As a character (that is, a component that enhances the story), I'd vote for Atton in my sleep. His backstory outclasses Carth's in both originality and level of interest.
"I'm a dedicated and skilled war veteran who's never done a bad turn in my life, and because my wife and son were killed when my mentor betrayed us (WHAAAAAH WANGST WANGST WANGST), I don't trust you or the Jedi and am utterly incapable of believing that anyone else knows better than me. Nevertheless, I'll stick by you through thick and thin. I hope you don't mind me compulsively whining about the Jedi Order not telling its secret plan to end the war to a random soldier and displacing my unresolved feelings with Saul on you."
Even though both of them are wangsted to hell in the fan fics, I still prefer Atton's backstory, if only because it's not packed with so many cliches. Furthermore, Atton was never as obnoxious as Carth (and people say Anakin and Luke whine too much in the movies), and he doesn't have a lost son (who in turn has a lost brain). His easy-going wisecracker style reminded me enough of Han Solo that he struck me as being tolerable company (and as far as liking Atton personally goes, as he is in TSL he's at worst only slightly more evil than Han in ANH), and I liked most of his one-liners and other witty remarks ("...so you'll have to do without me for a while. I know, you're crushed."). It's not a contest because Carth is so uninspired that anyone going up against him that has a shred of originality in him or her automatically wins.
"Grant Allen [...] had written a book about the Evolution of the Idea of God. [...] it would be much more interesting if God wrote a book about the evolution of the idea of Grant Allen." ~ G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
Last edited by TKA-001; 10-26-2009 at 03:54 PM.