What Makes Darth Vader Tick

by Ryan on June 5, 2010

in Anything Else,Comedy,Nostalgia,Pop Culture,science

Apparently, some have felt it necessary to dissect, analyze and hypothesize about the psychology of Darth Vader to demonstrate to their students how relevant and applicable psychology can be.  Most could tell you that Darth Vader was a messed up dude, but to use precious PhD time to diagnose him as having “borderline personality disorder,” then publish an article about it seems a little much.

But then again, it was a French university professor, so no valuable time or breakthroughs were sitting on the back burner for this one.  No harm, no foul.

As an unabashed Star Wars fan, I do have a problem with this.  Star Wars is a classic tale about how a good, talented person goes bad and is ultimately redeemed by his children.  Its characters tell a story which uses classic archetypes to demonstrate basic truths about human nature in a futuristic setting (yet, somehow in the past…).  Whereas I don’t mind hearing about the philosophy of Star Wars or the plausibility of the science of Star Wars, I do think that psychologically dissecting Darth Vader and classifying him under current DSM-IV standards diminishes what Lucas was trying to get across.  I don’t want to hear that Vader was “imbalanced” and write-off his evil doings as coming from a sad lack of time on the couch — too much pop-psychology, not enough spiritual reflection.

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