Did Saddam Hussein Model Himself on Darth Vader?

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Anthropologist Michael Rakowitz has an upcoming exhibit at the Tate Museum in London. In it, he proposes that Saddam Hussein may have consciously or unconsciously been influenced by Western science fiction, particularly Star Wars. In New Scientist, Jessica Griggs writes:

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.

On inauguration day in 1989, Saddam rode through the arches on a white horse, declaring "The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one's own or to be forced down a path which is not willed by him".

Could this all be coincidence? Perhaps, but you'll be convinced otherwise once you've read about Saddam's private militia's uniform. Before his son, Uday, handed over control of the Fedayeen Sadaam (translation: "Saddam's Men of Sacrifice") to his younger brother he wanted to give his father something to remember his work by. So he presented Saddam with their new uniform: black shirt, black trousers and a ski-mask over which a strikingly Darth Vader-esque helmet was placed.


Link via Technabob | Exhibition Information | Images: New Scientist

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I've always understood that Darth Vader was partly modelled on a kind of dark parodied Worldwar 2 black German SS uniform long coat and Stahlhelmet.
The whole Star-Wars universe was modelled as much as possible on stereotypical Good and Bad images and models that most people would be able to relate to. And so it did if we look at the huge popularity that thing had- even now after all those years, Star Wars is powerful, is known by many and still has followers into the absurd with "reallife" Jedi-cult and all.

Saddam was also an admirer of the SS. And so if he was also a fan of Star-Wars, it seems highly possibly that he tried to take the best of all that he saw in heroeic empire-building imagery.
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I agree with Um.
I can easily say that the "Hands of Victory" monument represents Saddam's latent homosexuality, because of the "crossed swords".
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And- the arms that are supposedly Saddam's forearms- those cannot be from the same person- would have to be modeled after 2 people not one as they depict 2 right arms.
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i think the guy is an artist not an anthropologist which makes the claim that much more suspect. but aside from that is that poster of vader "iconic" i mean out of all the empire strikes back posters i've never seen that one before.
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