The Badass of the Week.

Darth Vader

You!  Shut the fuck up.

Darth Vader - the Darth Vader that I grew up with Ė the diabolically evil cyborg killing machine from the Original Star Wars Trilogy Ė was one of the meanest, most sinister, badass motherfucking characters in the history of cinema.  Before the prequels went and gave him some fruity bullshit backstory, The Dark Lord of the Sith was universally feared and respected by anyone who was a fan of science-fiction, movies, or things that donít suck, and his mere presence was enough to make friend and foe alike tremble with awe and maybe even urinate themselves a little bit.

One of the greatest things about Darth Vader was that he was so mysterious.  Nobody knew what lurked beneath his black helmet, how he became the robotic monster that he was, or how he was corrupted to the Dark Side, and nobody really gave a shit.  It was more than enough for us that this fucking seven foot-tall, hulking behemoth barely resembling a man showed up in his black armor, threatened people in James Earl Jonesí imposing voice, and choked the fucking life out of any motherfuckers who displeased him while awesome music played in the background.  He was powerful, scary, and certainly not to be trifled with.

Vader also epitomizes badassitude in that when itís time to lay the smack down he doesnít fuck around for any reason.  He doesnít do crazy backflips or spin kicks or any of that ridiculous showy bullshit Ė heís just big, tough, and strong.  His fighting style utilizes his massive size and unmatched strength to beat down his enemies and batter their defenses until they are unable to continue fighting.  You can kind of see this in how Vader wipes the floor with Obi-Wan (ďyour powers are weak, old man!Ē) and in how he toys with Skywalker at the end of Empire Ė Luke goes into Bespin thinking that heís really hot shit, but itís obvious that Vader could ruin his ass in an instant if he wanted to.  Instead he decides to let Luke live (he does lop his hand off just to show Luke where his fucking place is) and tries to see if he can turn his son to the Dark Side of the Force so that together they can rule the Galaxy.  This is a perfect example of why Vader is the ultimate badass villain;  Sure, itís one thing to just destroy this kid for foolishly thinking he can take you on, but itís a whole new layer of evil to seriously wound him, crush his entire world by revealing your paternal relationship to him, and then use his severe emotional distress as a means to turn him over to the side of evil.

Of course even though Vader knows itís more strategically advantageous to convert your enemy over to your side, he certainly doesnít have any compunction about callously crushing the sack of anyone who crosses him.  Vaderís ultimate evil and mastery of the Dark Side is another means of showing how much fucking ass he can kick.  Seriously, Force Choke has to be one of the coolest fucking powers around.  I know that Force Lightning is the sexier power amongst most nerds out there, but you can only shock the crap out of someone who is in the same room as you Ė Vader can Force Choke a guy through a goddamned cameraphone, which is fucking NUTS!  Plus, his strength makes him a tough matchup for most Jedi Knights when it comes to one-on-one lightsaber duels, as would be evidenced by the fact that Darth Vader is alluded to as being pretty much solely responsible for the destruction of the entire Jedi Order.  Basically, Vader is big, intimidating, and deadlier than an underwater electric chair.

Darth Vader is eventually redeemed when he turns on his master and hurls the Emperor into Mount Doom in order to save his son from death by painfully-slow electrocution.  Sure, turning traitor isnít exactly badass, but the end of Jedi when the half-melted head of Anakin Skywalker tells Luke that there was still some good left in him is probably the most touching scene in cinema history, and goes to show that Vader is more than just an imposing visage and the physical embodiment of pure evil.  Plus, now that heís redeemed he gets to party in the afterlife with Yoda and Obi-Wan, which is awesome.  I bet Yoda makes awesome margaritas.

Darth Vader is an enduring icon of what it means to be badass, and a character that still conjures up feelings of respect, awe, and fear thirty years after his first appearance on the screen.  He hacks peopleís limbs off, he chokes the life out of anyone who fucks with him either with his bare hands or through the medium of the Force, and he doesnít fuck around when it comes to serving as the vengeful hand of the Galactic Empire bent on exterminating all who would dare oppose its glorious reign.  He fucking rocks.

I find your lack of faith disturbing.


Darth Vader Lives!



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