Choirs of daemons howl in salute as they sense his flagship exiting from warpspace at the edge of the system. Chains of cities across the surface of the planet are set ablaze in welcome as his battle barge slides into orbit. Thousands of slaves are sacrificed in celebration as he sets foot upon the surface, the very earth beneath him soaked in the blood of his victims.Generally below the Dimension Lord but above The Emperor and the Evil Overlord lies this guy. Maybe he wants to conquer the universe. Maybe he wants to kill everyone in it. Whatever he does, he'll be crazy-mad powerful, so it's going to take a whole boatload of heroes to take him down. Sometimes he'll have an army to back him up, but more often than not, he'll work alone, relying on his incredibly vast cosmic powers to crush the good guys. Many have both. These characters are usually male, although modern works are offering more and more females the opportunity to enslave entire galaxies. Distinguishable from the Eldritch Abomination in that these guys have somewhat human motives for what they do. Often, this is what the Sealed Evil in a Can turns into once it's unsealed. Take this Up to Eleven, and you get a Multiversal Conqueror.
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Anime & Manga
- The Holy Nightmare Corporation, the Big Bad of the Kirby anime, is stated to have already successfully conquered the universe and defeated at least one major resistance movement... but a Kid Hero is shaping up to take them down.
- King Vega from UFO Robo Grendizer, one of the Mazinger Z sequels. He was emperor of a warrior race and ruled over a planet was dying due to overexploitation from one of its resources -a radioactive and highly unstable ore named Vegatron-, so he started to conquer other planets to find another world to settle on. He used to say his army was the most powerful one in the universe.
- Dragon Ball examples:
- Freeza - immensely powerful to the point of being considered invincible, he nonetheless usually has his army to do the actual fighting. Known for exterminating large portions of planets' populations and enslaving the rest, or simply killing off the entire population and selling the planet to the highest bidder, his name was feared by all spacefaring civilizations throughout the galaxy. The fact that he could blow up your planet on a whim just served as further incentive to surrender.
- Lord Slug is a Composite Character of Freeza and King Piccolo from early Dragon Ball.
- Zoltar from Battle of the Planets (and only Battle Of the Planets. The original Gatchaman was set entirely on Earth, villains and all!)
- Zarkon and his son, Lotor from Voltron.
- Reinhard von Lohengramm, the protagonist of Legend of Galactic Heroes is a rare heroic example of this trope (although he might count as an Anti-Hero. Might.) He wants to unite all of space under his rule. The thing about it is that his Empire is actually pretty awesome because he's a superb ruler. They're opposed by the democractic Free Planets Alliance. A huge topic in the series is basically the conflict between a good autocracy and a rotten democracy.
- Subverted twice: first, Yang Wen-Li, his rival from the Free Planet Alliance is a much better conqueror than him (a pissed Yang can fight Reinhard to a standstill with a tenth of his troops), the only thing stoping him from conquering the galaxy being his lack of ambition and distaste for playing political games; and second, the real Galactic Conqueror is not Reinhard but his wife, Hilda, the only character in the verse who actually manage to outgambit Yang
- Empress Ramaj from Crest of the Stars, like above-mentioned Reinhard von Lohengramm, is also a rare heroic example. She is an empress of a militaristic feudal space empire that conquers every world it encounters and the show revolves around her empire's war against The Alliance of democratic states. The goal of The Empire is to subjugate humankind to its benevolent authoritarian rule and lead it to an era of endless peaace and prosperity. She is not the protagonist, though, but a Big Good and grandmother of the protagonist.
- The aptly-named Sailor Galaxia from Sailor Moon. No points for guessing what is that last planet she needs to conquer to complete her quest.
- To Love-Ru has Lala's father being one of these.
- Marvel Universe:
- This is a general characterization for most cosmic-centric supervillains within the Marvel Universe. Some prominent terran-centric supervillains like Doctor Doom and Kang The Conqueror occasionally branch off into this trope, when their ambition exceeds their normal boundaries.
- Thanos of Titan has embodied this trope in the past, with his obsession with ultimate power and Death being his primary motivations. His first appearance had him conqueroring his home planet of Titan with similar plans for Earth. Characterization Marches On, however, and he is now simply a Genius Bruiser Omni-Disciplinary Mad Scientist whose motivations range from It Amused Me to Omnicidal Maniac, the latter to impress his girlfriend (or, currently, because she dumped him and he's going to take it out on everyone else).
- And when we mean "Obsession with Death" we mean the Stalker With a Crush kind of obsession. Said girlfriend is Death.
- Annihilus, The Supreme Intelligence, at times the Skrulls and, mostly whenever Lilandra isn't in charge, the Shi'ar emperor/empress tends to fill this role too, especially when Vulcan was in charge.
- Terminus the cosmic strip-miner.
- A large percentage of the giant monsters from Marvel's pre-super hero days were alien invaders (Goom, his son Googam, etc.). Even Groot, who has since done a Heel–Face Turn, started out this way.
- A lesser known one is Arm'Chedon(Armeggedon), an enemy of The Hulk from the 90s and leader of the Troyjan Empire. He was so busy conquering planets that he didn't even notice he had two sons running around until one of them got killed harassing the Pantheon(Hulk's team at the time) on Earth, and the other died in trail by combat with the Hulk. He swore vengeance, but got all of one appearance until well over a decade later.
- The DCU:
- Across countless worlds, for countless eons, not a voice is raised in hope or joy. Across these worlds, these infinite lands throughout the cosmos, there is only Darkseid.
- Brainiac. His goals and methods have varied a lot over the years, but he still usually fits this trope.
- Mongul (both of them), the despotic ruler of War World. Galactic domination has always been his end game.
- Despero and Kanjar Ro are much lower-tier versions of this trope. Kanjar Ro is usually treated as a joke villain these days.
- Starro the Conqueror, although his more powerful appearances drift him more towards being an Eldritch Abomination.
- Megatron from the various Transformers canon.
- Khaal: The Chronicles of a Galactic Emperor is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but granted he doesn't start out as one in the comic proper: he is introduced as a fearsome warlord in a prison spaceship that gets invaded by superior aliens, but Khaal manages to kill their leader and take control of the invaders. He turns his attention to the rest of the galaxy and aims to conquer every world in his way. The comic ends with him finding and conquering Earth.
- Warlord Kroz from Tech 10 Rebooted is a Noble Demon variety of this, having conquered around 72 planets on his quest to find a Worthy Opponent, but simply leaving them alone afterwards.
- In The Shape of the Nightmare to Come and The Age of Dusk, Abaddon finally manages to take over all of Segmentum Obscurus.
Films — Live-Action
- Palpatine from Star Wars is the consummate example of this trope, though he did it through pure Magnificent Bastardry rather than outright force. He got voted into absolute power, after masterminding a civil war after a millenium of peace (in which he was secretly the leader of both sides), resulting in him receiving popular support for his authoritarian reforms. By the time he declared himself Emperor, he already had absolute control of the Republic...or, as he declared it, the first! Galactic! EMPIRE!
Padmé Amidala: So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause...
- Ming the Merciless from the Flash Gordon film is referred to as the Emperor of the Universe and the Galaxy. The fact that he can casually cause moons to collide with planets and rain down "natural" disasters on every solar system when he wants to test them definitely places him on the level of Galactic Conqueror. However, he only exercises direct control over his homeworld and it's moons.
- The Lord Marshal, leader of the Necromongers from the Riddick franchise. They're basically space-faring Knight Templar crusaders led by a "holy-half dead" leader who move from planet to planet, converting anyone they can find and killing anyone who refuses.
- The Beast in Krull.
- Emperor Zhark in the Thursday Next series. In his book series he regularly destroys and enslaves whole worlds. In person he's a pretty nice guy, though he does tend to overreact a bit, like responding to a shoot out in a Western book by deploying Space Marines.
- Paul Atreides, the hero of Dune, brought his dynasty to supreme power by threatening to destroy the all-important Spice.
- The Mule, in the Foundation series, damn near scuttles the Seldon Plan, as psychohistory can't predict things like mutants with mind control powers and attitude problems.
- The Real goal of Mesa in Honor Harrington, as part of their goals overthrowing the anti-transhuman culture.
- In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, the mentioned but unseen Conquerors seem to be an entire race of these.
- Stargate SG-1:
- The Goa'uld as a whole already control most of the Milky Way Galaxy, but the most ambitious Goa'uld System Lords usually try to conquer all of the galaxy by absorbing the territories of their rivals, assuming the Big Bad mantle in the process. Successively, Apophis, Anubis, and Ba'al came the closest to actually succeeding.
- As well as the Ori, who have already conquered one galaxy. They're ascended Energy Beings who rule through a Religion of Evil called Origin, and build an armada to embark on a crusade to convert the Milky Way.
- Stargate Atlantis:
- The Wraith in the Pegasus Galaxy, although they don't so much rule as they do feed. Also, the Wraith do a lot of fighting amongst themselves, on account of there not being enough food to go around. Thus, no one person (or hive queen) actually controls their galaxy.
- The former Wraith named "Michael" became such a threat in his own right in the later seasons. After he started his Hybrid project he started lusting after power for its own sake. His end goal became to supplant both humans and Wraith with his Hybrid minions by annihilating everything else.
- Doctor Who:
- Pretty much any villain race in Star Trek at some point has aspirations of galactic conquests. But as far as individuals in the series go, the Borg Queen is the best example.
- His Divine Shadow in Lexx.
- Super Sentai and Power Rangers have a few:
- Dark Specter from Power Rangers in Space. He is also a Dimension Lord, and so badass that it takes a planet-destroying missile and more to take him down.
- Emperor Akudos Gil, head of the Zangyack Empire in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.
- Don Armage, the ruler of the Space Shogunate Jark Matter, who has conquered pretty much the entire galaxy, including earth, in Uchu Sentai Kyuranger.
Myths & Religion
- Xenu in the Church of Happyology conquered many worlds and dropped his excess population into Earth's volcanos, leading to many of the evils that plague mankind.
- Cleon I, founder of the Third Imperium. In something of a subversion, he not only succeeds, but his empire is actually a more-or-less nice one once it is created - whatever one can say of how he created it. Cleon was a skillful politician, businessman, and diplomat. He knew when to entice, when to bludgeon, and how to weave together multitudinous plans, and in general he was a very Magnificent Bastard.
- Albadawi might count. He was a Four-Star Badass who pretty much won the Interstellar Wars himself. In his case he was acting as a servant of the Terran Confederation rather then for his own ambition.
- Warhammer 40,000 has more than its fair share of these, some evil... some really evil. (See page quote.)
- The most successful was undoubtedly the Emperor of Man, the founder, and later god of the Imperium, the setting's "good" guys. The Imperium had been the at its most reasonable and expanded most rapidly under his direct rule, growing from the solar system to spanning most of the galaxy in just a few short centuries (in spite of their life extending technologies, the Emperor was already immortally youthful, purportedly 38,000 years old when he founded the Imperium). It was also secular, reasonably tolerant of mutants and nonhostile aliens, and presumably had reasonably efficient governance. The the Horus Heresy happened and the Emperor was interred into the Golden Throne to survive and lost most ability to communicate; he more or less as a figurehead and his Imperium became a psychotic, dystopian, totalitarian, theocratic empire. The Imperium never fully recovered after that, while it still makes some gains in territory and technology from time to time, it sits somewhere between stagnant and failing by inches. Between most of its resources being sucked up by wars on all sides, including the occasional civil war between parts of it and the occaisional galactic crisis, the Imperium, and humanity's last hope (suchas it is), tottering on between a lasting victory and permanent collapse has been a lasting theme of 40K.
- The other "good guys" of 40k, the Tau Empire, also have this as a goal, believing it to be a part of their manifest destiny. Though they have a long, long way to go. They currently sit have a tiny, yet densely packed empire on the opposite side of the galaxy, preferring to use diplomatic, economic, and political means to bring other species into their empire, including Human-held worlds left behind or left to their own devices. However, depending on who you listen to, they might be the optimistic, hopeful beacon of reason and tolerance they present themselves as, or they might be an Orwellian, authoritarian society ruled by a caste of scheming, charismatic masterminds given a bright coat of paint. A recurring theme is that the Tau are naive and overly eager to extend a hand of friendship, sometimes to their own peril. However, most of the other races are more interested in some combination of killing, raping, torturing, or just eating everyone. Black and Grey Morality indeed.
- Not to mention Abaddon the Despoiler, Warmaster of Chaos. The foremost of Chaos Lords, and blessed by all the Chaos Gods. He is recognized by the Imperium as an existential threat, and they devote a great deal of resources and manpower to keeping him and the rest of the hordes of Chaos contained to the Eye of Terror. He led thirteen Black Crusades which broke out including his 12th to the Gothic Sector against the Imperium. He'll show up to harass the Imperium once in a while, and every now and then he'll launch a Black Crusade to collect superweapons and to weaken and undermine the Imperium around the Eye as part of the Long Game. (Fanon likes to think of these as repeated failures, though it wasn't until relatively recently that we learned about them in detail. And before that point, any permanent, meaningful victories against the Imperium was outside the bounds of allowed narrative.) Now, he's gathering up his weapons and unifying the forces of Chaos at a level unprecedented for nearly 10 millennia for the 13th Black Crusade to make an assault on Terra after all this time, to finally succeed in what Horus didn't.
- That said, Chaos itself hopes to engulf the galaxy, and would if their mortal followers ever succeed in bringing down the Emperor. Chaos is broken up into four major gods, each representing its own unique portfolio and domain, and possibly lesser gods of an unknown number. Hypothetically, they could take over realspace right now, but such is the nature of Chaos is that their energy and attention is mostly spent against one another in the Great Game, a war that, by definition, is destined to never end.
- The Craftworld Eldar dream of retaking their former place as the masters of the galaxy. The more realistic ones know that the odds of them ever doing so are almost zero, but keep fighting anyway since it beats laying down and accepting extinction.
- Surprisingly Averted with the Dark Eldar, the most vicious and sadistic of the factions (which is saying something) and the only Eldar faction who has managed to thrive, who don't want to bother with conquering the galaxy. Yes, they do make regular raids into realspace for food and slaves (often one and the same), and will occasionally make a grab for resources or territory. But they don't bother since being in realspace for an extended period is a hazard for them: the Chaos God Slaanesh is constantly "sipping" out their souls, the effect is strongest in realspace, and dying out there carries the most risk against revivification should they fall in battle. That aside, they're having too much fun or too occupied in their home city of Commorragh, where murder and intrigue is rife and the kabals (something between a noble house and a pirate syndicate) are too busy competing to undermine or exterminate one another. The other subgroups of the Dark Eldar, Haemonculus covens, wych cults, Hellion gangs, and the Incubus shrines typically lack the resources to go out into realspace and attach themselves to kabal raids as mercenary cohorts.
- The Zerg Overmind from StarCraft wants to assimilate all life in the universe into the Zerg Swarm.
- Later succeeded by his Dragon Kerrigan, who is — by her own words — "pretty much the queen bitch of the universe".
- StarCraft II The Dark Voice the true master mind who programed the Overmind to attack the Xel Naga, and lead the Zerg into assimilating the Protoss to create Zerg/Protoss Hybrids. His grand scheme is to wipe out all life in the galaxy so he and his Hybrids will rule it.
- Emperor Percival Tachyon, from Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction has managed to bring most of the Polaris Galaxy under his sway
- Bowser aspires to be a universe conqueror in Super Mario Galaxy. He fails.
- Knights of the Old Republic has both Darth Revan in the Back Story of the game and Darth Malak as the current Big Bad. In The Dark Side ending, the Player Character becomes one.
- Freedom Force has Lord Dominion.
- Civilization IN SPACE!! games like Master of Orion usually have this as an option for winning the game.
- In Freedom Planet, by the time Arktivus Brevon makes his way to Planet Avalice, he's already conquered a large swath of the galaxy. Taking the Kingdom Stone hidden on Avalice would allow him to continue his conquest unopposed.
- Sargeras the Fallen Titan from the Warcraft universe, whose goal is to lead the Burning Legion to destroy the entire universe.
- Mass Effect: The Reapers are an interesting variation of this. In a way, they already control the galaxy, as it is a gigantic coral where they alow humanoid races to develop and return to harvest them every 50,000 years. The entire ancient network of self-repairing hyperspace jumpgates and the gargantuan space station at its center, and most of the highly advanced technology found in ancient ruins was made by them for the sole purpose of creating new galactic civilizations that provide exactly what they need.
- Javik is a Well-Intentioned Extremist, mundane version of this. The plan was to get a million protheans to survive the Reaper Harvest by hiding in stasis, then force the primitive races into servitude against the Reapers. Unfortunately, that plan got royally screwed.
- The Gravemind and its Flood forces in Halo. According to its words, the Flood had already conquered galaxies-worth "of flesh and bones" and now were planning on conquering the Milky Way. Despite the courage and highly advanced technology of the Forerunners, the Flood could only be slowed down, until the former made the decision to to sacrifice themselves and all non-indexed sentient life in a effort to starve them to death. 100,000 years later, the Gravemind (being effectively immortal) is finally reformed but was again defeated, this time by humanity and the Arbiter-affiliated Elites, who put aside their differences and use the Ark and the replacement Halo 04 to lure in and destroy the Gravemind and all the Flood it could muster before the infection became too big to stop. However, given that there are still a lot of Flood in storage on various Forerunner research facilities, and the fact that the Flood are extra-galactic in origin (hence why none of the before-mentioned samples were simply destroyed), the Gravemind is likely not finished yet.
- BIOS from Forgotten Worlds, who has created gods to serve as his enforcers as he travels the galaxy, conquering and reducing worlds into barren wastelands.
- The Grandmaster from Strider and its sequel, who couples it with his desire to create new lifeforms at will to become a new god.
- Genocide / Scumocide from Captain Commando has already established a Criminal Syndicate of bio-engineered super criminals that has taken over the entire galaxy by the time the game kicks in.
- One boss in Visions & Voices is called the "Minor Galactivore." This guy is not even close to being the final boss.
- Orbulon from WarioWare tries to be this in the first game. He really sucks at it.
- In the first two games of the Kirby Dark Matter Trilogy, Dark Matter threatens to take over, respectively, Dream Land and all of Pop Star. By Kirby 64, it threatens Pop Star and all of the nearby planets.
- The Metroid Prime Trilogy has Dark Samus, who finally settles on trying to become this after taking control of the Space Pirates and having them treat her as a goddess. How? Using the planet Phaaze, the source of all Phazon, to infect all the planets in the galaxy with it to either kill the inhabitants or turn them into corrupted monsters under her control.
- From Battleborn is Lothar Rendain, leader of the Jennerit Imperium who has decided to ally with the Varelsi and aid them in their destruction of the universe on the promise that he and those who follow him would be spared from the universal end and be granted "ascension" to "the passage" to "the other side".
- Sunrider has Veniczar Arcadius, the masked dictator of the galactic superpower PACT. He already controls a good chunk of the galaxy in this capacity and is keen on taking over the rest, steamrolling the independent worlds of the Neutral Rim with his overwhelming military might.
- Fructose Riboflavin in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! very badly wants to be this, and has been trying to overthrow the Nemesite government for hundreds of years, and he just can't do it...
- General Zarro from The FAN is very likely to be this. At the very least, he's got a pretty big flagship, and is powerful enough to dent the fourth wall just by removing his mask.
- In Commander Kitty, Zenith has aspirations of being one of these.
- Lord Boros of One-Punch Man, a parody of Freeza.
- Lord Krulos of Dino-Riders wants nothing better than to return to his star-spanning empire in the future.
- In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Emperor Zurg successfully conquered the galaxy on several occasions (usually by forcing the Galactic Alliance to surrender to his will, rather than by more "direct" means), but was never able to make it stick for more than an episode or two, thanks primarily to Buzz's interference.
- The DC Animated Universe covers many different generations of heroes, across different decades (even centuries) and facing varied and divergent foes, but none can compare to the ultimate Big Bad, whose mere presence is enough to cow raging mobs of bloodthirsty beasts. There is a reason it is his quotation that is the lead-in to the Evil Overlord page.
"People of Earth, I am Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips! Here is your savior, cowed and broken. I have crushed him as easily as I have crushed all who have dared to oppose me throughout the Cosmos. I am power unlike any you have ever known: absolute, infinite, and unrelenting. You have no choice but to prepare as a long dark future as my subjects and my slaves."— Darkseid, Superman: The Animated Series — Apokolips Now Part 2
- However, the people of Earth opposed him, especially Dan Turpin. Of course, Darkseid did not take kindly on this.
- The Irken Invaders of Invader Zim are a whole caste of Galactic Conquerors who are capable of conquering entire planets single-handedly with proper equipment. The main character is a former Invader who lost his rank after destroying his home planet with a Humongous Mecha and halting the first galactic invasion of his people.
Greeting Robot: Galactic conquest is here! Galactic conquest is here! Galactic conquest...
- On The Fairly OddParents!, both Dark Laser and Princess Mandie scheme to conquer the galaxy. Though, in Dark Laser's case, he seems content to blow up the Earth.
- Cy-Kill from Challenge Of The Go Bots. He's mostly concerned with conquering his homeworld, but he'll conquer Earth as a useful stepping stone toward that goal, and he'll gladly conquer other planets once that's done.
- Nemesis from Robotix.
- Daemon from ReBoot is a supervirus who can bring entire systems under her control simply by entering them. By the time she actually appears, she has overtaken most of the Net.
- Horde Prime from She-Ra: Princess of Power; somewhat unusual in that he has in fact already conquered the galaxy in question.
- Vilgax in the Ben 10 franchise, who carries the title "conqueror of ten worlds."
- Wander over Yonder
- Wander's most-frequent nemesis is Lord Hater, planetary conqueror and self-proclaimed "greatest in the galaxy".
- "The Greater Hater" introduces Lord Dominator, a villain who seems to out-match Hater on every level (a bigger ship, better weapons, and an army of ruthless Mecha-Mooks instead of the bungling Watchdogs).
- The galaxy is actually full of these, all competing to get the highest ranking on "Galactic Villain Leaderboard". Such characters include Emperor Awesome, Sourdough the Evil Sandwich, The Black Cube of Darkness, Dr. Screwball Jones, and countless others. This even includes some fan characters.
- Aku of Samurai Jack has not only conquered Earth, but the galaxy at large, which is why the Bad Future he rules over is filled with aliens.
- Not content with ruling most of the earth, Richard Branson has founded Virgin Galactic, a company which according to The Other Wiki intends to provide sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public, along with suborbital space science missions and orbital launches of small satellites but come on, we all know what it's really for.
- We have space stations, probes have landed on Mars and collected rock samples, there is an American flag on the moon. Scientists are talking about terraforming planets. It won't be long now....