frozen

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ROTJ Luke force power (canon)

Scaling Luke’s force power

Just thought I’d share this. Although it might not seem like much, I believe it’s overlooked

In From A Certain Point: Return Of The Jedi, we are told that ESB Luke had immense raw power. Which allowed him to resist the effects of Dagobah. So his raw power is passively manifesting in an applicable manner.

“It was a testament to the boy’s raw untrained power that he hadn’t been bowled over by it the moment he drew near in his X Wing”

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The relevant passage is further down. As Yoda dies in ROTJ, we are told:

“The boy was usually the brightest, most intense light around, now Yoda’s flame rivalled his own”

Luke’s force aura is noted as being the “brightest bad most intense”. Which means his power in the force is > Yoda’s. It is important to note that OT Yoda has only strengthened his connection to the force post ROTS per Star Wars: 100 Scenes

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Some may of course object to this reference of force aura referring to power. However, we do have sources indicating that a Jedi’s ‘light’ is read as their power. This scan talks about the lightsaber focusing "the light inside the Jedi" which is clear reference to power:

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Skywalker Family At War says it focuses the energy of the Force:

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So corroborating the scans you get the idea that Force energy of the user = light of the user. This one directly says it attunes to the Force signature of the individual

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Balance is equated to more light here as reasoning for the Jedi of the HR having a deeper connection to the Force.

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Ahsoka also senses Vader’s power when she reaches out with the force:

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Emphasis on “to see how strong he is”

With all this in mind, we must circle back to the passage:

“The boy was usually the brightest, most intense light around, now Yoda’s flame rivalled his own”

Luke’s light (power) is brighter (stronger) than Yoda’s, but as Yoda ascends into becoming a force ghost, he begins to rival Luke’s flame

This means that base ROTJ Luke’s force aura is => force ghost Yoda’s (for a brief moment)

Until Yoda begins to get stronger and stronger. But for a brief moment, Luke matched FG Yoda’s power. The increase in power when they become FGs is significant, as seen below its very sudden and rapid increase:

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Obi Wan also says it:

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So Base ROTJ Luke ~ force ghost Yoda >>>>> OT Yoda>ROTS Yoda in the force

This aligns with Deathstar Battles 2016, which affirms ROTJ Luke is the most powerful Jedi of them all

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Some may claim this is just equating compassion with power, but I see this as more of a descriptor. In the same way Sidious would be called “the most evil and powerful Sith”, Luke is the most compassionate and powerful. Luke is also given given the title of “the most powerful Jedi” above the description. So the accolade is a dual one and that power scale stands

(Also, there may be an attempt to say that “now his flame rivals my own” refers to Obi Wan and not Luke. I see this as unlikely. But if this is the case, this would just upscale Luke even further. As force ghost Obi is far above Yoda. Obi Wan surpassed Yoda in the force in OWK, and by ANH his living self is even further above Yoda in force. So if living Obi is above Yoda, ghost Obi is far far far above living Yoda)

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Vader vs Palpatine: discord rebuttal

Vader vs Palpatine: part 2

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So this will be a rebuttal to the user in question who has since posted a document. There will be a lot here, and I’ve went to the lengths of quoting him word by word. I’ve elected to leaving the dots argument until the end of the post, as it’s minor compared to the rest. Anyway let’s get right into it!

‘Overpowering‘ force lightning

My only criticism is the notion of Vader overpowering any lightning at all since Sidious attack was either blocked or negated.

Gray has seemingly ignored the part where I directly acknowledged the usage of the term “overpower” and what it actually means in this context. To quote my original blog:

Their misinterpretation stems from assuming we claim “overpower” as in he reflected his lightning. Nobody here is arguing that he “overpowered” him in that sense and proved himself stronger.

Vader having to absorb the lightning then move it back to his saber means he was able to block, not overpower, the energy that was travelling to his arms.

This too, was directly addressed. We know that he is blocking it. I certainly did NOT argue he reflected it. As I said before, I’ll just re-iterate what I said before:

”The overpowering moment comes from the fact that the lightning penetrated his guard. Vader not only tanks this, but moves his saber back to neutral position and gets the lightning off of his arms. So he’s forcing it back to his saber and cutting off the stream of his lightning. Imagine if you have a sword and are sprayed by a garden hose, and the hose is a constant stream. You have to get your sword back to neutral position to stop that stream. But in order to successfully do that, you need to contest the force of that constant stream”

The ‘overpowering’ moment is coming from that window of time in which he’s moving his saber back to neutral blocking position.

If we look closely at the panel in which the lightning penetrates, not only are his arms wide open, but the saber is angled differently. When he’s blocking, it’s obviously outright. When the lightning penetrates, his arms are wide open and the saber is angled downwards:

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To get back into upright blocking, he has to bring his saber back to neutral. So during that window of time, he’s going to have to move the lighting away from his arms. In addition to cutting off the constant stream of lightning (hose analogy, constant stream of water being sprayed)

So when I used the word “overpowered”, it means he pushed back against its force in this specific moment

Sidious “holding back”

When the scourge infects the purge trooper, he tells Vader mid combat and even teases that they’re leaving. Vader then kills the troopers, not Palpatine. Therefore, Palpatine could have stopped the troopers

I am at a loss as to how such a conclusion was reached. Sidious does indeed proclaim ”Even now they’re escaping, while your back is turned”. This is something that happens. We will call this point A. Point A is you stating what happened/what was said. You then assert “Vader then kills the troopers, not Palpatine”, which again, is stating what happened. From this, you lead into “Therefore, Palaptine could have stopped the troopers, yet chose not to”. We will call this point C. There is no link between Points A and B to C. There’s just an immediate jump to a baseless assertion

First and foremost, Sidious telling Vader that his back is turned is not “teasing”. This is just a word you’ve inserted to invoke the idea that Sidious is at ease. Coaxing Vader to turn his back away from the droids and away from himself would make it easier for Sidious to overpower him. Which as I said before, is a point in Vader’s favour

Second, your assertion is baseless. There’s no link between points A and B and C

Now Vader releases the scourge droids, and Palpatine makes no attempt to prevent it (+no evidence Palpatine was unable to stop it)

Again, also addressed in my blog. He’s either unable to stop it from happening, or he’s so focused on trying to overpower Vader (but failing) that he doesn’t realise what’s happened. Sidious not preventing it is a negative against him, which I will get into.

When he does, he eliminates the plague in the palace. The plague droids were in the city by then, however Sidious had a contingency plan undeterred with the destruction of coruscant sectors

Sidious having a contingency plan in place is not mutually exclusive with the idea that the scourge wasn’t supposed to be released

A contingency is ”a provision for a possible event or circumstance”. It’s not supposed to happen, that’s the point of them. This is made very clear by the comic itself

1) The comic starts out with the ISB getting ready to inspect all the droids:

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2) The seriousness of the situation is affirmed when the annoyed and doubtful officer is told that they will “have to make time” to single handedly inspect every droid.

Furthermore, he says ”we’ve scattered reports of droids being infected with some kind of override that makes them attack their owners”. Emphasis on “scattered reports”. Meaning they are working for any and all intel on any possible situation. Very clear that this is something that isn’t wanted:

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3) There are more droids concentrated on coruscant than anywhere else in the galaxy. Which means that they want to protect Coruscant as much as possible. Hence the ultra tight security. If anything, they have more reason to safeguard Coruscant. It’s not just any planet that is left is discarded

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4) It’s very explicitly stated that they “don’t want to find out”

I don’t think anyone wants to think about what would happen if that many droids went on a murder spree”

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5) To which it is re-affirmed, nobody gets through

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The level of seriousness is shared by Sidious himself, given how he screams at the top of his lungs for his ship to be shot down. Again, if Sheev’s characterisation is something to be acknowledged, then it doesn’t get any clearer than this…

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The only reason why he we angry with Vader in the 2017 run for destroying Coruscant was that Vader killed Palpatine’s key senator and without his permission

This is also incorrect

While it is true that Vader killing Sheev’s key senator angered him, this is not mutually exclusive with the destruction across the city also being cause. In fact, Sidious rather explicitly distinguishes between both actions as being problematic - the destruction across coruscant:

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AND the killing of the senator: (pic)

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Both are serious transgressions, which undermine Sheev’s reputation and standing. The “swathe of destruction” is also rather significant. It would be proportionate to the damage a Scourge infestation would be capable of:

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Notice how he also refers to it as my capital world”. Both in the above scans and also below. He affirms that Vader is too dangerous to be around Coruscant: “not on my world”. It’s very clear that safeguarding Coruscant and asserting his possessiveness over it is at work

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”This will not happen again”, as it’s “my (Sheev’s) world”. So much so that he essentially kicks Vader out. To further add, the official databank states that Coruscant is the “heart and capital” of the Galaxy during the age of the Empire

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It also states that Coruscant is “the centre of his tyranny”

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So this attempt to dismiss the threat to coruscant as solely being due to senator’s killing is incorrect

This anger for destruction does not exist when Palpatine does it, as well as him having explicit contingencies, proves the initial premise

As I’ve thoroughly explained above, nothing has been proven. Sidous very much seeks to safeguard coruscant from unnecessary destruction. In addition to the fact that Coruscant is the heart of the empire and having contingencies doesn’t mean he’s willing to just let it happen. Especially as the comic itself and all additional evidence reject this notion

Therefore Palpatine only interferes with the scourge when it gets severe enough

As I’ve established, the threat in and of itself is regarded as severe enough

Sidious’ initial distraction would be warranted if he was in a losing position, however he’s in full control

He’s in a position of trying very hard and failing to subdue Vader. This may not be a “losing” position, but it’s certainly not a winning one either. Moreover, repeated attempts at trying to get Vader to turn his back is not what I’d consider “full control”

Criticising Amedda for not completing his assignment is not mutually exclusive with holding back during the clash

Sidious repeatedly criticising him for failing to take out Vader when he was more vulnerable only serves to add to the idea that he’s taking him seriously. If he can’t be taken out when he’s more vulnerable, then it stands to reason he’s more aware and motivated to take him seriously when he’s not vulnerable. As he would know just how capable he is. Especially considering he is aware of the fact that he’s regained control of his powers

calling Vader’s resistance futile

Ah yes, because Sidious saying it’s futile makes it so. Are we to expect him to say “yeah, I’m not in control”? Lol. His whole shtick is to never admit inferiority or loss of control

This further aligns with the notion that he’s essentially toying the whole time

Absolutely baseless

“Look at you!”

His attempt to assert dominance shouldn’t be taken as face value of the reality of the situation. Honestly this goes without saying…

“Turning your back on your enemy!”

As I’ve repeatedly stated, this is a mark against Sidious. Not in favour of him

Are designed to bring focus back to Palpatine, not distract Vader. Otherwise he wouldn’t mock the shift

Such dialogue is his attempt to feign the illusion of control, when in fact things are evidently not going to plan. Once again, you are being far too generous to Sidious

After their clash, Palpatine lets Vader leave, then sends Sky Moore to face off with Vader

No face off takes place. So I’m not sure what the point of this counter is

Issue 42 describes these attempts as “tests”, aka designed by Palpatine to assess competency

It is not mutually exclusive that he can test him while also trying to kill him. The whole point of a test is that if he’s not strong enough, he’ll die. This is what Filoni affirms as happening with Anakin vs Dooku throughout TCW. Similar sentiment is echoed in the legends novel Rise of Darth Vader (I’m aware the novel is EU, but the point I’m trying to get across is the same). If Vader isn’t strong enough, he dies. Sidious is at the point where he doesn’t care if he kills Vader, but if he is indeed too strong to kill, then the only alternative left is to manipulate and push him into submission

Another deterrent for his interpretation is Palpatine “thriving” in Vader’s hate as well as consistently being “his most effective weapon”, decreasing the utility of eliminating Vader

Sidious actively amplifying himself from Vader’s hatred is something that I’ve already addressed. It’s what Sidious needs to do in order to stay ahead of him. Not at all relevant to the fact that he can be a threat to his order. Vader’s utility is contingent on his subordination. This is made clear at the start of the 2017 series:

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Moving on:

In both cases the interlocutor cited, Sidious is not exerting any energy or attack. Therefore they are not valid counters. Valid evidence would be Sidious consistently talking while in a force deadlock where he know he’s not holding back, yet all we have is him screaming against Yoda

Sidious is visibly and audibly laughing his ass off when hurling senate pods at Yoda:

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He’s also visibly smiling/laughing while in a force clash with Yoda, moments prior to Yoda reflecting the lightning:

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3:45 he’s audibly laughing

”You are nothing. A scavenger girl is no match for the power in me. I am all the Sith”

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So he’s very clearly capable of talking in full sentences in such situations.

In addition to the fact that he smiles and laughs when dishing out full power force attacks and being in force deadlocks. Now the situation would be different if someone reflects his FL back at him. In that situation, he is truly being overpowered. But given that I’ve never claimed Vader reflected his FL back at him, this point is moot

So once again, your conclusion is demonstrably false

The crawl in question:

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If the interlocutor counters that Sidious ordered Amedda to kill Vader, that can co exist if Sidious tells him to deal with Vader in no specific way, then Amedda choosing to take the ship down with Vader

The user has essentially conceded to my point here. This is splitting hairs. So he isn’t directly instructed, but Sidious is in fact completely okay with Mas killing Vader? Which just further serves to frame Sheev as not holding back. In fact, we know that Sidious is in alignment with Amedda’s decision, as he criticises Mas for failing to kill him:

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If Sidious 100% wanted Vader alive, he would punish Mas for attempting to kill him. Yet what Sidious does is criticise and punish Mas for failing to kill him.

So his decision is obviously aligned with Sidious and not contrary to him. As he is also his ‘stooge’, which is defined as ”a subordinate used by another to do unpleasant routine work”

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The agents discuss a worst-case scenario which isn’t plausible. Amedda in 3 addresses the current situation as insignificant and “well in hand”.

I’m a bit bemused by this argument too. I assume you have read the comic in question (Dark Droids #4)

First and foremost, Mas is clearly trying to keep the officers calm by re-assuring everything is under control. Fairly standard protocol. The following pages show the panic regardless:

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The “worst case scenario” that you refer to as “not plausible” clearly ends up happening. We are told they ‘occasionally’ attack humans:

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Yet issue 4 and 5 clearly show this in full effect, and yet another city trashed (3 scans):

Humans experimented on:

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Which the scourge acknowledges will get the attention of the Empire, as they will have to intervene:

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Mind control, even over FUs:

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“Let me show you my hate”

The Sith dynamics are essentially a non-sequitur, trials don’t necessitate being close in power

The power dynamics of trials differ depending on who’s being tested. This goes without saying. Vader undergoing a trial is to prove he’s still worthy of being an apprentice. So in that context he doesn’t need to prove he’s close to Sidious. All he needs to do is meet the threshold of still being strong enough to be useful as an apprentice. Sidous undergoing a test is completely different in dynamic, because he’s the master. If Sith masters are weaker then their apprentices, they get usurped. So Sidious either has to justify himself as more powerful or convince Vader that he is. Which is what’s stated in 2022’s Stories of Jedi and Sith:

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Darth Vader’s potential to surpass Sidious is recognised in the comic run itself, Darth Vader #13:

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In addition to being re-affirmed by the author of Lords of The Sith:

”Somewhere in the back of Palpatine's mind, he knows what Vader's potential is. He feels he may be wrong, but he is wary of it. So he's very interested in determining his ability to manipulate Vader and testing his loyalty and assuring himself that this tiger that he holds by the tail is going to stay that way.” — Insider 157

So comparing the nature of Sheev’s trial and Vader’s is disanalogous

but I will always be stronger is a claim of supremacy, not justification. Even if it was a justification, nowhere does he “have to justify his place”

The full passage is “you… … are strong… …but I will always be stronger”

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The operative word here is ‘but’

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The whole point is to contrast with the preceding dialogue. Sidious acknowledges Vader’s strength (“you are strong”), but has to follow up with a contrasting declaration (“but I am stronger”). The preceding dialogue is what frames it as justification

Sidious has to acknowledge Vader’s strength in direct combat. If anything, it stands to reason he’d not want to acknowledge it. As not doing so would make Sidious appear more assure of his supremacy. Therefore, Sidious acknowledging his strength is a reluctant but honest admission. He has to follow it up with an attempt to justify his supremacy. Hence the juxtaposition and contrasting usage of the word ‘but’

Sidious place of supremacy was already justified when he turned the trial into Vader, putting him on the defensive the entire clash

Force lightning is a ranged attack. If blocking force lightning for some time means instant inferiority, then I guess Yoda is in the bin

In the season 6 Clone Wars vision, Sidious shoots force lightning at Yoda. Yoda finds himself in a similar position to Vader is in issue 40, which is blocking while multi tasking. Sidious also monologues and talks in full sentences, trying to coax Yoda to the dark side

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It’s inherent to the nature of a ranged attack to assume blocking position. In no way does it mean instant inferiority, especially if that attack is successfully being held off in unfavourable circumstances (e.g. multi tasking)

To further add, Sidious was not holding back against Yoda. As affirmed in various canon sources

Stated that he proved too strong for even Darth Sidious in Fanhome Star Wars Encyclopedia: Darth Maul and Other Followers of the Dark Side

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Stated that Sidious failed to destroy him per Fanhome Star Wars Encyclopedia: Emperor Palpatine:

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Explicitly stated as stronger than pre 66 Sidious

”However, in the end Yoda turned out to be too powerful even for Darth Sidious.”

Encyclopedia de Agostini: Maul

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Some other relevant sources on the mechanics of blocking force lighting, and how it relates to force power:

2016 updated character encyclopedia:

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A skilled lightsaber wielder can block force lightning with their blade - force lightning has life draining effects”

The Visual Encyclopedia (2017)

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Also, as pointed out earlier, we see Rey block the force lightning while Sidious monologues

”You are nothing. A scavenger girl is no match for the power in me. I am all the Sith”

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So there is no “net loss” for Vader. Your presumption is absolutely false

while holding back

Baseless

humiliating Vader

Nonsense

Furthermore, it’s plausible that Vader released the scourge to interfere with their clash to prevent defeat

More nonsense. He was planning to release the scourge from the start. There’s no “plausibility” here, besides a baseless assumption that runs contrary to everything the arc has set up. Moreover, Vader clearly reaches out to release them. So it comes back to the fact either Sidious is so focused on Vader that he doesn’t see it (which means much effort and focus) or he just can’t stop it

Also, if a protocol is all it would take to stop them, then let your own logic, Sidious could just multi ask and defeat them. He wouldn’t need to stop electrocuting him as per your own reasoning, “he isn’t exerting much”

When Sidious shows his true hate, that means the droids he killed were more worthy of his lightning and effort than Vader

If we are to assume this is Sheev’s full potency, then as I said, this speaks worse for him. Sidious takes out some scourge, actively exclaiming

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They’ve also spread into the city, which as we established earlier, Sidious does not want. As he would do everything to safeguard coruscant:

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Which leads to Sidious performing a protocol:

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Which involves blowing up sections of the Capitol:

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Meanwhile Vader in the following issues actually outperformed the taking out of Scourge droids with his attack:

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Preceding scans which show the vast quantity of them:

Now I’m not claiming Vader is > Sidious based on this. But invoking the idea that Sidious had to go all out on the scourge is bad for Sidious, not a point in his favour whatsoever

Once again humiliating

Yes, humiliating for Sidious that he can’t assert his dominance over Vader. And so turns to making a display on droids

It’s an unwarranted assumption, he’s not obligated to justify anything

Addressed and debunked

Therefore, holding back Sidious

Not holding back

having a net advantage over Vader in the clash

Never happened

which is underscored by his true hate being revealed on multiple different opponents

If anything, you’ve just undermined your entire argument

Sidious wanting to kill Vader

Sidious only screams after the pilot defies a direct order, implying the anger was caused due to a defiance

Quite a strange argument. The scan in question:

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The pilot raises the point of the TIE being above the city, but Sidous re-affirms that it must be shot down. Going as far to scream at the top of his lungs

This clearly just conveys the gravity and severity of the situation. It serves to show that he must be shot down, very much framed as a “we have no other choice” type situation. If anything, you’ve once again proved my point. Sidious is taking this very seriously

It is mutually exclusive for Palpatine being the most strategic force user ever and believing a tor fighter crash will kill Vader despite the consistent precedent

You are relying on special pleading. Which you’ve done for the entire document, but now it’s only further emphasised:

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You are going to great lengths to justify every micro detail as “part of his master plan” with 0 evidence while holding a radically different standard for Vader. Your belief is that because he’s a mastermind, everything is intricately planned (even when there’s no evidence of such)

Sidious may not be entirely sure if it will kill him, he may even think he might live. But if he believes it’s possible to kill him, he’ll take that opportunity. Just assuming “he knew Vader would survive” with 0 evidence isn’t going to cut it

He has the ship shot down to facilitate the confrontation and reaffirm order, which doesn’t necessitate killing Vader

The confirmation is going to happen anyway. He knows he’s coming. Even per your own words, “he senses Vader approaching”. Again, clear case of special pleading

If he truly wanted him dead, he would have done so as soon as possible

The entire point is he can’t do it, as he’s too strong to kill that easily. Hence why the comics emphasise that even a more “vulnerable” Vader who lost control of his powers was difficult to kill

Yet he’s not in a rush

If we are to appeal to Sheev’s “character”, then it’s also not in character to rush to kill people. He tried to flee Yoda, yet still goes all out against him. This is again looking more and more like special pleading for Sidious

prior evidence favouring Sidious holding back

Zero evidence for this

Sidious straining and dots

The intentional placement of “you…are strong…” followed immediately by the contrasting statement “…but I will always be stronger” created a stark antithesis. The use of eclipses contributes to the dramatic tension by introducing pauses that heighten the anticipation between the two contrasting statements

I have addressed the contrasting the statements earlier in my rebuttal. For reference, I’ll reiterate what was said earlier:

The whole point is to contrast with the preceding dialogue. Sidious acknowledges Vader’s strength (“you are strong”), but has to follow up with a contrasting declaration (“*but* I am stronger”). The preceding dialogue is what frames it as justification

Sidious has to Vader’s strength in direct combat. If anything, it stands to reason he’d not want to acknowledge it. As not doing so would make Sidious appear more assure of his supremacy. Therefore, Sidious acknowledging his strength is a reluctant but honest admission. He has to follow it up with an attempt to justify his supremacy. Hence the juxtaposition and contrasting usage of the word ‘but’

Following from this, it stands to reason that the first part of the statement is indeed a true and reluctant acknowledgement of Vader’s strength. Therefore there is no “antithesis” - the strain is juxtaposed to the first part of the passage. He’s forced to admit his strength, which as I established earlier, he doesn’t want to do. Therefore it follows from this that the use of the dots is to emphasise his acknowledgement through strain

If we go with the idea that it’s a “dramatic pause”, this would mean that Sidious is surprised by Vader’s strength. Given he has no reason to hype up Vader’s power to trick him

Vader’s subsequently slammed into the wall with great force

A slam that Vader very much tanks, given how he’s very quickly back on his feet and into blocking position

Also, you once again contradict yourself. You assert he’s “holding back” yet also “slams him into the wall with great force”? These are mutually exclusive. It’s one of the other

It follows from this that using examples from other comics where the ellipses is used after a word isn’t appropriate. As it ignores the context here

> “fakes the strain”

This is also just silly. So now you acknowledge the dots aren’t dramatic pause, but that he’s faking it?

Sidious faking straining is truly one of the takes of all time. He has zero reason to do this. Moreover, he doesn’t even do this in their Exogol fight. What would faking strain even achieve I think anyone reading can see this doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever

On a final note, although the artist’s words aren’t full WoG like the writer, he did in fact work on the comic, and so it stands reason we can find some value in his take. He sees the encounter as framing Sidious as not that much ahead:

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I expect the predictable cope to be hyper focusing on the “maybe” part. You needn’t worry, as he was asked about it again. And liked the tweet which clarified he had already clarified that they were close. Therefore affirming that he does indeed view them as close:

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So clearly even those involved can see the encounter as establishing them as close. I feel all the evidence has been laid and people can make up their own minds now. To me, it looks like people are coping for Sidious and attempting to find a million reasons to fight what is very clear and undeniable scaling. With that said, I have nothing else to say.

Thanks for reading.

2 Comments

Vader vs Palpatine: response to TikTok

Response to TikTok: addressing Vader vs Sidious

So recently I’ve become aware that mine and others scale for Vader vs Palps has made the rounds on TikTok. While I’m not really concerned with the scales of other sites, it’s come to my attention that someone had made a response video to my scale. This blog will mainly just be a reference point others can cite. Hence why I have no interest in posting this to the main forums, as the user in question is not of this site. Having said this, the “debunk” he presented is respectfully rather weak and contains arguments I’ve repeatedly debunked for months now. So I will not waste time and just get straight into it:

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Sidious straining

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Sidious straining through his words isn’t just indicated through the dots in and of themselves. But rather the fact that it’s both sequenced after a mere word while also juxtaposed to Sidious admitting Vader has become strong.

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The text states “you…are strong…”. The pause is coming after a single word. Dramatic pause often comes after entire sentences or phrases are said:

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https://www.law.uh.edu/blakely/story-telling/4%20-%20PAUSES.pdf

They’re used to emphasise the dialogue. They don’t come after single words such as “you”. Elsewhere in the comic, we can see the dots appearing after sentences are said, e.g. “will you continue your futile rebellion against me…”

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So the idea that Sidious intentionally paused after saying a single word (“you”) is positively ridiculous. I hope anyone can see why this is the case.

Vader overpowering Palpatine FL and Vader “barely” being able to talk against “casual” Palps

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The user in question assert “nowhere in this comic does this happen”. Yet don’t expand on this assertion and just move on. What they are attempting to do is to dismiss this part to undermine it.

Sidious lightning attack follows a sequenced pattern. For example, if we look at what happens in Darth Vader issue 6, we see a sequence:

Scan 1 - Vader attempts to block the FL:

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Scan 2 - He begins to fail and it penetrates his guard as it moves it’s way up his arms:

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Scan 3 - Vader succumbs and falls to his knees:

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What happens in issue 40 is that Sidious actually does succeed in doing part 2 of the sequence, which is to penetrate his guard. Hence we see his guard is wide open and it’s going around his arms:

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What happens next is that within a single panel, Vader is back up on his feet and in neutral position. So he not only tanks this, but is able to quickly get back into blocking:

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Their misinterpretation stems from assuming we claim “overpower” as in he reflected his lightning. Nobody here is arguing that he “overpowered” him and proved him stronger.

The overpowering moment comes from the fact that the lightning penetrated his guard. Vader not only tanks this, but moves his saber back to neutral position and gets the lightning off of his arms. So he’s forcing it back to his saber and cutting off the stream of his lightning. Imagine if you have a sword and are sprayed by a garden hose, and the hose is a constant stream. You have to get your sword back to neutral position to stop that stream. But in order to successfully do that, you need to contest the force of that constant stream

To further add, Vader “barely being able to talk” has repeatedly been acknowledged. Vader only struggles to talk when he’s multi tasking and using the force to stack the droids while simultaneously blocking the lighting. This is split focus:

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When Vader is no longer multi tasking, he’s talking just fine. Rather “casually” by their own metric. Zero strain and talking in full sentences:

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Also, using Sidious “talking casually” as a metric for him not trying is rather hilarious considering the guy is literally laughing against Yoda. Despite trying to run away from his prior:

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He’s able to talk in full sentences while feigning weakness against an opponent who could quite literally kill him:

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So zero evidence he’s “leagues below”. This is what “leagues below Sidious” actually looks like:

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Moving on.

Sidious “holding back”

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IThis was not “addressed” at all. The person in question has completely glossed over the fact that Sidious has every reason to NOT want the scourge released. In addition to the fact that he’s not only sent to great lengths to stop its release, but also criticised Mas Ameda for failing to take out Vader when he was vulnerable (both in issue 40 and 42 respectively):

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Circling back to his claim of “no observable difference”, the user in question makes zero attempt to acknowledge the fact that Sidious is unable to stop Vader from releasing the scourge.

As I pointed out on my original thread, Sidious and the empire are taking the scourge seriously. In Vader 2017, Sidious took Vader’s trashing of coruscant very seriously:

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At the start of issue 40, the Empire agents are panicked at the thought of a possible Scourge infestation:

”I don’t think anyone wants to think about what would happen if that many droids went on a murder spree”

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As said further up, Sidious instructs Mas Amedda to blow up the executor:

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This is re-affirmed by the opening crawl of issue 40:

In an attempt to end Vader once and for all”

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Mas Amedda is of course, Palpatine’s stooge per the scourge - an instrument of his will:

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The impact of the scourge infestation is affirmed by Mas Ameda in D-Droids:

The ISB agents are panicked and scrambling. So as I outlined my original thread, the idea that Sidious isn’t concerned is nonsense.

The user in question also claims that “Sidious is annoyed” for Vader looking at the droids. This is not what happens. Sidious makes two attempts to divert Vader’s attention away from blocking the lightning by saying that his back is turned from his enemy. He’s attempting to turn Vader’s focus away from himself and more towards the troopers, which would allow him to more easily overpower him.

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This is the scourge, the very thing Sidious is trying to stop is released. So either Sidious is unable to stop Vader from releasing them (bad for Sheev), or he simply was so focused on trying to (and failing) to overpower Vader that he simply didn’t notice him releasing the scourge. Which means he’s trying and struggling to overpower Vader. Take your pick

I don’t even need to entertain explaining why “Sidious says he can easily kill Vader” isn’t a good argument

”Let me show you my hate”

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This is the most atypical counter I’ve seen to the scale. If anything, I would contend that this hurts their arg rather than helps it

Let’s remind ourselves of the context here and Sith dynamics. This is “the Master’s trial”. Sidious is the one being tested:

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Stated in comic itself:

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Which Sidious even accepts:

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Issue 41 crawl also affirms that Vader tested Sidious (and yes, it says Vader “was bested”. It would not be surprising if certain people attempt to use this to say Sheev is way above. Sidious “bests” him by re-affirming his place as the master through manipulation. He is also slightly ahead of Vader in my view, as he feeds off of Vader’s hatred to stay ahead. So it is not mutually exclusive that Vader scales close while being bested):

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Sidious begins by acknowledging that Vader has regained control over his powers, questioning whether he’s truly controlled his hate:

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He then asks “whose hate is greater?”

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So the framing is that it will depend on who has the greater hate and can dig into their reserves. Which directly leads into Sidious acknowledging that Vader has indeed become strong:

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Notice how he says “but I will always be stronger”. He’s attempting to justify why he’s still top dog. The fact that he has to justify his place means it’s now no longer a sure thing.This leads into Sidious attempting to get Vader to turn his back, etc

If “facial expressions” are so important to this user, we have Sidious gritting his teeth angrily as he blasts Vader:

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This leads into his claim that he only truly shows his hate when he blasts the scourge droids. But if this is his truly the argument to be had, then this means that Sidious can’t justify his supremacy over Vader through overpowering Vader. The fact that he has to justify his status through taking out a bunch of fodders actually speaks poorly of Sidious. As it means he can’t directly assert that over Vader himself

By this logic, he has to go all out on some droids (“HRNNN!”) to justify his place:

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From this, it follows that Sidious has to one up Vader by proving himself against some fodders. So Sidious starts the encounter by directly acknowledging it’s about whose hate is greater, then fails to overpower Vader or distract him. To which he shifts goalposts and now proclaims he’s actually using his hate. Not a good look for Sheev’s supposed “vast” superiority. But is the demeanour of someone who is manipulative

Sidious not wanting to kill Vader

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I’ve already posted much evidence of Sidious very much being okay with killing Vader. After all, in the 2017 series, he warns Vader not to touch him with the force again:

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Which ties into 14bby Vader being warned not to trash coruscant:

If we are getting into his “character”, then it’s also the case that it’s very much NOT in character for him to scream at the top of his lungs:

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Sidious only behaves like this when he is serious or angry, as shown in Hidden Empire #1

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As for Sidious expecting Vader to survive the crash, again, it is not mutually exclusive that he would attempt to kill him while not being fully sure that it would actually kill him. If Sidious is so sure that it won’t kill him, then why even bother screaming for him to be shot down? There’s no logic in this argument

Sidious can’t just kill Vader like that, so it’s either kill him or manipulate him and assert his dominance

If anything, the fact that they’ve repeatedly failed to kill a vulnerable Vader would make them more motivated and guarded to kill this more potent Vader

Vader being “more powerful than ever” doesn‘t encompass Mustafar Vader

Truly one of the arguments of all time

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If this is the logic being used to discredit force wave Vader scaling over Mustafar Vader, then this user in question forfeits any claim that Sidious saying Vader > Kylo in Secrets of The Sith refers to MFV and not SV (for context, this user scales Kylo above suit Vader through arguing that this below statement doesn’t refer to suit Vader).

Either these statements encompass MFV or they don’t. You don’t get to pick and choose when they refer to MFV.

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Never mind the fact that Vader being stated “more powerful than ever” is affirmed in OOU sources, not just IU

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While there is argument to be had that some creatives may not view MFV as Vader for whatever reason, this is not the case for IU statements. IU, he became Vader when he was knighted in ROTS. So being called “more powerful than ever before” would encompass all iterations.

The user in question has decided that this doesn’t encompass MFV because…reasons? They’ve just head canoned this. Absolutely zero evidence or reason MFV isn’t capped.

(It’s also worth noting that Sidious refers to Vader’s terror across the galaxy in the SOTS scan. It would make zero sense for him to be referring to the version of Vader who was Vader for a few hours and whom had no reputation across the galaxy.)

Conclusion

Anyway, a lot of this was already covered in my original thread on Vader issue 40. It should be clear to anyone that the scaling is pretty entrenched.

Thanks for reading.

3 Comments

Obi Wan not being strong enough to face Sidious (canon)

Obi Wan not being strong enough to face Sidious

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This is a statement that is used a lot. I think that people very much misinterpret this line of dialogue.

First, let us remind ourselves of the context of this line. We must look at what is said prior:

Yoda: Destroy the Sith we must.

Obi Wan: Send me to kill the Emperor, I will not kill Anakin.

Yoda: To fight this Lord Sidious, strong enough you are not.

Obi Wan: He is like my brother I cannot do it.

Yoda: Twisted by the dark side, young Skywalker has become. The boy you trained, gone he is, consumed by Darth Vader.

Obi Wan: I don't know where The Emperor has sent him. I don't know where to look.

Yoda: Use your feelings, Obi-Wan and find him you will.

Yoda directly tells Obi Wan “to fight this Lord Sidious, strong enough you are not”

Yet the preceding context is their ability to destroy the Sith, I.e. defeat them, not necessarily how well they would do in a given fight. They must be able to defeat them. Hence why Obi Wan says send me to kill the Emperor, to kill him, he must be able to defeat him

From this, it doesn’t necessarily mean Obi Wan will get stomped 10 times out of 10. What it means is that he can’t defeat the emperor. It says nothing as to the difficulty he would have when losing. (Although to be clear, he absolutely would lose every time, due to the force lightning)

To further back up this point, the canon junior novel for ROTS replaces Yoda’s word ‘fight’ with ‘destroy’:

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So the line in the movie is “to fight this Lord Sidious, strong enough you are not”

Whereas the line in the junior novel is “to destroy this Lord Sidious, strong enough you are not”

Unlike senior novels, junior novels don’t have to align 100% with the movie’s dialogue. A hyper literal reading of this dialogue would suggest a contradiction. But the preceeding context of Yoda saying they must destroy the Sith frames this as not the case. Yoda isn’t hyper literally saying “you can’t fight Sidious at all”, what he’s saying is that “you can’t defeat him”. So in this context, “fight” is just synonymous with “destroy”

The Fanhome Enclyoepdia backs this up, as Yoda is categorised in the same boat as Obi Wan as being among those who can’t beat him:

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”Yoda had earned Obi Wan not powerful enough to face Palpatine. In the end, not was Yoda”

Hyper literally, this wouldn’t make sense. As we know that Yoda did face Sidious, and did well. But the usage of the word ‘fight’ is used interchangeably with the movie wording of ‘face’. When read with the novel, ‘fight’, ‘face’ and ‘destroy’ mean the same thing.

“In the end, nor was Yoda” refers to his inability to defeat the emperor. Even if Yoda did well and could match the emperor, he can’t defeat him:

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Yoda can match him, but he cannot actually defeat him. The majority of canon sources actually have Sidious as slightly more powerful.

Per the official databank, he is stated to have overwhelmed a Yoda who is at the height of his power. (Post order 66 Sidious is significantly more powerful than pre 66. This can’t be stated enough):

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The dark lord’s superior power is affirmed repeatedly in canon sources (Stories of Jedi and Sith, 2017 Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Read-Along Story Book and CD, SW Annual 2015, Star Wars in 100 scenes, De Agostini Star Wars Encyclopdia: Yoda And Other Users of The Force, Star Wars Character Encyclopaedia, Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy Stories, Ultimate Star Wars: New Edition, Star Wars: Made Easy, Fanhome Star Wars Encyclopedia: The End of the Clone Wars, Dark Side Pocket Expert and Star Wars Timelines)

So Yoda, like Obi Wan, can’t defeat the Emperor. Yoda thought he could, but he was proven wrong. They are both in the category of being unable to beat him. So this line of “strong enough to destroy this Lord Sidious, you are not” would also apply to Yoda. Although it is clear Yoda would do better than Kenobi would against the Emperor.

This begs to question, why was he sent after Anakin then? This comes down to the obvious reason that he’s got familiarity with Anakin. Although they both know one another’s moves, he’s got more of a chance against someone he has familiarity with than an unknown entity. If we take such lines hyper literally, then we end up with Obi Wan > Yoda in duelling, because it’s said he is the “only person skilled enough to capture General Grievous” in the revised visual dictionary.

Thanks for reading

6 Comments

Frozen ranks the top 10 Star Wars duelists (canon)

I made a list like this last year but have decided to make another one as I feel my scaling has changed. This list will encompass both saber skill and force augmentation. I will not be including amped versions in this. Without further ado:

1) Grandmaster Luke Skywalker

Given that ROTJ Luke is undeniably equal to Vader in skill, it stands to reason that GM Luke will rank high. The recent novel Shadow of The Sith has Grandmaster Luke defeat an ancient sith spirit that is stated to be > ROTJ Sidious (whether or not he actually is that powerul is up for debate. But he is undeniably within that realm) and also fight nine darkside wraiths at once. Each of these wraiths are implied to be at the power and skill of a sith lord, so fighting nine of them simultaneously (even if briefly) is a colossal duelling feat. The same novel also refers to Luke as being vastly more skilled than his ROTJ iteration. Being massively more skilled than ROTJ Vader in conjunction with immense force augmentation puts him at the top of the list:

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2) Knightfall Vader

Given that statements from senior novels are now canon, Anakin benefits immensely from this. His darkside iteration scales noticeably above his jedi self who has numerous statements putting his skill and power in the Yoda realm. His 12 second decimation of Dooku is arguably a top 3 duelling feat in canon. And given how he can one shot duelists such as Cin Drailig, who are referred to as among "the finest duelist of the order", his place here is solid:

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3) Yoda

Disarming Sidious, scaling above Mace who bested Sidious in sabers and repeatedly being stated as Dooku's superior puts Yoda at the near top.

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4) Mace Windu

Fought rather evenly with Dooku shortly after AOTC. In fact, he had the edge over him. And then he bested Sidious in saber combat, which is acknowledged by about a dozen canon sources as well as GL himself. He also has many statements putting him as second to Yoda as a duelist, with even some putting him above:

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5) Darth Sidious

Bltizing 3 council tier masters is probably the most OP display of skill and power we have seen in canon. And while Sheev may have used a dark side haze, other sources do not reference this but rather attribute it to his superior skill.

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6) Porter Engle

This guy doesn't have many feats yet. But the repeated comparisons to Yoda are difficult to ignore. Canon seems to really emphasize that he is Yoda's superior as a duelist. So I couldn't not have him here.

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7) Count Dooku

Repeatedly dominating Obi Wan, being a peer of Yoda and giving Mace Windu a hard fought fight are all great duelling showings:

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8) Obi Wan Kenobi

Wins over General Greivous, Maul, Savage, etc. A pre hole Kenobi who was less skilled than his ROTS iteration was able to dominate Vader in pure saber combat. He also held up against a version of Anakin who is a much better duelist than OWK Vader.

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9) Darth Vader

Some may be surprised that I've lowered Vader. However I think a place in the top 10 is still very admirable. The issue is that there are not many notable duelling showings. And showings such as OWK end up lowering his overall placement. Nonetheless, a top 10 placement is still admirable and Vader's skills are top tier.

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10) Ahsoka Tano

Holding up against Vader while on a nexus is an impressive feat. That said, she is let down by some showings, e.g. being disarmed by a NFU in Mandalorian. While it is true that FUs have had issues with NFUs, I would not envision this ever happening to the likes of Sidious who can blitz 3 council masters, Grandmaster Luke who can fight 9 dark side wraiths on a nexus or Yoda.

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75 Comments

Pre Suit Vader is a better duelist than 10bby OWK Vader

Pre suit Vader is a better duelist than 10bby Vader

So I've decided to make this blog to deep dive into a clear comparison between pre suit Vader's performance against Obi Wan compared to 10bby Vader's performance. Based on the two respective performances, I think it is largely apparent that pre suit Vader is significantly a better duelist than 10bby Vader. Whereas suit Vader is decisively more powerful in the force.

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Now I will stress that I am not at all saving that pre suit Vader is > suit Vader overall. In fact, ESB/ROTJ Vader would almost certainly defeat pre suited Vader in an all out fight. The force difference is far too great, not to mention Vader post ESB trials is matching Palpatine in sparring. However Vader as of 10bby and even Rebels is going to be losing hard to pre suited Vader in a pure duel.

With this out of the way, let's cover some preliminary points:

  1. Mustafar Vader is hindered. See the following for reference -
  2. OWK Vader per Insider is not conflicted. Not to mention there is not much to say he was conflcited in his duel with Obi Wan. Even if he was, it would still be meaningless given Mustafar Vader's conflcit

Now with those brief points out of the way, let's start with the scaling chain:

Pre-Hole OWK Obi Wan = Mustafar Obi Wan

In the climatic duel with Obi Wan, Vader remarks to Obi Wan that "your strength has returned". This IU statement is canonized OOU by virtue of the fact that the showrunner, who had creative oversight over the story and climatic duel, states that pre hole Obi Wan is "back at his full powers again" (see timestamp 0:05 seconds to 0:20):

It cannot be stressed enough how fortunate we are to have a DIRECT reference point to compare pre suit and suit Vader. By all intents and purposes, Mustafar Obi Wan = Pre-Hole OWK Obi. They're one in the same... and thus, we can contrast the performance between pre suit Vader and suit Vader.

Comparing the duels:

(I'm going to refer to Mustafar Vader as 'Anakin' here and OWK Vader as 'Vader', to avoid confusion).

From the offset, it is clear that both Anakin and Vader attack aggressively. This is after all, no surprise - both Anakin and Vader share the same primary form, which is Form V Djem So. Anakin and Vader are primarily offensive fighters and are rarely if ever on the defense. This is important to note, because it is here that we see where their skill divulges. Almost immediately, Anakin is on the attack against Obi Wan and driving him back. The audio description describes this sequence as:

"Anakin backflips over to his former teacher and drives him back with a series of high sideways strikes"

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It is readily apparent from the above GIF that Anakin is all over Obi Wan with constant pressure. The audio description acknowledges that Anakin is driving him back. This isn't just Obi Wan flooding to fight defensively. He's being forced back and has to adopt his primary form. Similarly, OWK Vader attacks Obi Wan first too:

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In fact, if you look closely at the end of the GIF, you'll see that Vader is initially driving Obi Wan back:

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When we return to this duel, we see that this is no longer the case and that they're fighting more evenly. The shift into a more even match is reflected by the audio description:

"Vader sparks his own blade and attacks. The two of them fight in a clash of blue and red. Each skillfully parry erupts in a flurry of sparks. A view from overheard swirls around the heated combat. Obi Wan gymnastically tumbles away from his adversary and continues the battle from one knee. As their blades lock together he returns to his feet and tries to connect with a mighty lunge. The two of them briefly find themselves fighting back to back. Each spinning to try and gain the upper hand on the other."

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However we see a shift take place. Now this is rather significant. Obi Wan manages to turn tables and drive Vader back. This may not sound significant to some of you reading, so I'll reiterate it in a different way. Obi Wan, a primarily defensive fighter, manages to force Darth Vader, a primarily aggressive offensive fighter, to adopt the defense:

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In fact, the audio description not only acknowledges that Obi is forcing Vader to adopt the defensive position, but it also states that it is because Obi's strikes are "strong" enough do that:

"A couple of strong swings put Vader on the defensive"

Upon further inspection, something else also becomes clear. Obi Wan is using wild and basic frenzied strikes to force Vader back. This form of fighting most closely resembles Shii-Cho, which is the most basic lightsaber form imaginable. It's called form I for a reason, and it's the one they teach younglings:

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Not only is he driving Vader back with a very basic form, and not only is the audio description attributing this to his strength, but he is also forcing Vader to shift forms. If you look closely at Vader's stance at the end of the GIF, he's adopting the signature Ataru stance which the likes of Qui Gon and Yoda wield:

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So for brief summary, we have:

  • Obi, a primarily defensive fighter, driving Vader (an offensive fighter) back, despite Vader initially attacking first
  • Obi adopting a very basic form of offense
  • The audio description attributing this to Obi's strength (obviously Obi used skill too, but the combination of basic form choice + attribution to strength means that strength is majorly at play here)
  • Vader being forced to shift from his primary form of Djem So to Ataru

Now let's compare the above with hindered Anakin's performance against the same Obi Wan. Credit to Cryolancer47 for the below GIFs:

Hindered Anakin breaks Obi's guard with a kick. Not a saber strike. But a kick:

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Anakin drives Kenobi back, and overpowers him again:

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Anakin overpowers and chokes Kenobi. Page 746 of the senior novel states that Anakin's non robotic hand was going to crush Obi's bones. That's just a testament to his monstrous strength.

"Obi-Wan felt the bones of his forearms bending, beginning to feather toward the greenstick fractures that would come before the final breaks."

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Kenobi only manages to escape with a kick when Anakin wasn't ready, only for Anakin to recover quickly and kick Obi-Wan before the latter can swing at him:

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Both are equally matched in the Force, and are blown back from the clash. But Anakin recovers immediately, while Kenobi is clearly affected by what happened:

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This is how much a kick from Kenobi affects the hindered Anakin:

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And this is how a kick from Anakin affects Kenobi:

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Anakin overpowers Kenobi in a blade-lock, TWICE:

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In fact, there is only one point in the duel in which it looks like Obi Wan tries to go on the offensive against Anakin. What enda up happening is that Anakin just straight up punches Obi so hard he staggers him and nearly knocks him over. He completely thrawts any attempt Obi has at fighting on the offensive:

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So what we can see so far? Both Anakin and Vader are offensive fighters against the same version of Obi Wan. That's where the similarities begin and end. Anakin is able to constantly pressure Obi Wan, force him back, overpower him in strength contests, nearly crush his bones and force Obi to utilize his defensive Soresu to the fullest of his ability. Keep in mind, this isn't even Anakin at his peak, but the hindered version. On the other hand, Vader is being forcibly driven back by Obi's offensive form, struggling against Obi's strength and all around just performing noticeably worse in sabers.

It does not end there either. When we return to the OWK duel, Obi is still driving Vader back. He is still fighting with that wild frenzied form:

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In fact, not only is he driving him back, but he is physically PUSHING him back in their saber lock. His raw strength and aggression is enough to briefly press Vader back. Such a maneveur would have been suicide against the force augmented strength of pre suit Vader:

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To Vader's credit, he is able to briefly press Obi back. However Obi just cleanly counters this by breaking his guard. The audio description even refers to this maneuver as "staggering" Vader:

"Obi Wan swings with all his might staggering his foe"

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Definition of the word staggered:

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Given that it is said he "swings with all his might", it again points to Obi's physical strength which is what is capable of staggering him. In fact, we have three clear examples of Obi's physical strength giving Vader serious issues:

  • His "strong" swings which forced him to shift to Ataru
  • Obi physically driving Vader back in their saber lock
  • Obi breaking his guard

Vader having his guard broken like this is quite significant once you compare it to Anakin who is straight up able to break Obi's guard with kicks, let alone saber strikes:

Hindered Anakin breaks Obi's guard with a kick. Not a saber strike. But a kick:

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Anyway, I have elected to end the OWK duel at the portion where Obi tries to telekentically move the pillar. At that point, it becomes a force contest in which Vader is clearly superior. An area in which pre suited Vader could not assert superiority. The force contest not only allows Vader to recuperate but also to regain himself and gain an upper hand. Prior to that however, it was pure duelling, in which Obi was noticeably superior.

Now I'm not trying to drag Vader here. Obi is very obviously having to fight to the fullest of his abilities to pull this off. He's having to roll around a lot too, which shows that he is fully aware of how dangerous Vader is. In fact, I think it's very respectable that Vader was able to be relative to a peak ROTS Obi. Ironically, this is probably his best duelling feat in canon. The other duelling showings are not close. So we have a pre prime suited Vader giving Kenobi issues, but ultimately being the inferior duelist.

Obi could not ever hope to fight Anakin the way he did Vader. And even if he wanted to, he was incapable of it due to being clearly weaker. So to come to my conclusion:

Concluding thoughts

  • Anakin is very obviously a better offensive duelist than OWK Vader. He's able to constantly drive Obi Wan back and force him to utilise his Soresu to the fullest of his abilities. By comparison, Vader tried fighting Obi Wan offensively but was actually driven back for the near entireity of the duel. Anakins Djem So >>>> Vader's. Keep in mind, this isn't even peak Anakin who performed better than Vader, but the hindered Mustafar Version. Therefore, KFV >> MFV >>> OWK Vader in sabers
  • Anakin has greater force augmented strength than OWK Vader. He's constantly overpowering Obi Wan in their strength contests, to the point where he is even described as being able to crush Obi's bones. By comparison, ROTS Obi is nearing or on par with OWK Vader in force augmented strength. We have 3 clear cut instances of his strength being a huge issue for Vader, with even the audio description explicitly attributing Obi's dominance to the strength of his strikes
  • Force power does not always translate smoothly to augmentation. They're obviously correlated. For example, Vader is massively more powerful than the likes of Ezra Bridger and would be able to destroy him purely based on augmented stats. However we have clear instances where force power doesn't always equate to stats. For example, Mustafar Anakin and Obi stalemated in their force clash. And yet, Anakin dominated him in their physical contests. Vader is clearly more powerful than Obi Wan based on their TK contest over the pillar, yet Obi's force augmented strength was giving Vader serious issues. OWK Vader is blatantly more powerful than Mustafar Anakin based on comparing the Mustafar force clash to the pillar contest, and yet Anakin physically overpowers the same Obi that Vader struggles to. Now if you want an IU reason as to why Vader's augmentation is worse despite being more powerful in the force, this is anyone's guess. But it seems highly likely that his machinery means he can't augment his stats to the extent that he could. Regardless of what the reason may or may not be, this version of Vader has worse augmentation and skill than pre suit Vader
  • To his credit, OWK Vader is more powerful then Mustafar Anakin and was able to actually beat ROTS Obi with the force. Something which Mustafar Anakin could not do
108 Comments

MCU Shang Chi directly scales above Ikaris (+ deviant anti feats)

New unearthed scaling + deviant anti feats

So I've been meaning to make this thread since I read through Eternals 500 War. I believe it provides some interesting scaling regarding these characters and Shang Chi.

I'd seen people occasionally bring this feat up of how Ikaris "one shotted" a large dragon deviant. This is blatantly false and not what happened at all. This fight is taken from issue 6 of 500 war and has some context.

The issue starts in ancient China around the time the Great Wall was being constructed. It notes how the dragon deviant ambushed an adolescent species of The Great Protector from Shang Chi. It is highly likely that this is of the same species considering A) they look near identical aside from slightly different colour (white and red vs white and gold) and B) the dragon is referred to as being "sacred" and a protector.

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Rest in spoiler block:

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Anyway, the Protector is ambushed and Ikaris begins fighting the deviant for several pages on and off panel.

He does not in any way, shape or form one shot this dragon deviant. He is able to contend with it for several pages, however he is incapable of putting it down or inflicting any real damage:

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It's at this point that we see the now gravely injured adolescent Protector rise up and attack the deviant. The protector is able to do what Ikaris could not, which is to physically restrain the deviant. Once he restrains it, the deviant is blasted by ligtning. Now I'm not exactly sure what happens here, the lightning hit as soon as the Protector restrained it. So it looks like the Protector was able to sense when lightning would strike.

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It's at this point that its hit by lightning and the Protector let's go of the dragon deviant. The deviant begins falling and then Ikaris blitzes through it. Ikaris is only able to blitz through it once the Protector had overpowered the dragon deviant and let it get hit by lighting.

The deviant then dies and the young Protecotor succumbs to its injuries.

In summation:

  • The deviant ambushed and injured the Protector
  • Iaris is unable to overpower, bullrush or put down this dragon deviant
  • The Protector, despite being gravely injured and only an adolescent, is able to overpower and restrain the deviant. And then puts it into position to be hit by ligtning
  • Only after this, is Ikaris able to fly through it and do damage

Based on this scaling, Ikaris is not stronger then an injured adolescent Great Protector. Wheres Shang Chi with all the rings is at worst on par with the Protector and at best much above it

Shang with rings > adult Great Protector >>> adolescent Great Protector >>> injured adolescent Great Protector > Ikaris

It is worth noting that Ikaris struggling with deviants is something which is shown as consistent in this comic series.

In the very next issue, a smaller deviant overpowers Ikaris with its tentacle and begins choking him. Any notion of Ikaris holding back or letting this happen is absurd given how he is choking and dead to his rights. Sersi is able to slice this deviant's tentacle with an ice pick. Yes, forget shotguns, she does it with an ice pick... scans below:

(Another point of comparison, Shang overpowering the tendrils of the Dweller >>> being overpowered by the tentacle of this much weaker deviant)

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In the same comic series, Thena and Gilgamesh combined are stated to be weaker than a deviant which is strongly implied to be sub 17th century pirate gun level (notice how Gilgamesh believes that using a gun is "their only shot")

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Consider the intent here - Thena refers to the pirate gun as "their only shot", Gilgamesh believes he needs a gun. And yet both believe themselves to be weaker than this same deviant.

Conclusion:

  • Shang Chi has very direct scaling above Ikaris
  • Ikaris and other Eternals difficulty against Deviants is constantly reinforced
  • Deviant anti feats are abundant, sub pirate gun, sub ice pick, etc. By comparison, sub shotgun doesn't seem too bad
  • Adding to the above bullet point, both Thena and Gilg admit they're weaker than a deviant in which they resort to using guns against
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Frozen's top comicbook shows (live action)

1. The Sandman (2022-)

Neil Gaiman's seminal work is brought to life in this thrilling adaptation. Anchored by Neil Sturridge's complex performance, this show never feels uninteresting. Its unique, ambitious and creatively engaging. I don't think I've ever seen a show quite like this, and Morpheus is perhaps one of the most interesting protagonists to have come out of the comicbook genre. In a time where we're being showered with boring character arcs such as MCU Thor in LaT and so fourth, this is a welcome development.

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2. The Boys (2019-)

A vast improvement over its source material, The Boys is an excellent dark satire on the comicbook genre. Although its second season is notably weaker than the other two, the show is brought to life by the great performances given by Karl Urban, Anthony Starr and Jensen Ackles.

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3) Peacemaker (2021-)

Probably the best content to have come from the DCEU, this is James Gunn at his best. The show manages to balance drama, violent action and comedy seamlessly. The character progression feels natural and earned.

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4) Daredevil (2015-2018)

Gritty, brutal and entertaining, Daredevil reinvents the character for a modern era. Its reminiscent of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and manages to delve into the psyche of its protagonist far more effectively than other shows and movies can do with their own protagonists.

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5) Superman & Lois (2021-)

A great modern take on the character, this show understands what makes Superman great. It has warmth and earnestness to it that recent iterations of the character have failed to grasp. It manages to balance high stakes action with family drama surprisingly well.

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6) Smallville (2001-2011)

This show truly delved into the psychology of Clark Kent and what makes him so human. While it was often bogged down by standard CW melodrama, it really excelled with the chemistry between the actors and themes on destiny. And to this day still has the best live action version of Lex.

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7) The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982)

While campy and dated in some respects by today's standards, Bill Bixby still remains by far the best LA Bruce Banner. Norton, Bana and Ruffalo do not come close. This show really emphasizes why being Hulk is a burden and a tragedy. It has a certain melancholy to it which I think really underpins and summarises the character well. It's a shame that a show from 40 years ago understands its titular character more than modern MCU does.

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Frozen's top 10 greatest TV shows of all time

10) Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000 - present)

The life and times of Larry David and the predicaments he gets himself into with his friends and complete strangers.

A genius comedy, Curb Your Enthusiasm is completely unscripted and relies on improvisation. The result is a success, with creative humour that never gets old. The series is ''on and off'', meaning it has a season and then doesn't have another for a few years, but it still feels fresh. I really think this show is not only laugh out loud hilarious but creatively unique. Its a testament to Larry David's genius.

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9) Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005 - 2008)

In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world.

The quissentional heroes journey, ATLA superbly executes a simple story with strong emotion and conviction. The characters are all compelling, particuarly the protagonist Aang. Unfortunately, it was met with a subpar sequel (Legend of Korra) and is being remade in LA. However, this classic will still stand on its own two feet as a masterpiece of animation.

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8) The Office UK (2001 - 2003)

The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

The Office UK is not only Ricky Gervais at his absolute best, but British humour at its best. It feels so raw and real compared to the American version. I think its biggest strength is that it ended at its peak -- often these shows go on longer than they should, but this show smartly ended early.

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7) Samurai Jack (2001 - 2004, revived in 2017)

A samurai, sent through time, fights to return home and save the world.

A very stylish and minimalist cartoon, Samurai Jack is a show with little dialogue. Its gorgeous art style, riveting action and interesting plots make it a memorable watch.

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6) Batman: The Animated Series (1992 - 1995)

After billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne were gunned-down in Crime Alley, their son Bruce Wayne vowed to avenge his parents by becoming Gotham City's avenger of the night: The Batman. Fighting Gotham City's worst criminals without rest, Batman is the one-man-war against crime saving his city from eternal damnation.

In my eyes, this is the definitive take on Batman. Its the first piece of media to truly delve into his psyche and also the tragedy of being Batman -- that he can never be happy. Not only is Batman depicted perfectly, but so are the rogues. Mark Hamill's Joker is iconic and the animation is very distinct and timeless. This show just ''gets'' Batman and set the standard for comicbook animation. It is excellent throughout.

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5) True Detective Season 1 (2013)

Constructed as a non-linear narrative, season one focuses on Louisinia State Police homicide detectives Rustin ''Rust'' Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin "Marty" Hart (Harrelson), who investigated the murder of prostitute Dora Lange in 1995. Seventeen years later, they must revisit the investigation, along with several other unsolved crimes

It feels like cheating to isolate one season away from the others, given that True Detective does have two other seasons. However season 1 is completely unrelated to the others with a different cast, which in a way makes it feel like its own separate series -- and frankly, its far better than the other two. Matthew McConaughey's performance deserved all the praise it got back in 2013 -- its one of the best performances I've ever seen in any piece of media. Its dark, disturbed and immersive, every time he speaks, he draws you deeper into his mind. The storyline is very gripping and intriguing, and at times downright horrifying. Make no mistake, this is a grim show, but you can't help but turn it off. Its also surprisingly hopeful, it manages to juggle these tones with seamless perfection. I think this is by far the best detective murder mystery I've ever seen, its just that good. I reccomend to watch season 1 in isolation, as its like a mini series.

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4) Band of Brothers (2001 miniseries)

The story of Easy Company of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and their mission in World War II Europe, from Operation Overlord to V-J Day

One of the most visceral and raw depictions of WW2 ever put to screen, Band of Brothers is an uncomfortable and emotional watch. It has an absoloutely stacked cast (Fassbender, McAvoy, Tom Hardy, Jimmy Fallon, Simon Pegg, Stephen Graham, etc) before they were famous. Naturally, its no surprise that the performances are excellent. Its hard to fault this show.

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3) Breaking Bad (2008 - 2013)

A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family's future.

A fascinating character study into a man's descent into evil. Breaking Bad gives what is (in my opinion) the second best performance in the history of television from Bryan Cranston. There was a point in time where it was difficult to imagine him as anything other than Hal from Malcolm in The Middle, but Cranston disappears into the crevices of Walter White and never looks back. There's not a single moment where his performance isn't anything less than excellent, no matter what emotional state he is trying to convey, its simply excellent. He is meek, he's frustrated, he's ambitious, he's confident, he's terrifying, it goes on -- and yet it all feels real. It goes without saying that the supporting performance by Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman is perfectly cast, and the show has strong antagonists throughout. Its also a rare show which simply gets better and better as each season goes on. In many ways, Breaking Bad is a modern day neo-western -- and its set the standard for future content which goes for the same genre.

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2) The Wire (2002 - 2008)

The streets of Baltimore as a microcosm of the US's war on drugs, and of US urban decay in general. Seen not only through the eyes of a few policemen and drug gang members but also the people who influence and inhabit their world - politicians, the media, drug addicts and everyday citizens.

Its really difficult to describe this show because of how unique it is. There is truly no ''main character'', or even a set of man characters. The show alternates between the perspectives of the police, teachers, politicians, crackheads on the street, gangsters and teen youth. And yet it never feels jarring, its a seamless transition between all these differnet characters -- and it works.I was always aware of how acclaimed this show was for many years, given how many had deemed it the greatest show ever. It was only until I watched it did I realize why it was so reccomended, its like a hybrid between a documentary and series. It feels very real, very raw but most all, very honest. It has a lot to say about the war on drugs, race relations and a variety of important social topics. Season 4 of The Wire, is quite simply the best season of any television I've ever seen. Its something I was completely engrossed in and couldn't turn off.

This show also quite famously introduced Idris Elba to Hollywood. His role as gangster Stringer Bell still remains the best performance he's given.

Random trivia - It also features a teenage Michael B Jordan in a major role in the early seasons.

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1) The Sopranos (1999 - 2007)

New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano deals with personal and professional issues in his home and business life that affect his mental state, leading him to seek professional psychiatric counseling.

If there's one way to describe this show, it'd be this -- imagine Goodfellas, but as a television show. And even that description isn't giving it justice, because while the show did initially start out as that, it gradually become something much more philosophical and profound. The Sopranos is a commentary and meditation on the American dream, on family, on free will and on life and death. It paved the way for shows like The Wire and Breaking Bad. Earlier I said Bryan Cranston gave the second best performance in television, and that's because I give first place to James Gandolfini's role as Tony Soprano. Its simply the best performance I've seen in any television show, its right up there alongside Al Pacino's role as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II. Gandolfini possesses great screen presence, and he's able to show many different sides to Tony which all feel believable and honest -- from the tender kindness he shows to his children to the wrath he shows towards his enemies (and even his friends), its a multi-faceted performance. And I think the best part about his performance is that it never feels performative or showy, there's more focus and emphasis on the subetlties.

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The Sopranos also boasts an excellent supporting cast, and the side plots are often just as engaging as the main story. While Breaking Bad succeeds at portraying a cinematic crime story, The Sopranos is very much anti-cinematic. When people die in the show, there isn't any cinematic quality to it. It just happens, and most of the time its unexepcted. That's how it often goes in life, its like a peek into another world. Its just great television.

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Frozen's top 5 favourite fictional characters

5) Tony Soprano

''He can be a loving husband and father, or he can be a sadistic criminal.He can be charming, funny and charismatic, or intimidating, cruel and vicious. In the span of one day, Tony can go from the scene of a murder to a family dinner without showing any outward signs of remorse.''

The protagonist and anti-hero/villain of HBO's The Sopranos (the greatest show ever IMO), Gandolfini inhabits a character that is as layered as they come. Tony is mafia boss by day and family man by night. Its an unsettling double life but also utterly fascinating. I love The Sopranos a lot, and its because it has such a multi-faceted and superbly acted lead role. I think this may be my favourite performance in any piece of media ever, alongside Al Pacino's portrayal of Michael Corleone in The Godafther Part II.

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4) Darth Vader

First seen in the movie Star Wars (1977; later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope), the towering, black-clad Darth Vader is a menacing villain. His head is covered by a mechanical helmet, and the sound of his breathing is an eerie, mechanical hiss.

Its no surprise that I'm a huge fan of Star Wars, and of course, Darth Vader. Vader only has 34 minutes of screen time across the original trilogy of SW films (and a mere 8 minutes in A New Hope), and yet he casts a shadow over the whole franchise. He's just so cool and badass, almost every line he says is quotable, his mannerisms are focused and his inner conflict with Anakin is compelling. Vader is a character who is simultaneosuly cool, badass and yet very sympathetic (and at times, even pathetic). Its a contradiction but it works.

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3) Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalkerwas a Tatooine farmboy who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known.

Luke Skywalker's story arc in the original Star Wars trilogy is among my favourite story arcs for any character ever. Its simple but so perfectly executed and acted by Hamill. Luke is relatable, he's flawed, he has the same dreams many of us have and also the same dark traits. Particuarly, Luke's arc in Return of The Jedi is why I gravitate so much towards this character. Whereas most films would have the hero defeat his father and conquer the dark side, Luke instead has compassion and forgiveness for his father (a trait which was rare for male action heroes in the 1980s). He also accepts that dark side is part of him but that he can choose a better path. His arc has many life lessons which I find inspiring.

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2) Master Chief (John 117)

The Master Chief is a towering supersoldier known as a "Spartan", raised and trained from childhood for combat. He is almost faceless and rarely seen without his green-colored armor and helmet. He is commonly referred to by his naval rank rather than his given birth name.

The original Halo trilogy stands as one of the greatest trilogies of all time IMO (in fact, probably the no1 spot). In the games, Chief is a vessel for the player to inhabit and experience, and in the Halo novels, he is a fully fleshed out and nuanced character in his own right. He's a man of few words but with a lot of substance and emotional weight. He rightfully deserves his place amongst the most iconic video game characters ever.

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1) Batman (Bruce Wayne)

A playboy billionaire by day, Bruce Wayne’s double life affords him the comfort of a life without financial worry, a loyal butler-turned-guardian and the perfect base of operations in the ancient network of caves beneath his family’s sprawling estate. By night, however, he sheds all pretense, dons his iconic scalloped cape and pointed cowl and takes to the shadowy streets, skies and rooftops of Gotham City.

Its not often that you have a character who has great stories in just about every medium, but Batman is that character. He's got great films (Nolan's Batman trilogy, Matt Reeves The Batman), great cartoons (Batman TAS, Batman Beyond), great video games (Arkham games), great graphic novels (Year One, Dark Knight Returns, etc). And not only are those all great stories, but there's strong arguments that they're the best stories of those respective mediums. I've always found Batman to be different than other comicbook characters. He's driven by trauma and very negative emotions, but he uses that pain to fuel himself to be better. He seeks to make himself better every day. He has all the reason in the world not to be a hero (unlike many other superheroes with superpowers), yet he chooses to be one anyway. He can be adapted and re-imagined in so many different ways (in noir, martial arts genre, action, sci-fi, etc) and yet still be valid in each adaptation. Just take a look at the live action Batman films and see how different they are. Batman will always endure as the greatest character in my eyes, and my absolute favourite.

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