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Gunray: The war is over! Lord Sidious promised us peace! We only want...
Before Gunray can finish, Anakin finishes him off.
A subtrope of Evil Versus Evil, this is for when a previous villain, whether a significant or minor one, is made significantly less of a threat (or in some cases outright killed) with the help of the next villain. The previous villain is put aside, to make way for the new villains.
This often implies that the new villain is more competent, more evil, or for whatever other reason more threatening, but not necessarily. Cases where the new villain is less threatening instead can qualify as this trope, too. May be the result of Big Damn Villains.
Compare Always a Bigger Fish, which sometimes overlaps with this but not always and Sorting Algorithm of Evil. Also The Worf Effect, depending on how they take them out. In video games, this is often the True Final Boss.
- After Keith Giffen took over the second series of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, he did a storyline where Carnelian is killed off to make way for the return of the first series' Big Bad Dark Opal. This lasts for one page in that issue and two pages in the following issue before Dark Opal himself is dispatched to make way for the new villains, The Child and Flaw.
- In the buildup to the Great Darkness Saga in the Legion of Super-Heroes (which Keith Giffen also worked on -- he seems to love this trope), previous Big Bads Mordru and the Time Trapper are found beaten and helpless to show how bad the villain behind the Great Darkness Saga (who turns out to be Darkseid) is.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man the first thing Mysterio did when he showed up was shoot the Kingpin out of a window.
- In Fantastic Four when the Marquis of Death appeared he set Doctor Doom on fire and tossed him into prehistory. Unsurprisingly, he came back.
- Incognito Cinema Warriors XP: Comically ineffectual, possibly senile Dr. Harrison Blackwood, who has been holding Rick and the 'bots captive, is knocked out and shipped out for brainwashing in episode four by Jonathan Kincaid, who promptly reveals that he can shut down the 'bots, give Rick a brain aneurysm with the press of a button, and reconnect calls through the viewscreen after being hung up on.
- As implied by the page quote, Anakin killing Gunray and his minions in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is an example of this.
- A non-lethal example is in Batman Begins, when vicious crime boss Carmine Falcone is trying to Blackmail corrupt psychiatrist Jonathan Crane... who in turn sprays fear toxin in Falcone's face then and there, forcing Falcone into an intense panic attack and leaving him insane for the rest of the movie.
- In Jurassic Park 3, a Spinosaurus appears out of nowhere and kills a T. rex for no reason other than to announce how much more powerful and mean he is than the last big evil dinosaur.
- Calvin killing William Henry Harrison in The Tales of Alvin Maker.
- In Magic: The Gathering, Volrath, the Big Bad (actually their Dragon, but for all intents and purposes) of the Weatherlight saga is missing and presumed dead after a climactic showdown near the end of the first half of the story. When he reappears midway through the second half, in sufficiently badass and grandiose fashion, it's only to be killed in a one on one duel to the death by Crovax, who becomes the new Ascendent Evincar.
- In "Star Trek: Voyager", Species 8472 is introduced by destroying an armada of Borg Cubes.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Anointed One (a little kid vampire who was held over from season one) is shoved into a cage and hoisted into sunlight early in season two by Spike.
- Power Rangers Zeo has the Machine Empire booting out Lord Zedd and Rita. Before that Zedd booted out Rita. She came back of course.
- This is done to Captain Crais by Scorpius at the end of the first season of Farscape. In fact, it's done in three different ways: first, he manages to convince Crais's own bodyguards into obeying his orders and putting their boss in the Aurora Chair; secondly, he takes over Crais's command carrier and has him stripped of rank and office; finally, just to drive home the fact that Scorpius is well and truly in control, Crais tries to kill him and ends up having his ass kicked for his troubles.
- In Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pearl suffocating a baby-fied Forrester to death, and turning out to be more dangerous.
- In Doctor Who, the old Daleks allow themselves to be killed by the new ones, agreeing that they're impure and should be destroyed.
- Happens in Stargate SG-1 when the Replicators start picking off the Goa'uld, who, up until that point, had been formidable enemies.
- Heroes loved to do this. Arthur announced his prescence by killing Adam, and shortly afterward killing Maury. Arthur in turn was killed off by Sylar, who had previously disposed of Bob. Then Danko was killed by Edgar on behalf of Samuel. And that's not even counting all the minor villains killed by Sylar.
- In Family Guy, the "evil monkey" getting a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Dylan [Brian's son] is a clear case of this. While the monkey later turns out to be a nice guy, up until that point he had been a villain, albeit minor. And, in that episode, the point was to show that Dylan was going to be harder to deal with than the monkey.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Princess Azula's first episode has her telling Zuko and Iroh of their fugitive status and almost managing to capture them.
- In Super Robot Wars Z2: Rebirth Chapter, Uther does this to Gaioh.
- Runescape's "Ritual of the Mahjarrat" quest officially, and properly, introduces the Dragonkin by having them gang up on a recently renewed and overpowered Lucien by kicking him to the curb and impaling him with his own staff.