I actually meant to do this yesterday, but New Year’s Eve was kind of busy, so I will announced the 2018 winner of the coveted (not) Darth Vader Parenthood Award for Outstandingly Horrible Fictional Parents on the first (well, second, since it just turned midnight) day of 2019 instead.
I have been informally awarding the Darth Vader Parenthood Award since sometime in the 1980s with the earliest awards being retroactive. Over the years, the list of winners migrated from a handwritten page via various computer file formats, updated every year. Last year, I finally decided to make the winners public on the Internet, because what’s an award without some publicity and a ceremony? The list of previous winners (in PDF format) may be found here, BTW.
In some years, the race for the Darth Vader Parenthood Award is close and we have had several years of joint wins as well as several honourable mentions. But in 2018, there really was no question who would win. A forerunner emerged early in the year and was so monstrous that there really was no contest.
And so the winners of the 2018 Darth Vader Parenthood Award for Outstandingly Horrible Fictional Parents is:
Created by Jim Starlin and portrayed by Josh Brolin in Avengers: Infinity War, everybody’s least favourite purple murder eggplant (as someone on Twitter fittingly called him), not only tortured both his adoptive daughters, after murdering their biological parents, and murdered the one daughter he really seemed to care about, no, he also went on to finger-snap half the population of the universe, including his daughter’s boyfriend and most of her best friends, out of existence.
Such outstanding villainy deserves a reward and so Thanos is the undisputed winner of the 2018 Darth Vader Parenthood Award for outstandingly horrible fictional parents.
This is Thanos’ second win after a joint win with his fellow mass murdering cosmic entity Ego the Living Planet in 2017. This puts Thanos on par with the other two double winners Anakin Skywalker a.k.a. Darth Vader himself and Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth (as well as Howard Stark with two honourable mentions for rank incompetence as a father) and one win behind all-time champion Tywin Lannister with three wins.
Thanos himself was not available for comment nor did he pick up his award in person, since he apparently retired to an unknown planet to take up horticulture.
Looking ahead at this year, the question is whether Thanos will do it again and win the triple, once he returns from retirement in Avengers: Endgame. Or will Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan finally win more than an honourable mention, when Star Trek Discovery returns this year? Or will our next winner be a dark horse, emerging out of nowhere?
You’ll find out the answer in this space.