What makes a movie click? Is it the hero that saves the day? Is it the damsel in distress or the punchlines or the action scenes that make a movie memorable? If that was what you guessed then you, my friend, are dead wrong. A movie may have the star-studded ensemble, a budget that rivals a production house, a story that brings the viewers to tears or state of the art special effects to keep you at the edge of your seat but if it does not have a good enough villain, it still amounts to shit.
Almost every movie falls into this category. Every movie has a facet that all filmmakers under the Hollywood banner follow like a cult – A noble protagonist and a sinister antagonist. Every movie needs a villain whether it is given physical form or projected as a force of nature. Movies like Poseidon, Titanic and 2012 come to mind. But this article is not for those types of movies. Villains, for most fans, are those that are actually present in the room. Nature doesn’t count. Villains not only help grab everyone’s attention as the object of hate for the entire audience but also help push the plot forward.
There have been lots of ‘Top Villains of All Time’ lists. IGN, Comic Vine, The Hollywood Reporter and Forbes have all compiled a list detailing each villain and how much are they worth their salt on the Big Screens. The Empire Magazine is the latest to join that bandwagon. They have compiled their own version of the Top Hollywood Villains list. And it has one surprising new addition that will blow your mind.
Kylo Ren did not only make the list but also reserved himself a spot in Empire Magazine’s Top 10 spot.
Kylo Ren is the chief apprentice of Supreme Leader Snoke and the greatest warrior of the First Order. The child of Han Solo and General Leia Organa of the Rebel Alliance, Kylo Ren is Star Wars royalty. He made his debut in The Last Jedi trilogy and is portrayed by Adam Driver.
Kylo had a strong connection with the Force since childhood which was the reason Luke Skywalker agreed to train him as his padawan. But Snoke had already corrupted his mind, so Adam was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force and later became the greatest threat to the Galaxy’s peace and harmony.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we are introduced to a new facet of Kylo Ren. He is not as one dimensional as everyone thinks. The conflict within him leads him to kill Snoke and assume leadership of the First Order. He vows to end both the Sith and the Jedi Order and conquer the entire Galaxy under his name.
That way there will be no rivalry, no petty infighting, and no more bloodshed. As twisted as his objectives sound but in the end, Kylo meant well. He may have become the villain of his own story but he makes for one hell of a complex character. Perhaps that was part of the reason he made it to the Top 10 Villains of All Time list.
The latest Empire issue consisted of a reader’s poll regarding the best Villains of Hollywood till date. Kylo Ren managed to stay ahead of Alien’s Xenomorph, Anton Chigurh, and Harry Potter’s Voldemort. The ones that stayed above Kylo are uncontested champions of their game – Darth Vader, Heath Ledger’s Joker, Loki, Hans Grubber, Hannibal Lecter and Hans Landa. The Top Ten list already includes four Oscar-winning performances. Another Star Wars villain, Emperor Palpatine, finished on the 15th spot.
Empire started the poll on December 15, 2017, just as The Last Jedi hit the theaters. So Kylo’s position as the 7th Greatest Villain is primarily credited to his role in The Force Awakens. But even if The Last Jedi is taken into the equation, he will still be a worthy addition. Kylo has committed patricide, murdered innocent villagers, killed his own fellow padawans and tortured enemy prisoners. He is still staying in Vader’s shadow but he truly is one despicable fellow. That doesn’t change even when The Last Jedi is taken into consideration.