Father knows best in Darth Vader and Son Darth Vader was a pretty good father — at least he wanted to be. Think about it: He’s only prevented from attending the birth of his children by Obi-Wan Kenobi. He asks Luke to “rule the galaxy as father and son.” And he throws Emperor Palpatine down the Death Star’s reactor shaft to stop him from killing his son.
“I would think that Vader would be, in a way, a good father that would raise a bad person,” cartoonist Jeffrey Brown says. “He would be one of those fathers who’s very stern — not very warm and cuddly, but trying to impart his knowledge and values on his child. I think that most people would think that imparting your values on your children is an important part of parenting, but when your values are, you know, killing people, [it’s] maybe not so good.” (Jeffrey Brown/Chronicle Books)
Jedi Knights at the museum: Unleash your inner child, you can, at Star Wars Identities Two years in the making by Montreal’s X3 Productions, the exhibition at Montreal’s Science Centre is partly an educational display aimed at explaining and exploring the concept of identity, and partly a shrine to some 200 props, costumes, and “artifacts” from George Lucas’s two Star Wars film trilogies. In an attempt to thread both aspects together, the museum uses high-tech bracelets to track visitors’ choices throughout the exhibition, so that everyone can create a Star Wars-esque character from scratch.
Each visitor picks a species (e.g., human, Wookiee, Ewok), genetic traits, personality traits, a mentor and so on, ending up with one of 50 million-odd possible personalized “heroes.” (Illustration by Andrew Barr)
Spoiler alert: Why knowing the ending isn’t always a bad thing Bruce Willis is dead. Edward Norton is Tyler Durden. Clint Eastwood pulls the plug: As annoying as it can be, finding out how films end may not be such a downer after all. According to research carried out at UC San Diego, spoilers may actually enhance our enjoyment.
Nicholas Christenfeld, a professor of psychology at the California university, and his student Jonathan Leavitt recently tested the effect of spoilers using short stories, and their results will be published in the upcoming issue of Psychological Science. The study had three groups of participants: one that read the stories unaltered, one that read versions of the stories that had spoilers embedded in them, and one that was given a spoiler paragraph before they even started the story.
Although the embedded paragraph had no effect, it turns out that the subjects who knew how the stories would end before picking them up enjoyed them the most.
“The margin’s small,” says Christenfeld, referring to enjoyment numbers. “It’s not a huge effect — it’s not the case that you make people indifferent or ecstatic with spoilers. But, there’s a significant uptick in pleasure on the 10-point scale. … And [participants are] reading the exact same story, so any movement is interesting, and of course, this is in the opposite direction from what you’d expect.”