Darth Vader

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A Darth Vader (2) on the Gatwick Express.


"Darth" is a blend of dark +‎ death (the derivation from Dark Lord of the Sith is a later development).

"Vader" is traditionally explained as being from Dutch vader (father). However, the idea of Vader's fatherhood was only developed for The Empire Strikes Back (after the character was introduced), making this improbable. It is more likely a shortening of invader or from the surname Vader.[1]


  • (UK) enPR: därthʹ vāʹdər, IPA(key): /ˈdɑː(ɹ)θ ˈveɪ.də(ɹ)/


Darth Vader (plural Darth Vaders)

  1. A powerful individual or force, particularly one that is seen as malevolent, dominating and threatening.
    • 2004, Robert Whiting, The Meaning of Ichiro: The New Wave from Japan and the Transformation of Our National Pastime, p. 130:
      Irabu had hired Nomura, a man with whom he obviously had a great deal in common, and, who, as we have seen, was rapidly becoming the Darth Vader of Japanese baseball.
    • 2003, Marleen S. Barr, Envisioning the Future: Science Fiction and the Next Millennium, p. xvii:
      Bush's missile shield plan positions him as Darth Vader.
    • 2002, James Price Dillard, Michael Pfau, The Persuasion Handbook: the Persuasion Handbook (c): Developments in Theory and Practice, p. 611:
      Commonly assumed to exert massive effects on the electorate, political spots (notably negative ones) have been teasingly called the Darth Vader of modern politics...
    • 1998, Jon Lewis, The New American Cinema, p. 108:
      In two different speeches the vice president called Malone, alternately “the Darth Vader of the cable industry,” and “[the man who runs] the cable Cosa Nostra.”
  2. (informal, Britain, rail transportation) A British Rail Class 460 train.
    • 1999 September 17, gl1, “Gatwick Express New Stock Nose Cones”, in uk.transport.london, Usenet[1]:
      When the new GEX stock (Darth Vaders!!) are in service, and the inevitable happens and they break down, EWS will no doubt trundle along to rescue it
    • 2005 January 5, Peter Masson, “What future for the MK3's?”, in uk.railway, Usenet[2]:
      What was modified so that 73s could haul (or push) and heat air-con stock on Gatwick Express (pre Darth Vader) - the locos or the coaches?
    • 2006 February 11, Tony Polson, “First Capital Connect want more 319s from Southern”, in uk.railway, Usenet[3]:
      Is there not also a degree of commonality with the Darth Vader units of Gatwick Express, which are likely to join the Southern fleet when (if) the GatEx franchise is terminated?


Proper noun[edit]

Darth Vader

  1. Darth Vader, the villain of the science-fantasy film series Star Wars.
    • 1982, “Knight of the Phoenix”, in Knight Rider, episode 1, spoken by Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff):
      What's all this? Looks like Darth Vader's bathroom.


  1. ^ Michael Kaminski, “Appendix C: The Dark Father”, in The Secret History of Star Wars, Legacy Books Press, 18 November 2008, →ISBN

Further reading[edit]