“Darth Vader” Swedish sword attacker may have been a far-right extremist

(This article is published in Salon.)

Two people at a school in Sweden were murdered Thursday morning in one of the most nightmarish ways imaginable: They were hacked to death by a masked man carrying a large sword. Two more were injured, and rushed to the hospital.

Many media outlets referred to the culprit as the “Darth Vader killer,” noting that his strange attire was reminiscent of the infamous Star Wars villain. BBC pointed out, however, that this outfit has a horrific historical parallel — it resembles a Nazi uniform.

What the media failed to acknowledge is that there is good reason the murderer’s mask looks like Darth Vader’s: Star Wars creator George Lucas modeled Vader’s Galactic Empire off of Nazi Germany. The fact that Lucas named the Imperial Army troops the “Stormtroopers” is the most well-known sign. Lesser known is that Darth Vader’s outfit is modeled after the Nazi SS.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, Expo — a Swedish magazine published by The Expo Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization devoted to “studying and mapping anti-democratic, right-wing extremist, and racist tendencies in society” — has reported that the sword attacker was influenced by neo-fascists.

Read more at Salon