Darth Vader Was a Bad-A$$ Engineer

The engineering Force was strong in Anakin Skywalker. Clear your memories of his Force choke. Disregard the slaying of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Try to forget what he did in the Jedi temple. What you are left with is one of the most gifted engineers in the galaxy.

Exhibit #1: C-3PO At nine years old, Anakin cobbled together spare parts to create one of the most iconic robots of all time: 3PO is a protocol droid fluent in six million forms of communication. It’s safe to say that Anakin would be a first-round draft pick of any local high school robotics team—he probably had offers from Tatooine’s version of MIT.

Exhibit #2: Podracers Anakin took it to a new level when he fixed up a podracer and competed in the Boontta Eve Classic. I’m not sure what you did as a fourth grader, but mastering antigravity repair was a bit past my reach. I was lucky if my dad let me use the Weed Whacker, but Anakin got to drive a craft capable of 900 kmh. Side note: The engineers who designed the line-dispensing systems on Weed Whackers should have their degrees revoked. No solution should involve having to beat a rotating device on the ground to work. Can you imagine bragging about that on your LinkedIn profile?

Exhibit #3: Padmé Amidala I learned a secret in engineering school: Attractive members of royalty are usually drawn to the most gifted in the art of engineering. I am pretty sure that concept was introduced in my Calc II syllabus. Padmé was proof that he was the chosen one.

Closing thoughts…

Anakin Skywalker deserves honorary engineering degrees for mechanical, electrical, robotic, and environmental engineering. My kids, both trending to be engineers at a young age, argued that being able to use the Force should be considered an environmental skill. I had no counterargument because most of us have never been able to figure out what an environmental engineer actually does.

Troy Aldrich is the Industry & Product Marketing Manager for Autodesk. Troy’s been hooked on engineering and manufacturing since an early age. Troy will be sharing his perspective on the then, the now, and future of the design world with true life experiences and a bit of flavor.

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