Spread the love

What is the "Darth Vader syndrome" that caused panic in the 80s ?


“I thought you were a spaceman. I thought you were Darth Vader. In the 80s, a panicky fear affected American children and it concerned this ultra-popular villain from the Star Wars saga. In a recent article, WeGotThisCovered returned to what they call Darth Vader syndrome.

The fear of the monster

Its principle is simple, the children who were perfectly familiar with the franchise created by George Lucas were literally frightened when they saw the arrival firefighters at home. They indeed confused the latter with the Sith Lord.

Our colleagues cite an eighties newspaper which gave the floor to Captain Gibbs Hammond, who was then responsible for fire prevention education for the Knoxville Fire Department: “There are documented cases of children running back into a burning room after seeing a monster-like firefighter at the door”.

In an article published in 1986, the Sun Sentinel, a Florida newspaper also quotes firefighter Lee Dalton:< /p>

Crawling through thick, blinding smoke, we found a door and opened a cupboard, Dalton said. “There's a pile of clothes in the corner. You slip inside and suddenly there is movement under the piled clothes. You move the clothes aside and find a boy looking at you. You see horror fill his already terrified eyes.

Luckily, the firefighters ended up finding a solution . They carried out numerous awareness-raising operations in schools to explain to children who they were, why they dressed like that, and to help them overcome their fear.

When Star Wars is used to raise awareness

A fun detail, Star Wars is even used today by firefighters to make toddlers aware of the risks of fire. In an article published in 2017, the Associated Press (AP) agency looked at the town of Dover where the local fire department put on a show for elementary schools where the major characters from the saga are present.

Dressed up as Princess Leia, fire inspector Rebecca Jalbert then explained to our colleagues: “If we can teach Darth Vader to be careful, we can broadcast the security message to the entire galaxy”.

His colleague, Lieutenant Eric Anderson, added for his part: “Every department has a mission to teach fire safety and fire prevention, and this show is one of the fun ways to do that” .

📍 To not miss any news from Presse-citron, follow us on Google News and WhatsApp.

[ ]

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116