Who would win the ultimate showdown between the beloved characters of screen icon Mark Hamill
Who would win in a fight, The Joker or Luke Skywalker?
This and questions similar have been asked many times over the course of time. Both are characters that have a rich history that spans decades. One fights for the light side of the Force (occasionally dabbling in the dark), while the other not only lives in the dark, but also thrives in it…revelling in its sadistic intricacies.
Just as a note, for the context of this argument, I am going to be focusing on the incarnation of Luke Skywalker we see at the end of Return of the Jedi, and The Joker made famous in Batman The Animated Series…both portrayed by screen icon Mark Hamill.
With that, let’s get started.
While at first glance, it may appear that Luke has the upper hand due to his heightened Force abilities and reliable Jedi Mind Trick, when pitted against the sadistic Joker, one also has to remember that he is pure nuts. While his mind may not be the strongest, it is completely unpredictable. Even if Luke was somehow successful, it would likely only be for a fleeting moment or two before The Joker regained his composure. Chances are, when he did, he’d be furious…before laughing and retaliating in his own “special” Joker way of course.
Of course, the Mind Trick is not this Jedi’s only skill. Along with that, he also has the ability to Force Push: create a wave of air that repels an enemy, Force Choke: chokes ones enemy from a distance, and Force Enhanced Jumps: leaps that no ordinary human could make. Despite all this though, Luke would still have his hands full with the Joker.
Evaluating Luke’s abilities, he could in theory keep Force Pushing the Joker so he’s constantly kept at length, but that would require a great deal of strength and concentration to be maintained over the course of a full battle. Moreover, once the Joker realized what Luke was doing, he could easily find a way to distract Luke long enough to circumnavigate his defences and kill him…or even worse. Yes, with The Joker there are things far worse than death.
Now, in theory Luke could simply drop into the dark side for a hot second and Force Choke The Joker, thus quickly ending the fight, but as he once said, “I am a Jedi like my father before me.” As such, the Jedi don’t Force Choke their adversaries. Now before anyone gets up in arms saying he did exactly that in the beginning of a little film called Return of the Jedi, the circumstances were quite different. In that case, he simply didn’t have time to mess around with simple minded guards. Also, there is nothing specifically saying he Force Choked them to death. No, more than likely it did just enough to render them unconscious and allowing him to slip past. This is not to say I condone it, simply that it’s another topic for another article at another time.
So, that’s both Force Push and Choke ruled-out as options. Next up as a possible defence is Force Jump. This would work exactly in reverse of the Push. Instead of him pushing The Joker away, he would be able to jump out of range of his attack. Over the course of an entire battle, like with the latter tactic, it would not be a sustainable option. At the same time, it alone would not be defence enough.
This is where Luke’s only other option of using his lightsaber would come into play. The main problem with this is that while it works great as a shield (defending him and at times even deflecting bolts back at his enemy), and a sword (attacking The Joker head on), the problem is that this particular enemy is trickier than any he’s encountered before. So tricky in fact, that even his normal adversary Batman, has had his fair share of trouble with him. Luke, I love you and all, but sorry, Bats just seems smarter than you. Well, then again, you did manage to stay hidden for 30 odd years, so….eh, another topic for another time.
Getting back to The Joker, it’s time to delve into his bag of tricks. Let’s see, along with being completely insane/psychotic/unpredictable, he can apparently survive just about anything, knows how to get inside someone’s head and stay there, and has demonstrated acts of pure genius at times. One would almost have to be in order to constantly escape his normal adversary, The Dark Knight. When coming face to face with a sinister personality such as The Joker, whoever goes against him has a serious fight on their hands.
So, to start with, The Joker is obviously pretty…unstable, to sum him up in a word. Due to this, not only would Luke be unable to use his Mind Trick on him as previously mentioned, but he would also have a difficult time of anticipating his next move. The Joker rarely if ever uses the same trick twice, especially in the same battle. As such, Luke would constantly be kept on his toes, never quite knowing which direction his foe would attack from next.
While Luke has dealt with similar tactics before, his enemies in the past have at least had rational, if only slightly in comparison mad, minds. In those cases, he would at least have several ideas of where they could attack from next depending on the environment in which the duel is taking place. With The Joker on the other hand, there is little chance of anticipating his next move before it happens, especially in the midst of a fight.
Moving on, even if Luke were to use a weapon of some kind on him, be it a grenade, blaster, stun shot, or even Chewbacca’s Bow-caster, chances are, The Joker would survive. He shares the tenacity of a cockroach that way. Never seems to stay down for long. Even if Luke managed to render him unconscious, The Joker likely wouldn’t stay that way long enough for him to capitalise on it.
Now, this is the part where Joker might run into some trouble with Luke. The latter has been manipulated before, and as such would likely be immune to many psychological tricks. Note the word ‘might’ though. The Joker is crafty and unpredictable. As such, there is a possibility that he could not only get inside Luke’s head, but also stay there…twisting and manipulating his thoughts on a psychological level. As witnessed in one of his duels with Darth Vader aboard the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, Luke is capable of losing his temper and falling to the Dark Side. All it would need is the right trigger…and The Joker is the best in the business when it comes to psychological warfare. Once that is accomplished, all bets are off.
Continuing, despite being mentally unhinged, one could even go so far as to say he’s a genius. As mentioned in the beginning of this section, he would have to be in order to even have a chance at being able to keep up with his normal adversary, the Dark Knight. If not for his wits and psychotic guile, he would more than likely be relegated to the realm of villains such as “The Condiment King”, “The Mad Hatter”, “Baby Doll” and the like; villains that simply have a sad backstory, but pose very little threat to an adversary as cunning as The Batman.
With all that said, who would win in a fight, A) Luke, or B) The Joker?
After weighing up the evidence and thinking about this quite a bit, I would have to say The Joker would win. Luke, I love you, but in spite of all your Force Powers, Joker would likely just be able to out think you. More than that, Batman is a far superior adversary, and even he has his hands full with the clown prince of crime.
Sorry Luke, but the last laugh goes to The Joker. Please be sure to leave a comment or tweet me saying whether you agree with this or not, and why.
May The Force Be With You…Always!