42. Darth Vader vs. Saruman
Who Was Darth Vader? Powerful Jedi turned to the Dark Side
Who Was Saruman? Powerful Wizard turned to the dark side
Verdict: Both Darth Vader and Saruman kind of cut tragic figures, don’t they? Neither started out evil, exactly. They were tempted by those that capitalize on temptation and turned into the villains they would eventually die as.
You can’t say it’s not their faults for falling into Palpatine and Sauron’s respective traps. They both had plenty of warning and knowledge about what they were getting into and were too weak to stop themselves.
Saruman is more or less irredeemable. He’s defiant even after the Ents blow up Isengard, not able to admit his mistakes and perhaps repent.
There is something more compelling about Vader. He eventually dies at the hands of Palpatine after he defies his master in order to save his son Luke. In the process he actually ends up killing Palpatine as well in what ends up being a mostly symbolic act considering the second Death Star was moments away from blowing up anyways, but still. He took the first steps in righting his past wrongs, albeit way too late.
Star Wars wins
Next: 41. Emperor Palpatine vs. Sauron