I know this may come as a shock to some of you…but I must confess that I’m a nerd. (I’ll give you a moment to compose yourselves.) Yes, in the summer of 2007, I did indeed attend a Star Wars convention (although they prefer the term “Celebration”). It was an epic event, even just in terms of pure people-watching (see above).
One of my favorites was “The Vader Project,” an exhibit of one hundred Darth Vader helmets re-imagined, embellished and customized by artists. (The show is currently in Pittsburgh at the Andy Warhol Museum, which is fitting.) All lined up, they looked like giant Pez dispensers!
His was entitled “Darth Tipua,” a name which calls for a little Māori mythology lesson. Lieut.-Col. Gudgeon wrote this explanation in the Journal of the Polynesian Society in 1906:
“The word ‘tipua’ may sometimes be translated by our word ‘demon,’ for it does occasionally bear that signification, but more often it would be better rendered by the expression ‘uncanny thing.’ All that is out of the common or that would be seem to possess unaccountable powers or virtues may justly be dubbed a ‘tipua’; and under this heading may be included stones, trees, or even fish—provided always that the appearance of the thing in question is sufficiently curious.”
Sounds vaguely Vader-ish.
I think the shell necklace was an especially nice touch. It makes it look like Vader just came back from doing some souvenir shopping at Hilo Hattie’s.
More interesting, thought-provoking and truly terrifying Darth Vader helmets after the jump!