In the world of moviemaking, they say a hero is only as good as their villain. However, every now and then, the villain is just plain better. So let's all don our black hats and raise a glass to the bad guys. Here are three times in movies in which the villain actually won.
Darth Vader (The Empire Strikes Back)
OK, you knew it was gonna be on here. How did Vader win in Empire Strikes Back? Let's count the ways. First, he took Luke's hand in a duel. Then he broke his brain by telling him (spoilers!!!!) that he, Darth Vader, the baddest bad guy in the galaxy, was, in fact, his long-lost dad. And if that wasn't enough, our favorite scoundrel, Han Solo, is captured, tortured, encased in carbonite, and taken away by our second-favorite intergalactic bounty hunter, Boba Fett (if you want to know who number one is, watch The Mandalorian). Sure, Luke, Lando, Leia, and Chewie escape, but that doesn't diminish how utterly complete the butt-whooping was that Vader gave our heroes.
Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War)
Like our previous entry, with Avengers: Infinity War, we knew everything was going to be alright. After all, there was another movie coming out in less than a year. But that was the next movie. In Infinity War, the big purple people-beater named Thanos broke our hearts when he broke Loki's neck. He then proceeded to decimate 10 years' worth of Marvel movie superheroes before finally enacting his grand plan of (spoilers!!!) snapping half of all life out of existence. Yes, Thanos would eventually lose, but not today.
John Doe (Se7en)
For our final entry, there is no eventual happy ending. No sequel to save the day. In David Fincher's Se7en, the serial killer only known as John Doe carries out a series of gruesome murders based on the seven deadly sins. In a twist that no one saw coming, John Doe completes his twist masterpiece by having a box delivered to the detectives Mills and Somerset containing the head of Detective Mills' wife. Mills, blind with rage, shoots John Doe in the head, fulfilling his last two murders, invoking the sins of "Envy" and "Wrath." While the villain did die at the end, this was his plan all along. Hence, he won.
For more articles on a wealth of interesting subjects, check out our Olympus Willow Park blog.