Is Darth Vader's armor proof that he's secretly Jewish?

Illustration for article titled Is Darth Vader's armor proof that he's secretly Jewish?

Here's a strange little tidbit that makes that midi-chlorian twaddle from The Phantom Menace all the more hilarious. In The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, three lines of lettering appear on the front chest plate of Darth Vader's armor. The text isn't completely readable in the films, but fans who have seen the armor in person have determined that the words look Hebrew.

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But what does this semi-illegible text say? And more importantly, is Anakin Skywalker one of the chosen people? Is Bantha milk kosher? This is clearly the most important questions you'll confront all day.

Illustration for article titled Is Darth Vader's armor proof that he's secretly Jewish?

There are several conflicting interpretations of Vader's chest text floating around the internet. According to one widely cited translator, his armor reads, "His deeds will not be forgiven until he merits." This vague message seems thematically appropriate, given the character's eventual redemption in Return of the Jedi.

The image at left (via The Force.net) is taken from Vader's chest plate circa the Battle of Endor scenes in Return of the Jedi. Different text however appears on different iterations of his armor — you can read an intensely thorough analysis of his thoracic wording here.

It's absurdly unlikely that George Lucas will ever sound off on this issue. Let's just accept that there's a possibility Anakin Skywalker is the Space Messiah, who could've been born in 1763. I have yet to work out the kinks in my own personal theory that C-3PO being rebuilt after Bespin is a Lazarus metaphor. After all, that leaves Chewie in a strange symbolic position.

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[The Force via Reddit via Super Punch]

DISCUSSION

annaleenewitz
Annalee Newitz

I was just at a screening at LucasArts in San Francisco, where one of Darth's suits is on display, and we noticed that his Imperial codpiece has a strange, rectangular indentation in it. Basically the perfect size for a TV remote or maybe an old mobile phone. So basically Darth has Hebrew on his chest and a remote control in his crotch. I'm really not getting at anything here, other than the fact that Darth has just way too much going on in the ventral region.