Why take a trip to the Dark Side? Is it for the cookies, as one popular meme suggests? Well, sure, that’s one reason. Also, the idea of attaining immortality — that’s another good one. But on the Dark Side, there’s something more delicious than gooey cookies and more entertaining than wasting away for eternity. They’re called memes, Padawan, and the Dark Side has plenty of them waiting for you.
It was difficult to narrow down this list to just 15. The Dark Side is a breeding ground for dank memes. The stormtroopers alone could’ve dominated this list with their incomprehensibly shoddy aim or the similarly incompetent battle droids that somehow kept showing up after Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Then there’s the tragic laundry list of cool villains that ended up disappointing fans for one reason or another. We’re looking at you, Captain Phasma, Boba Fett, Darth Maul, etc. etc. Even Darth Vader, who some regard as the greatest movie villain ever, can’t escape the hungry reach of creative meme-makers. And if he can’t, you know his whiny grandson can’t. Nobody on the Dark Side is safe from the meme treatment. Here are 15 hilarious Star Wars villain memes.
15. STILL TOO SOON?
There’s nothing like a well-placed pun to usher in the harsh reality of Han Solo’s death. Sure, it’s been a couple of years since all of this went down, and we’ve had a sequel since this tragedy occured. But some fans won’t ever live down what they deem to be a death unworthy of the character.
Regardless, Han’s death did establish Kylo Ren as a villain to be reckoned with. For all of Kylo’s flaws — and for all of the reasons he’ll never reach the peaks of Sith-dom with Darth Vader — at least he’s got this. At least he killed his daddy in classic Star Wars fashion. Of course, he kinda-sorta killed Luke, but everybody was too confused by that for it to carry much emotional impact.
14. REAL VILLAINS
The best villains are those that are built up over time. They don’t do much at first except look menacing and order their subordinates around. And sit in chairs. Big, comfy chairs. When they finally decide to stretch out their legs, they prove their mettle as franchise villains. And they certainly don’t die way too soon in an incredibly lackluster manner at the hands of their clearly less powerful protege. Right?
Okay, so one villain is unlike the other in this meme. Thanos is a testament to Marvel’s patient writing and long-term thinking. Supreme Leader Snoke started out looking like he’d play a similar role as Thanos, in terms of being a big bad. But he ended up as, in the eyes of many fans, more evidence to Rian Johnson’s disregard for his predecessor’s film.
13. ONE HIT WONDER
There are plenty of problems with the Star Wars franchise, but none are more frustrating than what we’ll call “the Boba Fett problem.” It’s when an incredibly cool character is introduced into the story only to fall appallingly short of their full potential.
Darth Maul suffered from the Boba Fett problem. When fans first caught a glimpse of him during the marketing for Star Wars: Episode I–The Phantom Menace, they were psyched. You just had to look at the guy. He had red and black skin, a head full of horns, and a double-sided lightsaber. How could he not survive past the first film? Alas, it wasn’t to be. But at least he died having achieved what so few have in movie-land: killing Liam Neeson.
12. DAD PROBS
In Star Wars, family drama is magnified to the utmost degree. It’s to be expected when there’s a rigid divide between the Light Side and the Dark, and family members are strewn across both. In the case of Princess Leia and Darth Vader, the conflict could hardly be more pronounced. He’s one of the leaders of the galactic empire, and she’s a powerful force for the Rebellion. There’s no easy solution there.
As the meme points out, the two Skywalkers have a lot to argue about. Vader did kill her mom and blow up her planet. Also, he forgot to mention that she had a twin brother named Luke. That alone could’ve saved her a lot of therapy for whatever brief but weird thing the two siblings had between them.
11. BREAKING NEWS
There’s a funny fan theory that sand is the true villain in Star Wars. Without Anakin’s hatred of sand, the theory goes, he would’ve never taken Emperor Palpatine’s job offer and killed all of those younglings that were training in the Jedi Temple. And why shouldn’t Anakin hate sand? It’s coarse and irritable. And it gets everywhere (you know the spiel).
It’s not a bad theory. Beneath the corny dialogue (or is it just Hayden Christensen’s acting?), sand represents the repelling force that drives Anakin to the Dark Side. How so? In the classic archetypal fashion, so characteristic of the Star Wars flicks, Anakin’s hatred of sand represents his resentment for his impoverished beginnings — and his lust for power. So, maybe sand is what started it all.
10. IT’LL DO
There’s irony in Disney taking over the Star Wars franchise. One of the biggest corporations in the world buying a franchise that boils down to a group of nobodies toppling an empire? Yep, irony. No doubt, the news fed the already countless Disney-centric conspiracy theories.
Fans were divided upon hearing the news. On the bright side, we’d be getting a whole batch of new Star Wars movies (maybe more than we ever wanted) and Disney is successful for a reason. They reliably create well-rounded, good movies. But some fans feared that Star Wars would become too Disney, and the original spirit of the series would be dampened for the sake of box office numbers. Of course, with the unprecedentedly polarizing Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, fans are more split than ever on the fate of the Star Wars franchise.
9. ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE
And you thought your boss was bad. Imagine not only having a physically abusive boss, but also one that you had no chance against if you decided to defend yourself. But that’s the empire for you.
That wouldn’t be the first or last time a Sith choked out somebody that angered them. Darth Vader’s bad habit began on Mustafar when he choked his pregnant wife shortly before his duel with Obi-Wan. Vader fell in love with the habit in the original trilogy, choking to death several of his subordinates, including one that happened through a live-feed. And just when evil henchman thought they’re necks were safe, Vader’s number #1 fan, Kylo Ren, dusted off the old force-choke for Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
8. POOR KYLO
It’s hard to imagine Kylo Ren ever supplanting Darth Vader as the top Sith, or even coming close for that matter. Despite having killed two major characters, Kylo just doesn’t seem to be teeming with the level of power that drove Vader. Even those two kills he had felt like flukes to some fans. And it certainly doesn’t help that Darth Vader is showing up between Kylo Ren’s films and once again proving to fans why he’s one of a kind.
Having resolved to bring a new Star Wars movie to theaters every year, Disney opted to alternate between trilogy films and solo films. 2016 featured the critically-acclaimed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And the team behind the movie couldn’t resist throwing in a Vader cameo, stealing the spotlight surrounding Kylo Ren.
7. STORMTROOPER BLOOPER
The stormtroopers are a wellspring for Star Wars memes. Their incompetence is unparalleled. They fall short in everything from the basic skill of aiming and shooting to the ability to locate two conspicuously-built droids. It’s a testament to the power of the Sith that they’re able to take over the galaxy with an army composed entirely of these completely disposable goons.
In this meme taken from a moment in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, stormtrooper incompetence completely breaks the fourth wall. When looking back at the footage, George Lucas and company must’ve missed the guy in stormtrooper armor bump his head on the door — right? But maybe not. Maybe they saw it and thought, with the rest of us, “I guess a stormtrooper would do that.”
The oft-repeated “Come to the Dark Side” has become fertile ground for memes. With Darth Sidious so insistent on selling people on the Dark Side, fans naturally ask: Why? The question was partially answered in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith when Sidious told Anakin that the Sith had the power to prevent his loved ones from dying. Anakin didn’t have the best BS-detector (we’d be skeptical of anyone selling us immortality products). He bought in, and it was enough to flip him from an angst-ridden young man to a killer of younglings.
In Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, we learned about the awe-inspiring power of the Jedi, as well as the baffling incompetence of stormtroopers. This meme refers to a classic scene from the first movie where we were introduced to the perpetually underrated Jedi Mind Trick. Stormtroopers scanned Tatooine for a pair of droids and would’ve captured them too if it weren’t for Obi Wan’s handy hypnotism.
To be fair, this is a rare instance where the stormtroopers aren’t to blame for their failure. The poor guys were duped by a wizard. But it’s funny to think of the stormtroopers as more than mindless servants of the empire. Do they also stew over how terrible their aim is? Do they ever consider how the Death Star may be evidence that they’re on the wrong side?
4. A LESSON IN LOGIC
This thought was no doubt running through some fans’ heads when they heard the line dropped in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith. It is true. And maybe this line of reasoning did hit Obi-Wan, even if he didn’t say as much. He had to be thinking about something during all of those years between Episodes III and IV.
Thankfully, we don’t consult the Star Wars franchise for lessons in logic or search every single line for contradiction (we’re sure you could find plenty). We watch Star Wars for good versus evil, cool character designs, and galactic drama. Not to mention, the occasional turn to the Dark or Light. It’s all about the archetypal stuff here. Or maybe, just maybe, Obi-Wan was a Sith.
3. JOB OFFER
If you can’t beat them, hire them. So goes the philosophy of Darth Sidious. Fair enough, Darth Sidious. But even the guy largely responsible for the destruction of your Death Star that took forever to make? Seriously, that thing must’ve taken an enormous amount of resources and personnel to make — and Darth Sidious isn’t even mad?
Of course, the destruction and rebirth of the Death Star have become a trope. Apparently, when you’re a galactic empire, time and resources aren’t a problem. And when you’re a slimy and decaying evil dude who can shoot electricity from his fingertips, you’re more concerned with recruiting talented young force-users for your side. Regardless, it was a good decision on Luke’s part to decline the offer. The job of the evil apprentice has a very high mortality rate.
2. BOBA FAIL
As the meme says, Boba Fett was purportedly the most lethal bounty hunter in the galaxy. But what fans loved about the character was the aesthetic. The guy had a jetpack (which was still a hot concept in the early ’80s) and an array of interesting weapons. And that helmet — that’s what really left a mark in the minds of fans who saw him on the screen. With a helmet and a reputation like that, no way he’s done in by a temporarily blinded Han Solo. But into the Sarlacc Pit he went, along with the high expectations set by fans.
1. CAPTAIN PHASMA…
Captain Phasma was marketed as the Boba Fett of the new trilogy, mainly due to her menacing aesthetic that immediately jumped out at fans. And she is the Boba Fett of the new trilogy. But not in the way that fans wanted.
She has in no way lived up to hype suggested by the movie trailers. In fact, it feels as if she’s done nothing at all. Despite her underdeveloped rivalry with Finn, most of the time it seems as if there’s nobody beneath that cool costume. All armor and no character. Boba Fett at least did a few noteworthy things before being unceremoniously dashed into the sarlacc pic. Given this, we take back our comment about her being the new Boba Fett. She’s way more disappointing.
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