Why do we love villains?

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There’s no getting away from it, we love a good villain these days. Whether it’s the obsession among some Star Wars fans with the relatively minor character Boba Fett, the cult status of Tony Soprano, or the massive fanning out that takes place over Loki – bad is the new good.

It’s something I’m so used to that I’ve never really questioned it. But this video made me think again about why we love villains and what that means for us as a society:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVfBnZPgXC4&w=560&h=315]


Honestly, I’m not sure whether an obsession with villains makes us less idealistic or just more varied in our tastes. I think its relevance is a very big question with all sorts of interpretations. Anything that makes us less condemnatory is good, but that doesn’t mean it’s not also problematic.

What do you think? Why all the villain fandom? What does it mean, if anything at all?