Conference Paper: Darth Vader Made Me Do It by philipsmith

Full title: Darth Vader Made Me Do It

Joshua Atkinson1 & Bernadette Calafell2

1 School of Communication Studies, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403

2 Department of Human Communication Studies, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208


In this essay, we examined the interactions of Anakin Skywalker during moral dilemmas in the Star Wars narrative in order to demonstrate the avoidance of responsibility as a characteristic of hegemonic masculinity. Past research on sexual harassment has demonstrated a ‘‘gray area’’ that shields sexual harassers from responsibility. We explored how such a gray area functions as a characteristic of hegemonic masculinity by shielding one male, Anakin Skywalker, from responsibility for his immoral and often violent actions. Through our investigation, we found three themes integral for the construction of a gray area that helped Anakin avoid responsibility: phantom altruism, a clone-like will, and the guise of the Sith.

To read this article and its associated commentaries, simply click on the PDF links below:

Full article (.pdf): Atkinson & Calafell

Full article (.html)

Commentary: Yannis Tzioumakis