Iraqi Fedayeen Saddam "Darth Vader" Helmet
This is a helmet worn by members of the Iraqi Fedayeen Saddam (Saddam's Men of Sacrifice) paramilitary force from 1995-2003. It is made from light ballistic fiber and is painted black to match the Fedayeen uniform. Featured on the right side is an insignia bearing the silohuette of Saddam Hussein and an inscription in Arabic reading "The Lord, The Homeland, The Leader."1 These helmets were issued with an American style suspension lining, which this helmet is missing except for the chinstrap and rear neck strap.
The helmet's resemblence to the helmet worn by Darth Vader in the Star Wars films has led to much speculation on whether the films were the actual inspiration. A 2010 exhibit at the Tate Modern gallery in London by Michael Rakowitz entitled,The worst condition is to pass under a sword which is not one's own, "traces links between western science fiction and military-industrial activities in Iraq during and after Saddam Hussein's regime."2 The exhibit alludes to Uday Hussein's, Saddam's son and head of the Fedayeen, fascination with the films and his design of the uniform after Darth Vader.3