By Lucas Williams, Staff Writer
Darth Vader is running for parliamentary office in Ukraine. He represents the Internet Party, whose current members include Yoda, Chewbacca and Princess Amidala. The main tenets of the Internet Party include abolishing the goods and services tax, establishing a universal tax of 25% and replacing all parliamentary officials with computers. If elected, Darth Vader also vowed to take fight Vladimir Putin for newly annexed Crimea and build a military space station to defend all of Ukraine. Who knew Darth Vader had his people’s best interest at heart?
Of course, the man behind the mask has a real name. It’s Viktor Shevchenko – or it was until he legally changed his name to Darth Alekseyevch Vader. Surprisingly, Vader isn’t poised to win seat this election. His less than 5% approval rating hasn’t stopped him from walking around Ukraine flanked by Storm Troopers or stroking national landmarks. Vader was also turned away at a polling station because he refused to remove his mask and prove his identity. As if the mask wasn’t enough identification.
Darth Vader’s seemingly frivolous appearance in the Ukrainian Parliamentary circuit comes at a particularly unstable time in Ukraine’s history. After Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula in March and sent military troops into Ukraine earlier in the year, it seems odd that someone would dress up as Darth Vader and run for office in a country where elections are seriously monitored by Russia. However, Vader’s claims of bureaucratic officials that have “proven their uselessness” may ring true to people everywhere, especially in Ukraine, where politics seems especially volatile.
Darth Vader could make a fair and just political figure. He was just playing a character in those “Star Wars” movies. Earth could be the planet where he belongs. And maybe Darth Vader’s campaign is political satire. Maybe it’s a reminder to not take life so seriously, even in tense times. Or maybe Darth Vader really wants to be a Ukrainian politician. Sadly, we’ll probably never know.