Darth Vader’s Poop

I backed away from the biological questions after being lightly chastised for asking “Does Darth Vader Need to Eat?” I specifically placed the publication of this blog on hold because I care about your feelings and feedback!

But really only to a limited extent, because I’d written this out and had every intent of coming back to it.

(Side note: I appreciate all the comments lately. I’ve enjoyed having actual discussions on these insane topics and promise you this is all far from over! And of course if you want to pitch an idea for a blog question, let me know!)

But the next logical question about the Dark Lord of the Sith needing to eat is…

Does Darth Vader Need to Poop?

Every living thing creates waste. This waste must be expelled or sepsis sets in, because the toxins in the body build up and it can’t get rid of them.

GIVEN: Vader’s body is badly damaged, but kept alive. There is a biological process at work. Any body will create waste.

GIVEN: Vader’s technology for life support is presaged by General Grievous’ horrific bag-of-organs and robot skeleton.

So, given all that, we can clearly see that Grievous has no…”exhaust port”…as it were. It’s just a (plastic?) bag of organs hanging in the middle of a (vulnerable) protective cage. So did he have to get a “flush” every couple of days when his armor got a wash-and-wax?

Perhaps that was the reason for his cough. He was actually expelling microbes of waste with each one, meaning he was a walking virus factory. Also, that his breath would explain Anakin averting his head when Grievous got in his face early in Episode III.

So how did Vader expel this waste? Was there a colostomy box on his belt, and if Luke had hit that instead of Vader’s shoulder in the Bespin duel we have a different ending?

I’m strangely, bizarrely curious on this one.

I am completely aware of what that says about me.

Did Darth Vader Need to Eat?

I’ve often wondered if Darth Vader needed to eat.

After all, he “couldn’t” take off his mask–even though he did in The Empire Strikes Back. He was in a trance and/or stronger in the Dark Side at the time (going by the text of the films) or was in a specialized environment (per EU), but likely couldn’t maintain it with the broken focus necessary for eating.

Additionally, given that his taste buds likely burned up at the same time as the rest of his body, what’s the point? Maybe he can taste Ghost Peppers but hasn’t the guy had enough pain in his life?

The Likely Scenario

My conclusion is that most likely, with bio-tech like that, he probably just needed a baby paste like Robocop. He could probably just take that intravenously into his suit (making the Long-distance flight from Yavin more plausible, since that would take up practically no storage space).

Perhaps a small compartment on his belt had the food plugged into his system, like some diabetics have their monitors installed in their abdomens. Keeping it separate from what was undoubtedly his colostomy…box?…was also very necessary.

For that matter, did his biomechanics need this energy to stay powered as well? Or did Vader have some sort of recharging station that kept his mechanical parts going?

Of course, you know what they say. They can engineer a Death Star but can’t get an adequate intravenous nutrient system in a Sith Lord.

The Force is Not a Factor

General Grievous proves that bringing the Force into play for the argument isn’t necessary. He didn’t use the Force and he did just fine (relatively speaking).

Or perhaps with the Force as a factor, Vader took his helmet off in that dining room in Cloud City (we just didn’t see it) to horrify his gathered captives.

Then he had a couple of dinner rolls, a soda (something diet probably) and prepped the torture chamber for Han.

Well…it’s possible isn’t it?

Flashback Blog: Why I Love Grievous

It’s pretty self-explanatory. However, it’s also fun to look back and see how “prophetic” I was about the greatly expanded role Grievous would enjoy in the not-yet-airing Clone Wars series that’s now de rigueur viewing for any serious fan, and even reclaiming fans who’d turned their back on the franchise.

In a nutshell, I love Grievous for one basic reason…but then it’d be more fun to have you read my thoughts as I laid them out little more than five years ago.

Fun side note. Apparently I posted this for the first time on the one-year anniversary of the release of Revenge of the Sith, also the sixth for The Phantom Menace. Neat coincidence!

Enjoy!


Flashback Blog: Why I Love Grievous

Originally posted May 19, 2006 at the original kessel korner.

General Grievous – a character that could have gone oh, so wrong and completely wrecked a terrific film. A completely CG main character, but not a good guy this time – a major villain. Considering that the villains had to be the ones to make Sith shine, this was an incredibly risky move. I’ll share with you here why I think he worked so well.

First and foremost, he was not cookie-cutter. He was not yet another calm, completely-in-control bad guy. We had that with Dooku. We had that with Palpatine. In Episodes IV and V, we had it with Vader. No, Sith needed a different ingredient – a villain that harkened back to the Snidley Whiplash-type, moustache-twirling villain who always got away just when it seemed they were about to be smashed by the heroes.

Grievous was a lot of fun. There is a sense of whimsy about him – a machine that has all the trappings of a failing human body. A cheesy, 1930s vampire accent. A cough that was explained to the die-hards, and left completely open to interpretation to the casual viewer. In short, he had a real character about him; he was more than the sum of his lines.

He gave Obi-Wan a chance to shine on his own. The fight with Grievous on Utapau established, without a doubt, that Obi-Wan was one bad mammajamma. Few people have the wherewithal not only to face an 8-foot cyborg, but remain calm about it.

And finally, because of the fight itself. I had a friend nitpick my review of King Kong, accusing me of showing fan favoritism; I had picked on Kong because of its ridiculous over-the-top action – he’s fighting a dinosaur! No, two! No, wait, three!

“Well,” my friend reasoned, “it’s no different with Grievous and the four sabers.”

“That’s not true, it is different,” I protested.

“Just because you’re a fan,” he retorted. My friend thought this was witty. I realized that he fell back on an argument everyone loves to use when I defend a piece of one of these films. The “He-Lost-Perspective-Because-He’s-A-Fanboy” argument.

At that time, dinner was served and we had to table the discussion. I had no chance to prove him wrong at that moment as he so richly deserved- my wife listens to enough Star Wars jabber that when she called us to the table, I chose to drop the discussion.

Well, here is my formal reply. (Since I am sending a link to this out to him, I’d like him to know that no matter how wrong he was that night, I forgive him.)

The Obi-Wan versus Grievous fight starts out with Grievous’ arms splitting into four, wielding lightsabers like a “windmill of doom.” Had it worked where the fight started with one saber versus one, then escalated to two, three and finally four, I would agree with my friend.

But it does not. The fight takes the opposite approach, with Obi-Wan calmly disarming Grievous (a pun!) of two of those sabers and the fight eventually boiling all the way down to a hand-to-hand match. A straight-up, honest-to-goodness fight, with two opponents simply doing everything they can to stop the other’s heart. Like a real fight to the death would be.

No rules, no flashy steps, no twirling like a gymnast. Just two opponents throwing down with anything and everything they can use, or that’s within arm’s reach. The fight is actually a move in restraint, because instead of starting small and building up to craziness, Lucas got the craziness out of the way and then boiled it down to mano a mano. A seeming lesson to other filmmakers that you can practice restraint, and wisely.

On top of that. the hands-on fight was filmed…with one actor and a CG character. That’s just frickin’ cool. Find me one other film that has ever had such smooth hands-on interaction between a CG character and a live person. There is none!

Sure, it’s unfortunate that Grievous only appeared in one of the films. But you know what? Cameo excepted, Tarkin was a character who had a part of consequence in one film only, and it’s okay to like him.

So Grievous has quickly and decidedly rocketed up my list of favorite Star Wars characters, and is likely to stay entrenched there for some time. I even bought one of his action figures to add to my “pantheon of evil” (I collect only cool bad guys and Jedi) and placed him next to Tarkin.

Here’s hoping we’ll get more Grievous in the TV show that takes place during the Clone Wars era – I suspect we will.