I thought my summary was sufficient -- and Marsbug seems to confirm it. What do you call someone who loves doing grotesque things to people as long as they are willing -- but then bends the rules of informed consent, and eventually outright lies about it?

Gillianren
2010-Aug-18, 06:43 PM
All too common?

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-19, 05:30 AM
In the pre-RoJ plotline, Vader wasn't Anakin. Darth Vader was always Darth Vader, period. "Anakin" Skywalker was always "Anakin" Skywalker, period (I put "Anakin" in quotes because Star Wars/ESB never specified his first name). Skywalker never became Vader. Vader straight out killed Skywalker.

In the RoJ+ plotline, Vader was formerly Anakin Skywalker, but few people know Darth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker. Anakin Skywalker was well known as a skilled pilot, and Obiwan Kenobi has spread the lie that he was killed by Darth Vader. Oh wait, it was true, "from a certain point of view". Please.

The Empire was the legitimate government, for better or worse. Okay, for worse. In Star Wars, it's clear that it's no secret that Darth Vader is a Jedi. Whether anyone knows or really cares what a "Sith" is doesn't seem relevant.

As an aside, I have The Star Wars Storybook, from 1978. It introduces Darth Vader as "Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith", with no further explanation.

I guess my question is, how do we know what Lucas had in mind for sure when he started the franchise? Did he write it down and then change it or are you or others just reading things into it?

Delvo
2010-Aug-19, 06:50 AM
Huh, I thought "Sith" was made up just for the prequel trilogy, on account of how stupid it sounds as the name for The Bad Guys. Looks like I was wrong.DV was always called "Dark Lord of the Sith" in some written materials that came out along with the first and second movies, but the exact meaning of that title wasn't defined until later. And even then, it was given one meaning first (that there was a planet whose people were called Sith that he had somehow lorded over), then another into which the first had to be retconned (that Sith Lords are essentially dark Jedi... with the other explanation now shoehorned into that by saying that the original Sith Lord had been a lord over a population that had been called Sith, and that he had passed his title to subsequent Sith Lords, along with his knowledge of and willingness to use the Dark Side of the Force, because, in his lifetime, he had become famous throughout the galaxy for the latter and thus made the former famous by association).


I guess my question is, how do we know what Lucas had in mind for sure when he started the franchise? Did he write it down and then change it or are you or others just reading things into it?It's actually a matter of NOT reading things into the first couple of movies that most people have gotten used to reading into them. For example, look at how the phrase "Darth Vader" is used and how Skywalker the Jedi is talked about in the first two movies.

Obi-Wan, when confronting DV in person, calls him "Darth", like it's a first name (and there's a bit of dramatic significance to the fact that he calls him by his first name while other people use his last name). That makes no sense if you think of "Darth" as a title as we've seen and heard since then, because the title is otherwise only used in conjunction with the name after it, and because these guys obviously knew each other personally... which is why there've been no other instances of that usage since then, after Darth's first name was changed to a title. Similarly, he's called "Vader" a few times in the first couple of movies, without the "Darth" or even "Lord" in front, and his subordinates say "Vader" or "Lord Vader" but don't use "Darth". That is also consistent with "Darth" being a first name rather than a title, and with "Vader" being simply a last name, because we're all already familiar with the fact that military personnel refer to each other by last name only, or by rank/title and last name, but don't use first names. So "Darth" is used when a first name would be used and dropped when a first name would be dropped, and "Vader" is used the way a last name would be used (paired with "Darth" by those who would say first & last name, left alone or paired with "Lord" by those who'd use a last name either alone or preceded by a rank or title). It isn't until after the first two movies that we're given the idea that "Darth" must have an adopted name after it and that that adopted name must have a title before it (either "Darth" or "Lord"); there are no cases of "Sidius", "Maul", or "Tyranus" being used without a title coming first, or of "Darth" being applied alone to any of them without the individual name coming after. I don't think it even happened with Darth Vader anymore in TRotJ. But it did in the first two movies. So, to think of "Darth Vader" as anything but a first name and last name in the first two movies requires reading extra ideas into the movies that weren't there yet at the time and would only be introduced later.

Also, DV and the Emperor refer to the dead Jedi "Skywalker" in the third person, as in "the son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi", instead of in first or second person, as in "your son must not become a Jedi" or even "the son of Darth Vader must not become a Jedi". That kind of thing can be used as a distancing mechanism, to emphasize that the identity being referred to has been left behind and isn't who the person really is anymore, but that's not something the Emperor would want to do, given how we were later told he got and kept DV's loyalty; it's based on DV's identifying with and clinging to his past, not turning away from it. Lines like those, taken by themselves or in context of only the first two movies, appear to have been written with the idea in mind that Skywalker was somebody else, not Darth Vader, not even a previous identity of his; to consider them alternative names for the same person is to read extra stuff into the first two movies that isn't in them and wouldn't be introduced until later.

Glom
2010-Aug-19, 10:09 AM
If the Emporer didn't know Luke was Vader's son, when did he tell the Emporer? How did the Emporer react?

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-19, 11:15 AM
If the Emporer didn't know Luke was Vader's son, when did he tell the Emporer? How did the Emporer react?
There are three basic timelines:

1) SW/ESB - In this timeline, Darth Vader was a different person than Skywalker. The Emperor never knew Luke was Darth's son, and was never told. Presumably, the Emperor would have found out in sequels.

2) RotJ - In this timeline, Darth Vader is the assumed name of Anakin Skywalker, but it's not clear when the Emperor found out about that. It would seem to be some time between ESB and RotJ, based on how the Emperor talks about things in ESB. We might have given Obiwan the benefit of the doubt by assuming that he didn't know either, but then he wouldn't have needed to give Luke his weaselly explanation in RotJ ("it was true...from a certain point of view").

3) Prequels - In this timeline, Darth Vader is the assumed name/title of Anakin Skywalker, and the Emperor has known this all along. When Luke shows up, it would be obvious to both of them that Luke was his son...maybe too bleeping obvious? What was Obiwan thinking?

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-20, 05:28 AM
It's actually a matter of NOT reading things into the first couple of movies that most people have gotten used to reading into them. For example, look at how the phrase "Darth Vader" is used and how Skywalker the Jedi is talked about in the first two movies.

Obi-Wan, when confronting DV in person, calls him "Darth", like it's a first name (and there's a bit of dramatic significance to the fact that he calls him by his first name while other people use his last name). That makes no sense if you think of "Darth" as a title as we've seen and heard since then, because the title is otherwise only used in conjunction with the name after it, and because these guys obviously knew each other personally... which is why there've been no other instances of that usage since then, after Darth's first name was changed to a title. Similarly, he's called "Vader" a few times in the first couple of movies, without the "Darth" or even "Lord" in front, and his subordinates say "Vader" or "Lord Vader" but don't use "Darth". That is also consistent with "Darth" being a first name rather than a title, and with "Vader" being simply a last name, because we're all already familiar with the fact that military personnel refer to each other by last name only, or by rank/title and last name, but don't use first names. So "Darth" is used when a first name would be used and dropped when a first name would be dropped, and "Vader" is used the way a last name would be used (paired with "Darth" by those who would say first & last name, left alone or paired with "Lord" by those who'd use a last name either alone or preceded by a rank or title). It isn't until after the first two movies that we're given the idea that "Darth" must have an adopted name after it and that that adopted name must have a title before it (either "Darth" or "Lord"); there are no cases of "Sidius", "Maul", or "Tyranus" being used without a title coming first, or of "Darth" being applied alone to any of them without the individual name coming after. I don't think it even happened with Darth Vader anymore in TRotJ. But it did in the first two movies. So, to think of "Darth Vader" as anything but a first name and last name in the first two movies requires reading extra ideas into the movies that weren't there yet at the time and would only be introduced later.

Also, DV and the Emperor refer to the dead Jedi "Skywalker" in the third person, as in "the son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi", instead of in first or second person, as in "your son must not become a Jedi" or even "the son of Darth Vader must not become a Jedi". That kind of thing can be used as a distancing mechanism, to emphasize that the identity being referred to has been left behind and isn't who the person really is anymore, but that's not something the Emperor would want to do, given how we were later told he got and kept DV's loyalty; it's based on DV's identifying with and clinging to his past, not turning away from it. Lines like those, taken by themselves or in context of only the first two movies, appear to have been written with the idea in mind that Skywalker was somebody else, not Darth Vader, not even a previous identity of his; to consider them alternative names for the same person is to read extra stuff into the first two movies that isn't in them and wouldn't be introduced until later.

Possibly, but I don't know that its enough. Do we know that the miltary men knew who Darth Vader was and did they know if Darth was a first name or a title? On this planet, some historical and religious figures are spoken of with titles that are treated as names. If DV and the Emperor were devious, they may not really explain it to them. Obi-wan's use of "Darth" could be as a first name, but that doesn't mean it's his only first name, for Obi-wan might have resigned himself to the new person his student had become. Alternately, it could be ironic, similar to how one might mock someone who claims to be royalty, as in "king of the [insert ethnic group]."

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-20, 02:22 PM
Possibly, but I don't know that its enough. Do we know that the miltary men knew who Darth Vader was and did they know if Darth was a first name or a title?
The Imperial military men only call him "Lord Vader" in SW/ESB/RotJ. All this means is that Vader is considered nobility of some sort.

Most others call him either "Vader" or "Darth Vader".

The only person who ever calls him "Darth" is Obiwan, and only in the second-person. When talking about him in third person, he uses the more formal "Vader" or "Darth Vader". In SW/ESB/RotJ, Obiwan generally speaks in a formal way, and is only informal with Vader.


Obi-wan's use of "Darth" could be as a first name, but that doesn't mean it's his only first name, for Obi-wan might have resigned himself to the new person his student had become. Alternately, it could be ironic, similar to how one might mock someone who claims to be royalty, as in "king of the [insert ethnic group]."
In SW, he says "Darth" in a way which an old man would say "boy". It leaves no doubt that "Darth" was what he called Vader as his young apprentice. It's to remind Vader the he is still the master.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-20, 03:32 PM
Anyone who speaks Dutch might have guessed the secret from the first episode onwards, as 'vader' is the Dutch word for 'father'.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-20, 05:46 PM
On this planet, some historical and religious figures are spoken of with titles that are treated as names.

The coffee hut down the street had a trivia question a while ago about which of three people hadn't been knighted, and the problem I had with asking other people the question ("Is this as easy to you as it is to me?") is that, so far as my brain is concerned, Obi-Wan Kenobi was played by Siralec Guinness. It has also become my standard usage to refer to Baron Larry, as Laurence Baron Olivier liked being called Larry, and my version is funnier.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-20, 06:24 PM
The Imperial military men only call him "Lord Vader" in SW/ESB/RotJ. All this means is that Vader is considered nobility of some sort.

Most others call him either "Vader" or "Darth Vader".

The only person who ever calls him "Darth" is Obiwan, and only in the second-person. When talking about him in third person, he uses the more formal "Vader" or "Darth Vader". In SW/ESB/RotJ, Obiwan generally speaks in a formal way, and is only informal with Vader.


In SW, he says "Darth" in a way which an old man would say "boy". It leaves no doubt that "Darth" was what he called Vader as his young apprentice. It's to remind Vader the he is still the master.

Yeah, I understand that, but it's a thin argument. We don't know what Lucas was thinking. We might theorize that he retconned the backstory so that he could make a sequel with a plot twist. We could also theorize that he left it ambiguous in the first movie because he had no idea if he would ever get a chance to make the sequel.

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-20, 07:03 PM
Yeah, I understand that, but it's a thin argument.
A thin argument for what? You're the one dreaming up all sorts of wild possibilities. We're just noting what's clear from the movies themselves, along with some extra information from alternative sources (like related media from the time, and George Lucas interviews, etc).

We don't know what Lucas was thinking. We might theorize that he retconned the backstory so that he could make a sequel with a plot twist. We could also theorize that he left it ambiguous in the first movie because he had no idea if he would ever get a chance to make the sequel.
We know that George Lucas claims to have sketched out plots for nine episodes, and chose to film episode 4-6 since it had the most action. We know that he claims to have compressed episodes 6-9 into episode 6, and that there were a lot of changes as a result.

So, if we can take George Lucas at his word, there was at least a vague plan for the overall storyline and there were also deviations from this plan. What's wrong with that?

As it is, SW and ESB mesh together beautifully. If there's any retconning going on in ESB, it is done with brilliant perfection.

The same can't be said of RotJ. It simply makes no sense for Obiwan to attempt to hide Luke Skywalker with his real relatives without even changing his name, and the "true...from a certain point of view" excuse is just painful.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-21, 04:46 AM
A thin argument for what? You're the one dreaming up all sorts of wild possibilities. We're just noting what's clear from the movies themselves, along with some extra information from alternative sources (like related media from the time, and George Lucas interviews, etc).

I'm not dreaming up anything. I'm asking those who have opinions to support them. I have no opinion on the matter.

EDG
2010-Aug-21, 08:02 AM
Getting back to the subject...

Most of the ones I would have mentioned have been said already: Agent Smith, Gabriel from The Prophecy, Cavil from BSG, Boba Fett (at least, the Robot Chicken version).

Dunno about "coolest", but I think one of the most effective antagonists is The Terminator (from the original movie), just for its sheer relentlessness. "And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

IsaacKuo
2010-Aug-21, 12:26 PM
I'm not dreaming up anything. I'm asking those who have opinions to support them. I have no opinion on the matter.
We gave you the answers. You don't seem to be satisfied with them, because you keep on questioning them with wild alternative theories.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-21, 03:21 PM
We gave you the answers. You don't seem to be satisfied with them, because you keep on questioning them with wild alternative theories.

Why do you feel the need to constantly argue with me in everythread we're both in even when I'm responding to someone else?

I don't think it's too wild to think that the author might know more about the story than you do. Others have argued that usage means one thing. All I did is point out that historic usage shows similar patterns.

Romanus
2010-Aug-26, 01:33 AM
A villain who blew me away (fairly) recently was Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds; he's simultaneously despicable and charming, unpredictable, and is always one step ahead of the protagonists.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-26, 04:38 AM
Oh, here's a classic. I'm not sure "cool" is quite the right word for him, unless you're going the "and collected" route. But there is always Major Strasser from Casablanca. And for sheer brilliant performance, try Peter Lorre in M.

JonClarke
2010-Aug-27, 11:27 PM
Alec Trevelyan, from the James Bond film GoldenEye.

Everything about him is cool: he's got an awesome name, he's intelligent, he looks cool, he's got a cool voice, his motivation for being "bad".

Of course he is cool - he's Sean Bean!