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May the 4th Be With You: Meet Darthvader Williamson

WREG screenshot
WREG screenshot

You would think that one of the most iconic movie villains would be somewhere scaring children or plotting ways to take over the universe, but since the president has both of those on lock, Darthvader can go back to his regular life, living in Tennessee and working a regular job, just like the rest of us.


That’s right: Darthvader Williamson, 39, is a surgical assistant at St. Francis Hospital-Bartlett in Memphis.

“I like to fly under the radar,” Williamson told ABC News. “I’ve always kept a low profile. I’ve never been like, ‘Hey, look, my name’s Darthvader.’”


Carrying a name like “Darth Vader,” which Williamson spells as one word, can be tough for a teen, but when ladies love it, you kind of have to embrace.

“He wanted to change his name when he was little, but after the girls started telling him they liked the name, he wanted to keep it,” Williamson’s mom, Patricia Knowles, 64, told the news station with a laugh.

Williamson can blame the name on his dad, who was a huge Star Wars fan.

“His dad and I were stationed at Fort Hood,” Knowles said. “His dad went into the store and came back with a little baseball card of the Lord Darth Vader character and had it on the dashboard. He said, ‘If I’m not here when he’s born—because I’m on orders to go to Germany—I want you to name my son this.”


She went on, “I told him that’s a hard name. When he gets in his teens, they’ll say, ‘Yo, Lord, you want to hang out tonight?’ And he didn’t want to change it. He wanted to keep it exact. But I said, ‘I can’t do it. I can deal with the Darth Vader part of the name, but not the Lord.”

Williamson’s mom admits that she’d never seen the movie and didn’t know that Vader was “originally a Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the Force,” who eventually falls prey to the dark side and serves the evil Galactic Empire. But Knowles kept her promise, and Darthvader Williamson was born Jan. 14, 1978, a few months after the movie debuted in 1977.


“There’s been state troopers that have stopped me and asked to take a picture with me,” Williamson said. “And when Rogue One came out, people were asking if I could go with them to see it so they could say they went to Star Wars with the real Darth Vader. I’m like, ‘No, thank you.’”

The funniest part of this whole story is that Darthvader isn’t really a fan of the Star Wars series.


“The last Star Wars I saw was Return of the Jedi in 1983,” he recalled, ABC reports. “I have not had the slightest inclination to see the new ones. To me, it’s just always been a name—nothing I went around glamorizing or having attention drawn to. My wife calls me an old man in a young man’s body. I’m kind of a recluse. I’m just a real private person.”

Knowles, who has since familiarized herself with the dark movie villain, sees similarities between the two.


“The character was just in control of the people and he just took charge,” she says. “But then again, he had that warm side of him nobody had ever seen. Darthvader is like that.”

Read more at ABC News.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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“Williamson’s mom admits that she’d never seen the movie,” is like hearing, “I’ve lived 92 years on this Earth, but I’ve never tried water. Don’t intend to either.”