ICONS ARE BETTER #61: DARTH VADER
There is (or should be) no argument at all.
Vader is easily the greatest movie villain, from the greatest movie ever made.
He is also incidentally a great icon for diversity and inclusion (after all, he’s basically a walking life support system).
OK, he’s not the greatest parent (he chops off his kids hand for goodness sake) but that shouldn’t stop him being an icon. Top Cat was no role model either.
Vader is the nuts. He just has it in spades.
He nails everything that is good about iconography.
He’s original – the look, the act, the role, the skills.
He’s remarkable – he’s the yardstick for every baddie that came after him; from Skeletor to Voldemort.
He’s enduring – 40 years on he’s still basically giving kids nightmares from Penzance to Polynesia.
And he does all this whilst acting as a pivot point in one of the classic archetypal, seven-basic-plots, core narratives in film history.
Practically, he has some pretty amazing elements of iconography too.
A strong, consistently applied brand colour.
A set of strong easily replicable brand elements; from the sinister heavy breathing to the helmet.
A set of brand values – evil, evil, badness, evil – that everyone in the universe knows and can apply.
He looks cool.
He acts cool.
Face it, he is cool (until Lucas slightly ruins him with that – slightly literal – meltdown at the end of the third prequel).
Vader. Movie icon of all time.
Kevin Chesters – Executive Planning Director