While reading about virtual reality and the hyperreal, I started thinking about my beloved Darth Vader costume. Dressing up as Darth Vader, in a costume that is a fine simulation of the one we see David Prowse wear in the Star Wars films and officially licensed by Lucasfilm, is my own escape into something mythic, yet special to me in ways completely different than for anyone else–a meta-meta-signification to take Barthes one level up from his Mythologies.
What I’ve realized is that I don’t need the suit to be the evil Sith lord that everyone loves. It is something that I can integrate into my postmodern identity. Yes, a performance theorist would insist I dress and play the part to be the part, but I can satisfy myself and my own Darth Vader-ness without the aid of a suit. However, I believe I will hold on to that most powerful of all phallic symbols–my lightsaber.
So, the bottom line is that you can connect to your own Darth Vader-ness by bidding on my ebay auction for the costume here. Follow a performance praxis and become what you perform yourself to be. Give into your hatred, let it consume you, and look like a badass while you seethe with a burning desire to inflict pain on the galaxy. Yes, you may step-up and become the Sith lord–you can become the master. Use the force, and bid now.
Published by Jason W. Ellis
I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.
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