Darth Vader vs. Thanos: Which Iconic Villain Would Win in a Fight?

vader vs thanos

In the fictional world, we’ve seen a lot of different strong villains that were able to become icons in their own right, especially when it comes to their counterparts in the movies. Of course, Star Wars will forever see Darth Vader as the most iconic villain in the entire galaxy. On the other hand, the MCU and the world of Marvel Comics have seen their fair share of Thanos, one of the most popular villains in Marvel history. So, in a fight between Darth Vader and Thanos, who would win?

Thanos will defeat Darth Vader almost every single time because he is superior in almost everything that matters in a fight. While Darth Vader can make the fight interesting with the use of the Force, Thanos is just too strong and durable for the Sith Lord to defeat.

While it might be true that Vader has always been one of the most iconic fictional villains, it goes without saying that the characters of Star Wars aren’t as exaggerated as the ones we see in Marvel Comics. That means Thanos’ power level is superior to Vader and any other character in Star Wars. So, with that said, let’s look at how Thanos is superior compared to Vader.

Physical attributes

Darth Vader was a fearsome Sith Lord who could strike with powerful, ferocious lightsaber blows. His cybernetic enhancements gave him more physical strength than most other characters in Star Wars.

However, while he is still much faster than most other characters in the galaxy, he isn’t as fast and mobile as he was when he was still the Jedi Knight known as Anakin Skywalker. And he also has to stay inside his life-support suit to stay alive whenever he isn’t inside a Bacta tank.


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Both in the MCU and the comics, Thanos has always been portrayed as one of the most physically imposing characters in the universe. He possesses strength that could rival the Hulk and is incredibly durable to the point that he doesn’t easily get injured, no matter how strong the attack is.

Thanos may not be the fastest character, but he is certainly quick and agile enough to keep up with fast characters, even though he is so much bigger than most characters in the MCU and the comics.

This isn’t even a question. Thanos has enough strength and durability to handle the Hulk. On the other hand, Vader’s strength and durability aren’t far off from a regular human.

Vader 0, Thanos 1

Powers and abilities

Darth Vader was born with the highest potential in the Force, a cosmic energy that binds all things in the Star Wars world. While his potential diminished, Vader could still prove how strong he was in using the Force by being able to basically ragdoll people with his mind and hurl entire boulders toward his enemies.

At one point, he was even able to stop an entire ship from launching just by pulling it down with the telekinetic ability of the Force.

vader vs kenobi

In the MCU, Thanos has no powers when he doesn’t have the Infinity Gauntlet. He is simply a physical powerhouse on the Hulk’s level. However, in the comics, Thanos possesses various powers and abilities, such as limited telekinesis, energy manipulation, and projection.

However, he was always at his strongest when he had the Infinity Gauntlet, which wasn’t always the case in the MCU and the comics.

Without the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos is more of a physical powerhouse than someone who actually has powers. That’s why Vader has the edge here because he can actually use the Force in any kind of situation. 

Vader 1, Thanos 1

Fighting skills

Trained to be a Jedi ever since he was still just nine years old, Darth Vader is an excellent combatant that could defeat opponents in both armed and unarmed combat. He mostly excelled with a lightsaber in his hand, especially because the Jedi and the Sith are supposed to use lightsabers in a fight.

However, he can also hold his own without using a lightsaber, as Jedi and Sith are also trained in using different forms of martial arts that allow them to win fights unarmed.


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While he doesn’t like to use his fists, Thanos has always been portrayed as a master combatant well-versed in many different forms of fighting after living for more than a thousand years in the MCU. In the MCU, we saw him easily outclassing the Hulk in a fistfight without even putting too much effort against one of the true powerhouses of the MCU.

Then, in ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ Thanos pretty much held his own against multiple members of the Avengers, who took turns to get a crack at him but was only defeated when Iron Man used the Infinity Gauntlet.


While it might be true that Darth Vader is one of the best lightsaber duelists in the entire Star Wars world, what is also true is that Thanos has been fighting for a very long time and has fought and defeated countless champions throughout the universe.

Vader 1, Thanos 2


Fighting in the Clone Wars as one of the most reliable soldiers for the Republic allowed Darth Vader to gain enough experience as a fighter, even though he was just in his early 20s at that time.

After that, he earned more experience as the Empire’s enforcer when he scoured the galaxy for traitors, rebels, and Jedi survivors for more than 20 years. As such, he was one of the most experienced Sith Lords in the entire Star Wars storyline.

cere vs vader

Thanos has been around for a very long time in both the MCU and the comics. In the MCU, he has been around for more than a thousand years, which means that he has fought and survived countless battles against some of the strongest champions of the galaxy throughout his entire lifetime.

There’s a reason why he became a warlord with an entire army at his disposal, as he conquered entire worlds and decimated populations in the 1,000 years he has been around.

Even though Vader’s experience speaks for itself, he just can’t hold a candle to the 1,000 years of experience that Thanos has under his belt. That’s why the Mad Titan takes this round once more.

Vader 1, Thanos 3


As a veteran of the Clone Wars, Darth Vader was very intelligent in terms of the strategies that he used in a fight. He could adjust on the fly and use different tactics that can be considered risky and unconventional in the eyes of the Jedi Order and the Republic. However, he almost always got the job done using unconventional tactics.

But one of Vader’s biggest weaknesses was his inability to control his emotions, as he almost always allowed his emotional side to get the better.


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Arguably the scariest part about Thanos is his intelligence because he has always been a genius among his kind and was known for being an expert in all fields of knowledge throughout the universe.

There is also a good reason to believe that he is among the most intelligent non-god beings in the universe, and that allowed him to formulate useful strategies in the many battles and wars he waged throughout his life. As such, Thanos is most dangerous whenever he uses his mind to its full extent.

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While Darth Vader’s military strategies are unique and effective, Thanos is basically in the upper echelons regarding his intelligence in the Marvel universe. That’s why the Mad Titan takes this round once more even though he may not look like he is quite intelligent.

Vader 1, Thanos 4

Darth Vader vs. Thanos: Who wins?

When you look at it, the only area that Vader holds an advantage over Thanos is his ability to control the cosmic energy known as the Force. But his advantage over the comic book version of Thanos in terms of his powers isn’t even significant. On the other hand, Thanos outclasses him any day in every aspect that matters in a fight. And that’s why not even the dreaded Sith Lord stands a chance against one of the strongest villains in the entire Marvel Comics universe.

Who do you think would win in this fight? Let us know in the comments!

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