Wasted characters.

Thaluikhain

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I'm not sure whether I think it is Robbie's acting or the fact that Quinn as a character simply works better as comical relief support. In Suicide Squad she worked well because she was the light hearted moments and the heart of the squad, allowing Smith et al to be deadly super serious. But making a whole movie about a character that's constantly plucky comical relief quickly reveals how one note the character is. Had Birds of Prey focused on Montoya or Huntress as the lead with Quinn as the major side character I think it would have gone over much better, because then Robbie's quirky Quinn wouldn't have overstayed her welcome and both Montoya and Huntress have better dramatic arcs then Quinn.
The major problem with Harley Quinn is that she’s a fucking villain that for some reason the Hot Topic crowd fell in love with and editors at DC decided she needed a heel face turn to an anti-hero. The major problem with the movie is that the Birds of Prey - Helena Bertaneli in particular - shouldn’t want to piss on Harley Quinn even if she was on fire. They wanted to make Gotham City Sirens and chickened out.
Ok, those are both good points. I still think her acting was noticeably worse in the second, which didn't help, but that might not have been the bigger issue, yeah.
 

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A lot of the Mewni/other worlds characters from Star vs. The Forces of Evil. They either don't get enough focus, character assassination, or their development gets derailed. But hey, we get more of that biatch Janice being a trolling asshole to Marco for the lulz! Isn't that great?! Also, I hate Hekapoo!

ATLA - We did not get to see enough characters that are netural, decent, or good from the Fire Nation. Some people say Mai and Ty Lee suffered from this, but I disagree. Especially when the comics took the former, a whatever character I never really liked nor cared for and was another early 2000s goth-emo, and turned her in to a douchegbag we're supposed to like, root for, and fine sympathetic. Zuko and Jin 4 life bitches.

Gohan and any non-Saiyan characters for DBZ. The series just became the Goku and Vegeta show.

Shaman King with almost only showing villains as humans or incompetent idiots. This is more so a problem with the original manga than the anime. While shamans are supposed to be seen "misunderstood" or "misguided" when they do certain things worse than any regular human.

Digimon 02 - Takeru and Kari being sidelined by Daichi, a blatant and shallow Tai clone, with not much personality nor character. Other than being an obnoxious idiot early in the show. They should have been the two main leads. Takeru should have been the leader of the group, but no, tradition says we need another goggle boy.
 
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I'd say Kylo Ren would be a character that got thoroughly wasted. TLJ had a lot of problems but Kylo wasn't one of them. Him growing from a kid throwing temper tantrums into a real villain with his own philosophy could have been interesting. Wanting to kill off the past could be an interesting philosophy especially because the galaxy seems forever trapped in conflicts between light and dark users. But rather than Kylo turning into a big villain he was immediately demoted into a henchmen in Rise of Skywalker only to get a very conventional redemption arc and a kiss to please the shippers.

Also Snoke. We're supposed to believe this man humiliated the old heroes and took over the galaxy with ease but he turns out to be just as pathetic as everyone else in the First Order.

From Game of Thrones the easiest answer would be lord Varys. The early season set him up as a character with grand schemes and potentially being behind everything. Then the later seasons completely forget about this and then he dies pathetically because the master of whispers suddenly thinks he needs to discuss treason in broad daylight. I know the plotline the show set him up for got scrapped because they chose not to adept those ideas from the book, but they forgot to replace it with anything.
 

Thaluikhain

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Also Snoke. We're supposed to believe this man humiliated the old heroes and took over the galaxy with ease but he turns out to be just as pathetic as everyone else in the First Order.
I'd agree, but he was barely a character, so can't really count as a wasted character.

More seriously, yeah, a mess. Actually, extend that to the entire First Order. And the other...Final Order, was it? And the Knights of Ren. And...everyone, really, nothing went anywhere in those films.
 

Asita

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Furio Giunta from The Sopranos.


Pretty much anybody who isn't Rey, Kylo or Han in the new movies is a waste of a character.
Also Happy May the Fourth, consoomers.
Dude, Rey, Kylo, and Han were wasted characters in their own right. With Han they went and pulled a One More Day by deciding to reset his entire character arc apparently under the delusion that people would only like his pre-arc scoundrel archetype. Kylo's character was figuratively and literally summed up as "cheap Darth Vader knock-off, by way of Darth Revan". And Rey...well she was all over the place and at times felt less like a developed character than a CYOA placeholder with the writers afraid to commit to anything about her, much less explore it. I'd argue that the only major (and I used the term a bit loosely here) character that was actually handled reasonably well was Leia, and even then we had the writers being unable to commit to their directorial decisions.

"She opted to focus on politics and rebuilding the Republic rather than training her Force abilities" "Cool. A bit disappointing, but I respect that, and it makes sense for her" *Uses the Force to survive getting spaced and fly back into the ship* "Wait, what?" "Ends up being Rey's true teacher in the ways of the Force* "WAIT A GODDAMN MINUTE!" *Rey takes the name Skywalker rather than Organa* "...Dude. You've done her dirty, Abrams."


Oh fuck yes! I can't believe I forgot about him! I was SO pissed what they didn't do with him and Rose. Not them together specifically, just the two characters.

But yeah, I remember being REALLY psyched about Finn, and in my head canon, the whole crux was going to be that BOTH Finn and Rey were Force sensitive, but Finn wouldn't really be aware of it at first. Which they kind of ultimately did, but not really. What I wanted to see, was for Finn to have an arc, of literally establishing connections. Since his primary character flaw was his fear, and how he was always just looking out to save himself, and then that expanded as the trilogy went on, to him caring about others, to have that expansion of his feeling of connection, be mirrored in his power of the Force. That his empathy was the key to unlocking his power. And his power, wouldn't be 1v1 martial combat (though all Force user who get a saber are at least competent), but that he would be more the Battle Meditation, make everyone around him stronger by him applying his use of the Force type of Jedi. The Jedi Consular to Rey's Jedi Guardian, if you will. And become like a central command hub for the larger war effort. Have a cool scene of him adopting a meditation position, and then show a montage of the various pilots and troops all having a similar reaction (like a glimmer in their eye, or all adopting the same facial head tilt), indicating Finn was linked in with them, boosting their performance. Couple it with more and more people developing Force abilities, perhaps with Finn acting as a catalyst to spark their latent powers. And you can still have Rey having her 1v1 with the BBEG.

But no, they decided to just reduce his plot down to constantly yelling at Rey, and simply just yelling her name. The end.
So much this. I was on-board with TFA right up until Rey flew off to Luke's location in the Falcon (Not a good look when they character you're introducing functionally inherits Anakin lightsaber, the Falcon, and apparently Chewbacca as a BFF, and then is flying off to train under Luke, having apparently earned Leia's unconditional trust after having just met her...much less all in their debut appearance, but I digress). Still, I was hoping that they'd follow up on the narrative hints that Finn was also Force Sensitive, just not as preternaturally gifted as Rey was. At the same time, however, it was easy to imagine Finn's experiences - and ironically his fear - would make him a better match for the Force's necessary philosophy of restraint. Rey would naturally excel but would need someone to keep her grounded, and Finn would be naturally restrained and need someone to push him outside of his comfort zone and take action.

Sure, I'd have loved to see Finn developing into the Tripitaka to Rey's Wukong, but more than that I wanted to see Finn and Rey pushing and pulling on the other's personality. I wanted to see them bring out the best in each other as they both grew in the ways of the Force; balancing each other out, finding themselves challenged when they were apart, and ultimately having to ask "what would Rey/Finn do?" and using that to address their own deficiencies.

It could have been such a good joint character arc, ending up bringing back some of the Taoist inspiration behind the Force, specifically Yin and Yang without the usual good/evil connotations that the franchise relied on. Passive, active. Power, restraint. And more importantly, the idea that one needs to seek a balance between those traits, rather than some cosmic metaphysical balance between good and evil. And for bonus points that results in some great contrast with the philosophy of the - at the time - apparent Big Bad. The truth that they'd learn in the course of their arcs would be fundamentally incompatible with the truth that the antagonist claimed to know, thereby adding more narrative weight to the conflict. There's just so much missed potential in this, and it's so frustrating.
 
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Elvis Starburst

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There's just so much missed potential in this, and it's so frustrating.
That's probably the biggest problem I have with the sequel trilogy (Besides it just being kinda shit). It could've been so much more. But it wasn't and that sucks
 

SilentPony

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Aren't Spike's origins established in season 2 though?

That aside, I kind of disagree. Spike was kind of a punchbag throughout the show, but by the end, he's gone from being Twilight's assistant to being a kind of envoy to the dragons, and he's got the whole 'thing' with Ember, and moves on from his crush on Rarity. He has an arc, at least.
I hated Spike. I saw him as a creep. There was one episode where Rarity was upset for some reason and the others were trying to console her but she wanted to be alone. So Spike tells everyone to leave Rarity alone for now, and hurries them all to the door. And then promptly turns around with this really creepy smile and walks back into the room, satisfied he's gotten alone time with his emotionally vulnerable crush. Just full on "nice guy" vibes.
 

happyninja42

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So much this. I was on-board with TFA right up until Rey flew off to Luke's location in the Falcon (Not a good look when they character you're introducing functionally inherits Anakin lightsaber, the Falcon, and apparently Chewbacca as a BFF, and then is flying off to train under Luke, having apparently earned Leia's unconditional trust after having just met her...much less all in their debut appearance, but I digress).
Eh, given how obsessed the SW fanbase is about that type of nuance, and basically demanding all that connective tissue or they riot, I don't have a problem with it. It's a legacy story. Passing the torch onto the next generation. So I don't have a problem with her getting at least some artifacts from the OT. I mean personally I'd rather the entire franchise and fanbase got over their pathological addiction to callbacks to the OT, but whatever, they will burn the streets until the end of time if they don't know what happened to the hydro-spanner that Han used, so we get the Falcon being her ship. I have no issue with that really.

And of course she'd go train under Luke, that's just SOP for this kind of storytelling. New Hotness goes and learns from grumpy old wizard living in isolation in the middle of BumFuck Nowhere. That's what Luke did, that's what Rey did. When you reduce the person with the Secret Important Knowledge down to one person, it kind of limits your options on who to go to, to learn said Important Knowledge. :p

Still, I was hoping that they'd follow up on the narrative hints that Finn was also Force Sensitive, just not as preternaturally gifted as Rey was. At the same time, however, it was easy to imagine Finn's experiences - and ironically his fear - would make him a better match for the Force's necessary philosophy of restraint. Rey would naturally excel but would need someone to keep her grounded, and Finn would be naturally restrained and need someone to push him outside of his comfort zone and take action.

Sure, I'd have loved to see Finn developing into the Tripitaka to Rey's Wukong, but more than that I wanted to see Finn and Rey pushing and pulling on the other's personality. I wanted to see them bring out the best in each other as they both grew in the ways of the Force; balancing each other out, finding themselves challenged when they were apart, and ultimately having to ask "what would Rey/Finn do?" and using that to address their own deficiencies.

It could have been such a good joint character arc, ending up bringing back some of the Taoist inspiration behind the Force, specifically Yin and Yang without the usual good/evil connotations that the franchise relied on. Passive, active. Power, restraint. And more importantly, the idea that one needs to seek a balance between those traits, rather than some cosmic metaphysical balance between good and evil. And for bonus points that results in some great contrast with the philosophy of the - at the time - apparent Big Bad. The truth that they'd learn in the course of their arcs would be fundamentally incompatible with the truth that the antagonist claimed to know, thereby adding more narrative weight to the conflict. There's just so much missed potential in this, and it's so frustrating.
Yeah, I was honestly hoping they were maybe going to do something similar to Bulletproof Monk, where they trick the audience with a prophecy, and make you think it's all about the one guy, but learn it's about the 2 of them together, because in each of the prophesied moments, she helps him to win and fulfill the tests to be the new vessel for the scroll of life. I thought that was how they would play it out. But alas, no. And I genuinely like TFA and TLJ, and think for the most part, they do good work with the characters, including Finn. They didn't take him down the route I hoped for in TLJ, but it was still a compelling route that had the potential for something more in the conclusion. But, then that last film happened and...yeah...no.
 

Casual Shinji

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I'm not sure whether I think it is Robbie's acting or the fact that Quinn as a character simply works better as comical relief support. In Suicide Squad she worked well because she was the light hearted moments and the heart of the squad, allowing Smith et al to be deadly super serious. But making a whole movie about a character that's constantly plucky comical relief quickly reveals how one note the character is. Had Birds of Prey focused on Montoya or Huntress as the lead with Quinn as the major side character I think it would have gone over much better, because then Robbie's quirky Quinn wouldn't have overstayed her welcome and both Montoya and Huntress have better dramatic arcs then Quinn.
She works fine as a main character in Harley Quinn the animated series. Maybe this is a reach, but I say get rid of the bubbly Boston accent, since that seems to be the one feature that automatically has her being written as a comic relief. The animated feature got rid of that and I feel it was the first important step to break her away from that track. I feel this is also what makes Margot Robbie's protrayal of her come across a little grating. Honestly, no one besides Arlene Sorkin was able to pull off the Harley accent in a way that didn't feel grating, though the fact that she was a cartoon character helped a lot too.
 

Drathnoxis

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ATLA - We did not get to see enough characters that are netural, decent, or good from the Fire Nation. Some people say Mai and Ty Lee suffered from this, but I disagree. Especially when the comics took the former, a whatever character I never really looked cared for and was another early 2000s goth-emo, and turned her in to a douchegbag we're supposed to like, root for, and fine sympathetic. Zuko and Jin 4 life bitches.
I don't know, it seems like they meet quite a few good Fire Nation citizens when the characters are undercover in the Fire Nation. There's Sokka's master for one, and just a bunch of random civvies that are decent like the kids in the dance party episode.

I thought it was worse in the Legend of Korra where it seemed like everyone's parents were killed by "A Firebender" decades after the war.
 

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I don't know, it seems like they meet quite a few good Fire Nation citizens when the characters are undercover in the Fire Nation. There's Sokka's master for one, and just a bunch of random civvies that are decent like the kids in the dance party episode.

I thought it was worse in the Legend of Korra where it seemed like everyone's parents were killed by "A Firebender" decades after the war.
This was mostly me ranting. Though I do feel there could have been a tad more. Sokka's master was the best though.
 
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happyninja42

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I don't know, it seems like they meet quite a few good Fire Nation citizens when the characters are undercover in the Fire Nation. There's Sokka's master for one, and just a bunch of random civvies that are decent like the kids in the dance party episode.
Yeah there was the first person to teach Aang fire bending, that super reluctant guy who was all "fire bending by it's nature is destructive and will burn all who use it". There was Uncle Iroh, there was Zuko, who even when he was deeply in the Fire Nation koolaid, was a very good person. His empathy and compassion for his people are the thing that got him burned and exiled. There was Zuko's mother, who was presented as being a normal, nice person (as best as I recall). There was Sokka's instructor like you mentioned, and in theory, every other fire bender in the White Lotus Society. So it's hardly without precedent.

The issue I think, is that it's like trying to find a "good nazi" when the majority of those you see, are card carrying, dyed in the wool, nazis. Sure some of them were probably just going along with it, or just not engaging in activities they didn't agree with, but THEY KNEW, better than anyone, what happened to those who defied the will of the nazi party. Same goes for the Fire Nation. I mean The Firelord burned his own crown prince, in public! A Shameful Display! And kicked his ass to the curb for defying him! You think Random Fire Nation Mook 27 is going to make much of a racket if he didn't agree with the Fire Nation policy?

And it's important to remember, that the Fire Nation, isn't the same thing as just fire bending itself. There was that entire arc about Zuko learning the "true" fire bending, and how it wasn't how the Fire Nation, had bastardized the philosophy behind their bending.

Also it's important to remember, that the Fire Nation was, by nature of the narrative, framed as the Bad Guys. And they were, but you can't spend a lot of screen time, un-villainizing your villains, at least not on a large scale. You have a few representative characters, that you slowly, over the course of several seasons, show to be actual people, and not mindless killing machines. Or you have one who is like that from the start (Uncle Iroh), but clearly have him be marked as an outsider to the mainstream way of the villains. Then, when you get to the final season, that more directly involves that faction, sure, you can flesh it out in more detail. Which they did. It's just the random fire nation people aren't the MCs, so by necessity, they're going to be small glimpses, that represent a larger, unseen division.
 
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Trunkage

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She works fine as a main character in Harley Quinn the animated series. Maybe this is a reach, but I say get rid of the bubbly Boston accent, since that seems to be the one feature that automatically has her being written as a comic relief. The animated feature got rid of that and I feel it was the first important step to break her away from that track. I feel this is also what makes Margot Robbie's protrayal of her come across a little grating. Honestly, no one besides Arlene Sorkin was able to pull off the Harley accent in a way that didn't feel grating, though the fact that she was a cartoon character helped a lot too.
I enjoyed the new Harley Quinn show. And find it funny that you think Sorkin was not grating

I'd agree, but he was barely a character, so can't really count as a wasted character.

More seriously, yeah, a mess. Actually, extend that to the entire First Order. And the other...Final Order, was it? And the Knights of Ren. And...everyone, really, nothing went anywhere in those films.
Snoke has more substance than Palpatine in the original 3 movies
 

Thaluikhain

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Kylo's character was figuratively and literally summed up as "cheap Darth Vader knock-off, by way of Darth Revan".
I sorta liked that. They flat out couldn't have another Darth Vader, just wouldn't work, so having a character that wants to be Darth Vader, but it's not just the audience that thinks he's totally failing was sorta clever. Of course, they didn't do anything clever beyond that idea, and there's not that far you can go from there, but better to acknowledge he's a poor imitation of Vader right away.

Snoke has more substance than Palpatine in the original 3 movies
I disagree there. Admittedly, it helps that all of his scenes have him Darth Vader in them propping him up. "I hope so, for your sake. The Emperor is not as understanding as I am." says Vader in RotJ, and cause Vader is established as a cool character it helps make the Emperor sound impressive.

I don't care what any character says about Snoke, because I don't care about any of the people that ever talk about Snoke.
 

Trunkage

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I disagree there. Admittedly, it helps that all of his scenes have him Darth Vader in them propping him up. "I hope so, for your sake. The Emperor is not as understanding as I am." says Vader in RotJ, and cause Vader is established as a cool character it helps make the Emperor sound impressive.

I don't care what any character says about Snoke, because I don't care about any of the people that ever talk about Snoke.
See.... Vader was never cool. He did little, is just a bully and was clearly incompetent. The best part about him was that he wore all black, which was slightly cancelled by the cape

Well, until that one scene in Rogue One
 

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See.... Vader was never cool. He did little, is just a bully and was clearly incompetent. The best part about him was that he wore all black, which was slightly cancelled by the cape

Well, until that one scene in Rogue One
Darth Vader has achieved memetic badass status simply because the movies knew to use him sparingly. Whenever he shows up he's menacing and seethes of tranquil fury. We don't know exactly what he's capable off but we know that everyone in the movies fear him. When he acts he kills Obi-Wan and several rebel pilots. Just like with any good movie monster the mystique adds a lot to Vader's perceived cool, because it allows the viewer to imagine why everyone fears him.
 
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Hades

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See.... Vader was never cool. He did little, is just a bully and was clearly incompetent. The best part about him was that he wore all black, which was slightly cancelled by the cape

Well, until that one scene in Rogue One
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MrCalavera

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Since I'm watching more shitty star wars things today I'll call out Finn in the dumpster fire trilogy. While it could be argued that every character and moment was a wasted one in the new trilogy, Finn stood out as a relatively original concept character in Star Wars - a Storm Trooper who rejects the empire. Unfortunately rather than being portrayed in any serious manner he mostly ran around like jarjar Binks being comic relief and rather than explore his character the best they could do is hint at a possible love relationship with every other on screen character and hint that he might be a Jedi, because everyone might be a Jedi now.

I love star wars..also ..fuck star wars.
Finn hurts the most, cause he was the most promising there. Former stormtrooper, that turned on his space nazi pals, who now must gain the trust of the Rebels? Nah, make him a comic relief or something. And make him go through the same barebones character arc twice.

But then there's Phasma, who was also non-coincidentally wasted twice.

Or Knight's of Ren? More like Knights of WHEN? As in "When will they do anything with them?" (Thank you, i'll be here all night.

Snoke has more substance than Palpatine in the original 3 movies
Eh, he's at best a copy of Palpatine. Which automatically makes him a worse, diet Palpatine.
 
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Trunkage

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Darth Vader has achieved memetic badass status simply because the movies knew to use him sparingly. Whenever he shows up he's menacing and seethes of tranquil fury. We don't know exactly what he's capable off but we know that everyone in the movies fear him. When he acts he kills Obi-Wan and several rebel pilots. Just like with any good movie monster the mystique adds a lot to Vader's perceived cool, because it allows the viewer to imagine why everyone fears him.
Colour me not impressed. And I saw this as a kid. Its not adult eye seeing this pathetic attempt at building a villain. I didn't and don't find him menacing at all (until Rogue One). That mystique that you vaunt... is just covering for the fact that Vader is so one note. But, then again seeing some pathos added to Palpatine or Kylo... maybe I should ask for bargain basement villains in Star Wars

The aliens from Signs were way scarier than Vader in the original movies

Yep. Way cooler than anything seen in the original movies. Maybe tweak it a little because it still sounds a bit stupid.
 

happyninja42

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Colour me not impressed. And I saw this as a kid. Its not adult eye seeing this pathetic attempt at building a villain. I didn't and don't find him menacing at all (until Rogue One). That mystique that you vaunt... is just covering for the fact that Vader is so one note. But, then again seeing some pathos added to Palpatine or Kylo... maybe I should ask for bargain basement villains in Star Wars
I think it depends on what you define as menacing. Physically, yeah Vader wasn't all that impressive, when you compare him to the various stunts and acrobatics they've added into saber combat. But for me at least, I don't think that was ever the point with him. He was a homicidal zealot, that had zero restraint, and would literally choke you to death, in front of his "boss", simply because you gave him lip. He didn't even need to touch you. Hell he didn't even need to be in the same quadrant as you. He could just see you on a vid screen (Empire Strikes Back), who knows how far away actual distance, and choke...you...to death. He had zero remorse, zero empathy, and really zero accountability. So he was scary because if he decided you should die, there was pretty much nothing you could do to stop him. Nobody was really going to stand up to him, as the majority of the imperials were below him in rank. The Emperor gave zero fucks about the lives of others, so unless he killed someone actually important to a project, there was basically nothing stopping him. He would lie and alter deals to suit his own whims, so trying to agree to any terms he might give you, wasn't a guarantee of safety. Torture was perfectly fine with him. There was basically no line he wouldn't cross, and if you were in his crosshairs, you were basically fucked.

I can't say that I had like, nightmares as a kid of Vader, he didn't trigger any lizard brain fear, but as far as storytelling, he was a good villain. In particular, when they added the layer and depth to him, to show that he didn't come out of the womb as a space hitler, but that he was actually a good guy, a heroic hero of legendary legend! The kind of person that Luke probably read holovid stories about as a kid! ....and then he went bad. He made horrible choices, based on bad information, and his own personal flaws. And found himself embracing a philosophy that caused countless pain and grief. And it's hammered home, when he's directly confronted with a representation of that past self, in the form of Luke, and you see the...conflict, begin to crack. For me at least, it made his actions even worse, because it was no longer just "dooo dee doo, i love force choking bitc*es, what a lovely day!" to someone who felt he had no choice but to continue down the path he was on, and then having to struggle with being forcibly shown that he was wrong, and it didn't HAVE to be the way he had made everything.

That's a pretty damn good villain in my opinion.