Darth Vader

Saturday, Oct 24, 2009

Welcome to Washington National Cathedral.

Darth Vader is one of the numerous carved grotesques on the Cathedral. Like gargoyles, grotesques carry rain water away from the building’s walls. Gargoyles carry away excess water via pipes running through their mouths; grotesques deflect rainwater by bouncing it off the top of their heads, noses or  other projecting parts, and away from the stone walls.

How did Darth Vader, a fictional villain from the Star Wars movies, end up on the wall of Washington National Cathedral?

In the 1980s the Cathedral, with National Geographic World magazine, sponsored a competition for children to design decorative sculpture for the Cathedral. The third-place winner was Christopher Rader of Kearney, Nebraska who submitted a drawing of this futuristic representation of evil. Darth Vader was placed on the northwest tower with the other winning designs: a raccoon, a girl with pigtails and braces and a man with large teeth and an umbrella.

What does Darth Vader have to do with the Cathedral?, Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts & Wisconsin Aves., NW, Washington, DC 20016, http://www.nationalcathedral.org/pdfs/darth.pdf.