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Darth Vader Made Me Do It! Anakin Skywalker’s Avoidance of Responsibility and the Gray Areas of Hegemonic Masculinity in the Star Wars Universe

Authors


Bernadette Calafell; e-mail: Bernadette.Calafell@du.edu

Abstract

In this essay, we examined the interactions of Anakin Skywalker during moral dilemmas in the Star Wars narrative in order to demonstrate the avoidance of responsibility as a characteristic of hegemonic masculinity. Past research on sexual harassment has demonstrated a “gray area” that shields sexual harassers from responsibility. We explored how such a gray area functions as a characteristic of hegemonic masculinity by shielding one male, Anakin Skywalker, from responsibility for his immoral and often violent actions. Through our investigation, we found three themes integral for the construction of a gray area that helped Anakin avoid responsibility: phantom altruism, a clone-like will, and the guise of the Sith.

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