Kevin Smith says Darth Vader and Skeletor are pop culture’s greatest villains

skeletor masters of the universe revelation

There’s no question that he’s one of the most beloved animated villains out there, but Kevin Smith thinks Skeletor is one of the finest bad guys in all of pop culture. Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation has revived the classic 80s character for the 2020s, with the lord of Snake Mountain now voiced by Star Wars icon Mark Hamill. Speaking of Star Wars, it’s Smith’s belief that Darth Vader is the only antagonist around who can match up to Skeletor.

While chatting with Thrillist, the Revelation showrunner was asked for his thoughts on where Skeletor stands in the halls of famous villains. Smith admitted that he has a “controversial” opinion on the matter as he thinks Skeletor and Vader are the single two finest villains in TV and movies, though he later adds DC’s Joker (also played by Hamill on many occasions) to that list. Smith thinks that much of his popularity comes from his “badass” character design. As he put it:

“This could be controversial due to the fact that I’m working on Masters of the Universe, but honestly, I think it goes Darth Vader, Skeletor,” Smith said. “Thinking about pop culture villains, who else ranks as high? And I’m not just talking about your misunderstood villains like Frankenstein or Dracula. I’m talking about true villain—somebody who has nothing but bad intended. So I feel like you got Darth Vader, Skeletor, Joker, and then somewhere down the list, you got some Marvel villains, but I put him high up there, man. Even people who don’t know Masters of the Universe know Skeletor because he’s just a badass visual. He’s got a skull for a face. That’s metal as hell.”

Smith makes a great point that Skeletor is one of those truly iconic characters that anyone off the street would be able to name and recognize because they are simply that famous and ingrained in the public consciousness. With that reasoning, he makes a good case that the scourge of Eternia deserves to rank alongside Vader at the very top of the villain leaderboard. Even if Skeletor doesn’t traditionally possess the depth of someone like the Sith lord.

That said, Revelation has done a lot to add some more meat on Skeletor’s bones so far, transforming him into a much more formidable and sinister threat than he was in the original cartoon. In Part 2, we even see him claim the Power of Grayskull for himself, allowing for some epic battles with Prince Adam. The finale also teased some intriguing twists and turns ahead.

Catch all 10 episodes of Masters of the Universe: Revelation season 1 on Netflix now.