Epic Fail: Darth Vader vs. Gandalf - Super Power Beat Down
The folks over at Super Power Beat Down are obviously trying to tick off Tolkien fans. In the recent match-up of 'Darth Vader vs. Gandalf,' they've managed to make an amazing technical presentation of a battle between these two pop culture icons (well worth the watch!), but failed when it came down to making an educated decision on who could actually win a battle between the two. Ultimately if the competition comes down to a vote of the pop culture masses, we can always count on the slavish drones of Lucasites feverishly voting for anything that has the moniker of 'Star Wars.' Yea, I'm all kinds of sour grapes. Enjoy the video for the technical prowess and presentation. And, I may mention, the guy in the Darth Vader outfit is actually good TORn friend David Baxter (aka Treebeard)! He's really tall, but next time I see him, I'll try to send a collective slap for the Tolkien community. (P.S. - the views in this story of those of Calisuri, and not TheOneRing.net :P) [Super Power Beat Down] [Direct YouTube Link]
Gandalf vs. Darth Vader could be pretty close and could go either way. The Balrog was immensely powerful, but it did not possess a lightsaber nor Force skills. On the other hand, when could this meeting occur? At no point, after Gandalf realized that Frodo was in possession of the One Ring, were the two of them traveling through the Wilderness alone. "Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house." - Aragorn
I agree that the fight would have been close. Although we, as Tolkien fans, would obviously side with Gandalf in this I think there is something to be said about how these powers contrast. It's not entirely one sided, especially since Gandalf in all truth doesn't know that much magic. We assume a few things that he can do, but what he actually shows is rather limited. We know Vader's skills and what he could do to counteract situations. In the end though, I still think Gandalf would win merely because he has literal Earth shattering power and a strong resolve.
I have to ask though, are you really arguing the chronology of this? :P It's Darth Vader vs Gandalf. Let it be. The bearded Hobbit was obviously weird though.
But about the video itself... The ideas were phenomenal. I absolutely loved how Gandalf became young Anakin and that fight taking place. The problem is that the fighting was so stilted and awkward on all accounts, and they just tried to cover it up with special effects. Mind you, they were really high res stuff, but it doesn't make up for the fact that it looked like guys were pretending to fight. There's some great potential here (I haven't seen any of the other videos) but they need to improve the actual fight... As well as the defenses. The guy defending Vader was a jerk.
Overall, certainly worth watching, but this concept is beginning to become old.
Yeah, I've got to tell my inner-nerd to stand down sometimes...
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Forget when this could happen. It's just a hypothetical after all. "Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house." - Aragorn
Are we certain that the Balrog of Moria has a lock on this contest? The Balrog's whip and sword give him reach, but so so Vader's lightsaber and force-mastery. The Balrog should also have an Intimidating Presence which might give him more of an edge, as does sheer size and strength. Still, it does have a physical body which would be vulnerable to both Force Lightning and Vader's telekinetic crush. I could easily see either one coming out on top. "Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house." - Aragorn
Their understanding of Gandalf betrayed their ignorance.
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He was not just an "old man" wizard. As an Istari he is not mortal....Darth Vader is very mortal. We have no clear knowledge of what Gandalf - unrestrained - could do with his power. Darth Vader taps into "the force" for some electrical displays and projected ability. Really, not any different than what was displayed by either Saruman or Gandalf. The Istari had a collar on, they were restrained in what they could do to influence events and in their use of power. If Vader managed to "kill" the body Gandalf was in he would re-appear assuming the Valar sent him back. If Vader was killed...he was dead. In the end, Gandalf.
(This post was edited by Eruonen on May 21 2012, 1:56pm)
Though to be fair, Gandalf the Grey as he appears in the film is considerably less powerful than he is in the book. He doesn't often display his magic, and he certainly is constrained from using his power to dominate and push people around. Still, he legitimately could use it to defend himself and others, as he does with the Balrog.
To me, the biggest indication we get of Gandalf's power (in the book) is the scene where Aragorn and Frodo see the lightning on Weathertop in the distance. Later we find out that Gandalf was surrounded by all nine Black Riders and managed to hold them off all night (and they're most powerful at night). That's pretty impressive. And Aragorn emphasizes that he has seen Gandalf perform amazing deeds and in Rivendell has heard of even more amazing ones.
That said, in the film, the Weathertop scene is gone. And in the extended version of RotK, the Witch King knocks Gandalf the White off his horse! Obviously Gandalf the Grey in the book is more powerful than Gandalf the White in the film. In the film, Saruman beats him up, and he comes limping to Rivendell. In the book, Saruman doesn't even dare take Gandalf's staff but just locks him up. I've always assumed that Saruman doesn't dare provoke Gandalf into a physical fight, because the Grey Istar would be forced to defend himself, and they could end up killing each other. There's no indication in the book that Saruman is more powerful than Gandalf; he happens to be head of the White Council, so he's the boss, but I doubt he's physically more powerful.
So people who have seen the film and not read the book might think that Darth Vadar could defeat Gandalf. Those who have read the book know better.
"And in the extended version of RotK, the Witch King knocks Gandalf the White off his horse! "
IF we consider "The Force" the same divine/creative/destructive/chaotic power in both worlds...who could use the most of it? Clearly, the Istari who is akin to an angelic figure could handle far more than a mortal who could only channel so much.