Friday, February 26, 2010

Did Saddam Hussein Model Himself on Darth Vader?

You have got to be kidding me. Did Saddam Hussein model his cruel regime on Darth Vader from Star Wars? That's the implication here:
The answer may be lurking in the Tate Modern in London. Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz's exhibition The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one's own explores the surprising parallels between Saddam's regime and western science fiction through a series of hand-drawn cartoons and sculptural installations.

You may have heard that when US troops stormed one of Saddam's palaces they stumbled across lurid posters by fantasy artist Rowena Morrill. But did you know that she's a close friend of Boris Vallejo, the artist who drew the iconic poster for The Empire Strikes Back depicting Darth Vader with two lightsabres crossed over his head?

Does the poster's image sound familiar? It is remarkably similar to Saddam's Hands of Victory monument commemorating Iraq's victory over Iran. The arch in central Baghdad consists of two bronze casts of Saddam's forearms holding two 43-metre-long crossed steel swords melted down from the weapons of slain Iraqis; the helmets of vanquished Iranians litter the base of the hands.
Mind you, this has come up before - in the spoof comedy Hot Shots! Part Deux, where Saddam used Darth Vader's voice:
Saddam Hussein: [President Benson throws Saddam a fireplace cleaning tool which lights up like a lightsaber, and his voice changes and sounds like Darth Vader] I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan, we meet at last. The circle is now complete, now, I am the master.
President Thomas 'Tug' Benson: Only a master of evil, Saddam.
Saddam Hussein: Your powers are...
[Coughs, then takes a puff of primatine mist and his voice is back to normal]
Saddam Hussein: Your powers are weak, old man, you should not have come.
President Thomas 'Tug' Benson: We'll settle this the old navy way: first guy to die, loses.

No comments: