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Darth Vader: My unlikely fatherhood role model

Geekend contributor Edmond Woychowsky thinks Darth Vader is the perfect father role model because he shows dads what not to do.

Growing up with two older half brothers I believe that I had a definite advantage over other kids. One of my half brothers was still living at home during my formative years, and he was a perfect example of how to screw up in every imaginable way.

For instance, I learned at an early age that babysitting a younger sibling doesn't mean borrowing your friend's handcuffs, handcuffing the younger sibling's left wrist and right ankle, turning the television on, and going out to play with your friends. Not only did I figure out this was a good way to get grounded until you're 26, but I also discovered that mom knew where to find the bolt cutters and the replacement value of handcuffs.

When I became a father, I looked for a role model who could serve me as well as my half brother. I spoke with friends, I read, and I watched television, all in an attempt to find a father figure that I could use as a role model. After much searching it finally struck me that, with an upbringing like mine, Darth Vader is the perfect father role model. (Photo of Darth Vader's armor courtesy of Thais M.)

You probably think that I've lost it, but give me a chance to explain. Yeah, Darth Vader has a borderline personality disorder according to French researchers, but considering that I was looking for examples of what I should and should not do, Darth Vader fits the bill. Think about it -- Darth Vader provides a wealth of examples of what not to do when you're a father.

For starters, Darth Vader wasn't around for Luke or Leia; in fact, he didn't acknowledge either child. Darth Vader never changed a diaper, never clean up kids' messes, and never read Harold and the Purple Crayon to his children. I'm also willing to bet that there wasn't even an order for support. This proves two things: He was truly evil and that the Empire doesn't watch Judge Judy.

In addition, Darth Vader imprisoned Leia in the original Death Star. She was only released through the actions of her brother, Luke, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO. Later, Darth Vader even went so far as to have Lea's boyfriend, Han Solo, frozen in carbonite! Now that I think about it, maybe that isn't a bad idea for dealing with my daughter's boyfriends.

And, of course, Darth Vader tried to kill Luke; he actually shot at Luke in Star Wars: A New Hope. How low can a man sink? Whenever I play the Star Wars games with my children, I don't shoot at them, especially since they learned how to deflect the shots back at me using their lightsabers. Ouch!

In the end, Darth Vader recognizes the importance of family. He even goes so far as to quit his job by throwing his boss down a cooling shaft just so he can spend a little quality time with Luke. Unfortunately, it's only about five minutes of quality time.

In the end, I feel that Darth Vader can serve as an example to fathers everywhere of what not to do. Do you agree? If not, who are your parenthood role models?

20 comments
gunga55
gunga55

Darth also took the number 2 guy in the entire galaxy down for messing with his boy.

jasonemmg
jasonemmg

I have twins (boy and girl).... The joke going around my family and friends was naming them after Luke and Leia. My wife thought it was funny the first million times! Being just over 2yrs old now I think their at the perfect age to begin their Jedi Training by reading "The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force (Vault Edition)" "May the Force be with You always!"

igallegosledon
igallegosledon

lol i think this is a great not to do example. i read this usefull article just in time, i'm about to be a father..so wish me some luck.

joethejet
joethejet

Um, Didn't Jabba put Han in Carbonite?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Are any of the offspring named Luke? Can you truly say, "Luke, I'm your father."

kevaburg
kevaburg

Although Darth Vader DID shoot at Luke in Episode 4, he did not hit him. I believe he was trying to help Luke discover his abilities with the Force and not actually kill him. And as for imprisoning Leia in the Death Star? How unfair can you really be? He was obviously acting on the orders of Governor Tarkin (his superior) and had no say in the matter. After paying for the Death Star I can imagine the Empire were looking for layoffs to fund development of their new generation Star Destroyers. In that sort of economic climate, how can you blame him for only doing his job? And while you are blaming him for his personality defects, don't forget he had his legs burned off, the rest of his body badly burned, lost his kids (even though he only realised he had one) and his wife died during childbirth! Are you going to tell me you would not be scarred by that turn of events? The only thing I would say is perhaps his choice of outfit for work and social activity could have been better, but then noone is perfect. As you have pointed out though, better late than never. Even though throwing your boss down a bottomless pit is perhaps not the best answer, he did what he thought was best by his son as any father would do. Perhaps DV (as he is known to his friends) wasn't such a bad guy after all.

michael630angelo
michael630angelo

Fathers, don't give up on your family. Sons and Daughters, don't give up on your parents, love them always.

Jay_pee666
Jay_pee666

Vader was the one who put Han in Carbonite, on Bespin Cloud city, and gave him to Boba Fett as part of his reward for locating him, Boba Fett in return brought a carbonite encased Han to Jabba in return for the reward for bringing in Han for dumping Jabba's Spice along the Kessel run while being chased by Imperial starships. Well that's my 2 cents on the matter!!

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

Stuff is sure to start flying your way pretty soon. :p

Antediluvian Paladin
Antediluvian Paladin

Darth Vader never said: "Luke, I am your father." The line in the movie was "No! I am your father."

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

My wife had veto power over names, so my son is named Benjamin Michael Woychowsky. She liked the name, and he was six week old before someone figured out the initials. :)

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

Darth Vader wasted the breathing apparatus, he would have been a natural at changing diapers.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Especially if they were, in their pothumous youth, played by lacklustre tv-movie-grade actors. Seriously, sometimes parents aren't parents. In those cases, knowing when to throw them down a cooling shaft is just the beginning of getting over it all. Prerequisite though.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Sith Lords ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold. They'd rather give you a choking than diamonds or gold. Black plastic helmets and bionic body parts, And each night begins a new day. If you don't understand him, an' he don't die young, He'll prob'ly just fly away. Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Sith Lords. Don't let 'em pick blasters or drive them old ships. Let 'em be smugglers and gangsters and such. Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be Sith Lords. 'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone. Even with someone they think they love. Sith Lords like smokey space ship corridors and creepy bounty hunters, shooting aunts and uncles and daughters tortured all night. Them that don't know him won't like him and them that do, Sometimes won't know how to take him. He ain't bad, he's just misunderstood and his pride will force him him to Do things to make you think he's right. Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Sith Lords. Don't let 'em pick blasters or drive them old ships. Let 'em be smugglers and gangsters and such. Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be Sith Lords. 'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone. Even with someone they think they love.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Well, you can always refer to him as Obi-Wan, but that puts you on the wrong side of the Master - Apprentice relationship.

jerang@
jerang@ Staff

Good one Master Ed ...

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

When used on a poopy diaper, actually [i]prevents[/i] choking... and gagging too, as long as you remember not to look too close either.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

I thought that'd just make him Yoda...