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“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” -Darth Vader
While these words were intended by Vader for the incredible technologic feats of the Battlestation, they also fit pretty well as a way to challenge the mad Titan from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a.k.a Thanos.
Speaking of their similarities, Darth Vader and Thanos are the most feared and respected beings in their respective universes. And both possess immense levels of power and abilities, which are shown through their countless impressive feats.
Another thing common among both these mad beings is their weird motivations. Thanos destroys countless lives and planets to impress the physical manifestation of death. On the other hand, Darth Vader joins and becomes the lord of the Dark Side to control death itself, which he, obviously, couldn’t.
Not to mention, both also had their fair share of near-death experiences, wherein Darth Vader barely made it out alive when he was defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi, while Thanos was badly injured in a face-off with the Elders of the Universe.
Now, if you are following up, you might have this question who would actually win in a 1v1 battle? Would it be the Supreme leader of the Imperial army, with the power of the Force on his side, or the Mad Titan, with a thirst for destruction in the name of love?
At first glance, there might be an easy answer, depending on which universe you support more. But in reality, both characters have layers of complexity around their respective power, making them really hard to compare.
Therefore, in this guide, I will be giving a precise account of their comparison while also analyzing each of their weakness in order to put together a logical explanation of the outcome of their matchup.
So, strap in your seat belts and put up your Nano-tech shields because this battlefront can get a little messy.
Bottom Lines Up Front
In this guide, I will compare each of their physical traits to get a somewhat idea of which villain has the upper hand in physical combat. And alongside that, I will also go over all their abilities, wins, and defeats throughout their respective universes to grasp what each of them is capable of.
And, of course, no comparison is complete without considering each of their mentalities and motivations and the lengths they will be willing to go to secure a win. Therefore, at the end of this guide, considering all the statistics and putting aside my biases, I will be crowning one of them as the ultimate being of both universes.
When it comes to a full-blown battle between Thanos and Vader, one worth mentioning factor is their resolve. And there wouldn’t be a better way to see that than by comparing the primary motivations behind each of their actions.
Talking about the Mad Titan, his primary motivation lies in his love for the physical manifestation of Death. His main goal was to please her, which led him to destroy half the universe. Not to mention, due to his connection with Death, Thanos was gifted with immortality, so they couldn’t unite until he was worthy of Lady Death.
Similarly, Darth Vader’s primary inspiration also involves the love of his life, Padme, whom he saw dying in his dream, just like his mother. And just like any other crazy lover, Anakin sought to change this dream. However, upon realizing he couldn’t do it as a Jedi, he grew distant from the Jedi Order and eventually turned toward the Dark Side.
If I draw a comparison between their motivations, it is pretty apparent that both went to extreme lengths in the name of love, and neither of them had any less desire to stop until their goal was met. So, in terms of their resolve, both are at par with each other.
Comparing Base Stats
Now, in this section, I will compare each of them on their base stats while also mentioning which one would have won based on each particular trait. But remember, it will be an objective analysis, so, despite my love for Lord Vader, I would not be exaggerating the facts.
When it comes to raw strength, it’s hard to argue that anyone is as strong as the Mad Titan himself. Being born on the planet Titan, Thanos comes from a race called Titanian Eternals which also happens to be one of the strongest races in all of MCU, with strength comparable to the Celestials themselves.
Seeing this, it’s not hard to imagine that Thanos at least has enough power to destroy planets without any external help.
But that’s not all of it; in some parts of the movies and comics, Thanos also possesses the Power Stone, through which he can crank his power enough to easily take down Thor and destroy the likes of Silver Surfer and Hulk.
Now, when it comes to Darth Vader, his physical strength was well above most Jedi or Sith lords, as he could easily lift two AT-DPs that supposedly weighed around 12 tons each.
His strikes were also said to be equal to a meteor’s impact as he could easily punch through military-grade Durasteel, the primary alloy used to make Starships. But still, it doesn’t amount enough to destroy planets.
Looking at these facts, it’s not hard to say that while both were extremely strong, Thanos would definitely win in a match based on raw strength alone.
Thanos: 1, Vader: 0
Agility and Reflexes
When it comes to agility, Thanos definitely seems like someone who wouldn’t possess much due to his bulky build, but despite that, his speed still rivals an ordinary Eternal.
And this is primarily due to his reflexes being enhanced by Death. Examples of Thanos’ speed include his ability to dodge Captain Marvel’s photon beam, which was supposedly near the speed of light.
Furthermore, he was also able to evade Spider-Man, who could easily shake multiple lightning beams. So, considering these events, although not completely, Thanos’ speed and agility can still overcome some pretty fast attacks.
However, these feats are nothing compared to what Darth Vader can do, thanks to his use of Force. Through his Force, Darth Vader can massively enhance his speed and reflexes, which we constantly see throughout the series.
The Force does not only increase lord Vader’s ability to react and dodge plasma blasters, which wouldn’t even be visible to an ordinary being, but his reflexes are also maxed out, which allows him to be prepared for every anticipated attack, something that makes him react even faster than the speed of light.
So, putting things together, Darth Vader would definitely wipe out Thanos if it was a battle of agility and reflexes alone.
Thanos: 0, Vader: 1
When it comes to stamina, things get a little more complicated, as Darth Vader doesn’t have a full organic body. His actual body was dismembered and burned to a crisp on Mustafar, which was later reconstructed out of mechanical parts, with the primary power source being hydraulics.
Although he was kind of a cyborg, his suit does need to replenish its fluid every six months and also requires a diagnostic checkup every month. Meaning, with small breaks, Darth Vader can fight for a little less than six months at most before his mechanical body falls apart.
Now moving on to Thanos, being a Titan, his body is well adapted to fight prolonged battles, which can be mainly credited to his muscles and his Eternal genetics.
This point is further strengthened by the fact that all his physical abilities were enhanced by Death, including stamina. So, with small breaks, this Mad Titan can go on years of battles.
Therefore, Thanos would definitely have the edge over Vader if a fight had to last for more than half a year.
Thanos: 1, Vader: 0
Durability is another aspect that makes these both behemoths so much more intimidating. And we can compare the maximum force these two can endure by looking at some breathtaking events in the series.
For Thanos, one of his most notable feats regarding durability was his fight against Thor in the comic series Infinity Gauntlet, during which he easily endured all his punches and attacks, which is quite impressive considering that Thor, being a god, had one of the strongest attack powers in all of MCU.
Another example of Thanos’ immense durability was when he was sucked into a black hole from which he could return with just a few minor injuries.
This shows that Thanos has incredibly tough skin and can easily survive weapons like bombs and nuke with only sustaining minor injuries. And let’s not forget, like his other stats, his durability can also be increased by his Gauntlet, putting no limit to what Thanos can withstand.
When it comes to Darth Vader, his durability also seems to have no bounds. As stated before, he mostly has a mechanical body, covered in a suit made of materials like Obsidian, Durasteel, and Plastoid, some of the most robust materials in the Star Wars Universe.
Although his armor was almost impenetrable, the main reason for his durability lies in the use of Force to avoid any harm coming near to him. Be it shielding blaster fires, avoiding the lava on Mustafar, or surviving heavy crushes, the Force mostly served as a medium between his body and the environment.
Therefore, despite having a severed body, his armor and use of Force would place Darth Vader on top in a durability contest.
Thanos: 0, Vader: 1
Intelligence and Battle IQ
Well, as far as the intellect is concerned, both Darth Vader and Thanos possess superhuman levels of intelligence and can quickly come but with elaborate schemes to overcome their foes. And when it comes to battle IQ, both are well adept in the art of war.
Darth Vader is the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Army and a core member of the Imperial High Command, both positions requiring a brilliant mind.
Alongside that, Vader also has a knack for using his surroundings to his advantage, a prime example being how he uses shrapnel and leftover scraps of his own TIE fighter to defeat his enemies on Planet Vrogas Vas. Not to mention, assessing the disturbance in the Force allows him to make well-informed decisions.
On the other hand, Thanos also possesses similar levels of intellect as a ruler of the Black Order and a fleet of leviathans known as Chitauri. Thanos has a skillful mind with piles of knowledge, which allowed him to invent many things that were considered well above the MCU technology.
And I have to say that this skill was enhanced manifolds when he got his hands on the Mind Stone. Moreover, Thanos also stated on an occasion that Bruce Banner’s intelligence wasn’t really that impressive compared to his own.
Thus, when comparing both, it’s hard to crown one the intellectual champion, as both possess similar levels of intelligence and battle IQ.
Thanos: 1, Vader: 1
Comparing Major Superpowers
Now that you are aware of their basic stats, both Thanos and Darth Vader possess countless supernatural powers and abilities that would play a significant role in determining the winner amongst both. But for simplicity, I will explain the ones that would really help defeat the other.
Darth Vader’s Force
When it comes to the Star Wars franchise, Force is an integral part of its universe. Although the Force flows through every living thing, only Force-sensitive beings can harness and control the Force.
Well, lifting objects was a part of a Jedi’s basic training; Vader could lift up some really heavy things or rip them apart in the blink of an eye. I mean, moving around 151 thousand tons of water or pulling down and tearing apart a rebel passenger Starship is a feat, not every Force-wielder can perform.
Therefore, it’s not hard to imagine that Darth Vader could easily pin down Thanos or even choke him to death or might send him flying into the cold space if he really wants to.
Another product of Darth Vader’s use of Force is his mind control. But seeing that Thanos has such a powerful mind that he was able to block out Mantis – who could easily influence the mind of a Celestial – there is not much of a chance that he would be easily controlled by Vader.
Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet
It is hard to argue that Thanos is complete without his iconic Infinity Gauntlet, so hear me out when I put his gauntlet against Darth Vader.
In their match-up, I am pretty sure that Thanos would be using the Time stone a lot, and he might effortlessly age Vader enough, turning him into the sand. Or even better, he can send Vader into a time loop as Dr. Strange did with Dormammu.
Furthermore, as Time stone isn’t the only power source in that Gauntlet, Thanos could also use Reality Stone, which can control reality and shape. So, Thanos might turn himself into Padme, bringing out the worst of Vader and dealing a blow when he is out of balance.
Let’s not forget about the Soul stone, with which he can control and alter souls at will. Now, after discombobulating Vader, Thanos can quickly kill Vader by pulling out his soul.
However, for this to happen, Vader had to fight Thanos in the Marvel universe, as in the Star Wars universe, Vader would most probably transform into a Force Spirit, or, who knows, he might be revived after his death like Darth Sidious.
Moving on, if you are wondering why I have missed out on the Mind stone, let me be clear; it wouldn’t be much of a help considering that Siths like Vader are primarily resistant to mind control due to their strong connection with the Force.
Vader’s and Thanos’ Weaknesses
In a battle between these two power moguls, it’s no surprise that they will try their best to exploit all of each other’s weaknesses. Thus, here is a list of the significant weakness we can observe throughout their stories.
When it comes to Vader, many fans would agree that his greatest weapon is the mechanical suit that allowed him to gain superhuman strength and durability. But alongside that, I would also argue that it’s also his greatest weakness.
The first reason is his dependency on it; without it, he can’t survive, and Thanos can easily focus on destroying it to win.
Not to mention, due to his suit’s weight and hefty build, his speed and mobility have massively plummeted, as he is much slower than when he was Anakin.
However, that doesn’t mean he moves at a snail’s pace; being the greatest Sith lord, he is still faster than Thanos. Still, he would have been an unstoppable enemy if he had his original body.
Alongside mobility, his suit is also vulnerable to many things which wouldn’t have affected Anakin. And one such thing is Force lighting which, while Darth Vader can easily endure, his suit can’t.
We can see this when he tries to stop Palpatine from killing Luke, during which his suit’s life support fails, and he ends up dead. To exploit this, Thanos can quickly blast Vader’s armor with some lighting blast and fry his life support system.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Vader can’t sense beings who don’t have the Force flowing through them. So, if the battle has to take place in the Marvel universe, Vader would not be able to sense Thanos’ attack in advance.
When it comes to this mad Titan, there are very few weaknesses that Darth Vader can actually exploit to take advantage in a fight. And among them, one is Thanos’ ego.
Coming from a proud race of Eternals, his pride and ego are far above what you would see in the case of any other villain in the MCU. But while this gives his character a sense of intimidation, it also makes him quite arrogant.
And we can also see that in Avengers: Infinity War, in his fight against Iron Man, where instead of instantly beating him, Thanos keeps throwing small punches, considering Tony Stark not worthy of his full wrath.
So it would not be wrong to suggest that Darth Vader can easily stall him until Vader comes up with a solid plan to beat him.
Another possible weakness that I am pretty convinced relates to Thanos’ love for his beloved, Lady Death, for whom he could go to any extent, which also includes dying just to get united with her.
So, with this information, it would not be wrong to suggest that Darth Vader can try to convince Thanos to die by his hands so both he and Lady Death can finally be united.
The Hypothetical Battle Between the Sith Lord and Prime Eternal
Now is the part you all have been waiting for. But before I take these marvelous villains to the arena, I should mention that I am not considering Thanos’ immortality and Darth Vader’s ability to transform into a Force Spirit; after all, we want to see the end of one villain, don’t we?
To give them a fair fighting chance, I would be taking Thanos to the Star Wars universe, as lord Vader would not be able to use any Force if he were in the Marvel universe. Now, the planet is Korriban; Thanos arrives on his ship; he and Darth Vader exchange looks; Master Yoda rings the Boxing Bell, and the fight begins…
Scene #1 – And Who You Might Be?!
For the first scenario, I am not going to provide these infamous villains with any information about each other.
Thanos, being a punch-thrower, dashes toward lord Vader. Vader, trying to assess his enemy, easily avoids Thanos attack. On his next move, Vader tries to evade Thanos again.
However, on the contrary, until Vader figures out Thanos’ exact move, the Mad Titan, now a little aware of his opponent, uses any of the Infinity stones and brings Vader to his knees. Period!
Scene #2 – I Have Been Waiting for You, Mad Titan
Now, let’s spice things up a bit, with both parties having sufficient information about each other before their fight.
Thanos, knowing such a powerful Force wielder lord Vader is, tries to use his infinity stones. But before he could even move a muscle, Darth Vader uses his Force to either immobilize Thanos’ hand or pull out his gauntlet altogether.
Consequently, Thanos is left with just his base powers and strength, which primarily include his incredible durability and strength.
On the other hand, Vader still has his Force which he could use to further pin down Thanos before cutting him into several pieces using his lightsaber.
Thanos tries to save himself from this fate by using eye beams. Still, since Darth Vader can react at the speed of light, he uses Force to stop the beam or even reflects it back to Thanos using the Soresu lightsaber technique.
Being unable to move, Thanos is only left with three options: get choked by Force; get dismembered by Force; or get decapitated by Vader’s Sith lightsaber.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Has Darth Vader Ever Been Defeated?
Answer: Very few characters can even get the guts up to face the Sith Lord. And this is mainly due to this overwhelming experience and abilities that make it impossible for any average Superhero or Jedi to hold his own against him.
But despite this, there have been instances in the Star Wars series where Darth Vader actually lost in a duel; for instance, in a face-off with his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his son, Luke Skywalker.
Question: Can Darth Vader Defeat the Incredible Hulk?
Answer: When it comes to the MCU, many argue that Hulk is one of the most powerful characters in the Cosmos; as fired by rage, his power has no limit and thus can defeat anyone if he’s angry enough.
Alongside this, Hulk also has one of the fastest healing factors in all of MCU and can fight days without getting slow, as seen in his fight against Pitt, which lasted across centuries.
But raw strength and healing aren’t only enough to defeat the Sith Lord, as he possesses years of experience and a mind almost as powerful as Yoda’s. Moreover, Vader also has the power of the Force, allowing him to control anything at his fingertips, which, of course, also includes Hulk’s movements.
So, in a 1v1 match, Darth Vader would definitely beat Hulk, as the latter wouldn’t even get a chance to touch him in the first place.
Question: Did Thanos and Darth Vader Ever Fight Each Other?
Answer: From the canon timeline of both universes, Darth Vader and Thanos haven’t actually fought each other. And as both also live in totally different universes, there’s not much of a chance this will ever happen.
But it should also be remembered that Disney now owns both the Star Wars and Marvel franchises, so a collab in the future may not be out of the question.
And the Winner is…
To find out our winner, let’s first come to an agreement. As both Marvel and Star Wars universes are pretty progressive, it is more reasonable to construe that none of the opponents are ignorant of each other.
Therefore, Thanos would be at a greater disadvantage against Vader’s reflexes and Force-based attacks, and his reliance on the Infinity Stones to deal some significant damage would make him quite vulnerable because of his inability to move in front of Vader.
So, the winner of this matchup is – the all-time greatest Sith lord and the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces – DARTH VADER!
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