For all of its mythic storytelling, visually splendorous space battles, and rich space fantasy world-building, Star Wars has one massive problem: its villains. While they look incredibly badass and usually have an air of genuine menace about them, they fold like a house of cards when push comes to shove. The Last Jedi showed us that it’s okay for our heroes to disappoint us, but the same cannot be said for its villains. While this problem isn’t endemic to every Star Wars villain—Darth Vader, Jabba the Hutt, and Emperor Palpatine, for example, have satisfyingly crafted narrative arcs—it is unfortunately the case that so many otherwise awesome-looking villains in the galaxy far, far away wind up being deeply disappointing.
Let’s start with the O.G. lame-o: Boba Fett. How do you mess up a bounty hunter with a jetpack, a rocket launcher (depending on which action figure prototype you have), and a flame thrower? By having him be so bad at his job that he gets dunked on by a blind guy and knocked into a Sarlacc Pit where he basically becomes Schrodinger’s Fett. This armored dingus excelled at looking cool, and little else. He’s so genuinely bad at what he does that we had to make a video about it.
Or how about Boba Fett’s spiritual successor, Captain Phasma? SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen The Last Jedi, but the First Order’s resident chrome-armored ass-kicker once again gets trounced by a lowly sanitation engineer-turned-stormtrooper, with an assist from the galaxy’s most powerful ball droid. (Seriously, BB-8 is basically droidus ex machina.) You’d think that after being shoved into a trash chute in The Force Awakens, she would get a modicum of revenge in The Last Jedi. But no, Phasma is dropped to a fiery death, thus thoroughly and completing wasting Gwendoline Christie so that Finn can have a victorious, smiling moment where he’s proud to be “rebel scum.”
But the ignominy doesn’t stop at people with cool armor; it extends to what are supposed to be the most sinister villains in all the galaxy far, far away: the Sith. Darth Maul’s arc in The Phantom Menace is basically one-and-a-half lightsaber battles before unceremoniously getting chopped in half and dropped to his supposed death. Sure, he got robotic spider legs later on in The Clone Wars TV series, but the movies set up an incredibly cool character, only to cut him down in his prime with little-to-no narrative payoff.
What do you think? Does Star Wars have a villain problem or are you fine with such gross incompetence when it comes to bein evil? Let the Sith hit the fan in the comments below.