Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fight of the Week RESULTS: Vader vs. Voldemort, Week 1

There were many people whose fandom was set into conflict by this week’s fight. After all, we’re talking the Ali vs. Frazier of true geekdom on this one.

The Bullet Points
-Since the Avada Kedavra is described as a “beam of green light”, would this be something that could be deflected by a lightsaber in the manner of a common blaster shot? The general consensus was that, due to its being magic, the Killing Curse would surely find its target, much to Lord Vader’s surprise. Since he knows nothing of the magic of this world, he would expect to be able to parry such a blast, which means that he would probably be caught off guard by at least the first beam-like attack Voldemort would level.
-Since Vader is, as advertised by Ben Kenobi, “more machine than man”, how much of an effect would Voldemort’s magic have on the Sith Lord? Would a stupefy stun him? Would the Cruciatus Curse reduce him to mask-covered tears of pain? Would an Avada Kedavra, indeed, do him in as it has done countless others in the Potterverse? This is a tough call. We see the ultimate fate of Anakin in Episode 3. No real limbs and forced to breathe with mechanical lungs. Essentially, Vader is a cyborg, and (in an admission that I am a major geek) every role playing supplement involving a tech vs. magic scenario has some sort of provision within about magic not being able to effect technology unless designed to do so or unless physical in nature. This, I believe, would be a huge factor in Vader’s favor if true.
-As mentioned to me in conversation by a few Potterites, there is magic within the Potterverse which requires no wand and no words. The first two opening salvos leveled by Vader in most people’s assessments would be to a) disarm (dis-wand?) his opponent and b) Force Choke him into submission. Many had cited this as nigh-inescapeable; that this would be the Boston Crab or Million Dollar Dream of the match. Once this is on, it’s only a matter of time before it’s over. Voldemort may be able to fight back from this, but how much? We know very little about wandless magic and far too much about the epic badassness of the Force Choke. Again, not much to argue in Voldie’s favor here. Potterites sputtered feeble “but… but… but…”s and could not come up with any actual, tangible reason that Voldemort could escape this no-win, Chuck Norris-attack-like scenario aside from the fact that he’s Voldemort. I’m sure you get what I’m saying there.
-Jedi Mind Tricks and the Imperius curse would cancel each other out. Voldemort would have to know something of Occlumency and Vader’s Force-hardened mind would make it so that mind controlling someone into a submissive position or even having them off themselves would be completely impossible. Plus, that would be a pretty cheap fight.
-Expelliarmus Vader’s lightsaber away and he will Force-Pull it back to him. Force-Pull Voldie’s wand away, he’s pretty fucked. Even if they’re both disarmed, Voldie’s still fucked. If it comes down to any sort of fisticuffs, with or without Force powers and his lightsaber, Vader is trained in hand-to-hand combat, Voldemort is not. The Wizarding World looks down on physical confrontations as degrading and, though Voldemort is an undeniable badass, he is a mage, not a warrior. As long as we’re sticking with the RPG archetype analogy (again, I'm a total dork), Vader is a knight or a samurai or a pimp. The scale, once again, tips in Vader’s favor.
If Voldemort has time and a wand, I think he would win the fight, however, Vader’s quick Jedi reflexes do not give him a split-second to mount any sort of strategic assault. And, with the validity of Avada Kedavra in question from multiple angles, the end result, truly, rests with the individual. While I can definitely see some of the gray factors (wandless magic) coming into effect and making this into a lengthy and epic struggle, it is the verdict of the masses that there is only one true winner:
Debate Winner: Darth Vader
Vote Winner: Darth Vader

Overall Winner and Dark Lord Champion:
Darth Vader

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