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Did Kylo Ren Buy a Fake Darth Vader Helmet? Here’s What Burned Fiberglass Looks Like


Even those of you who’ve only seen the trailer for The Force Awakens remember the part when Kylo Ren looks longingly at the remains of Darth Vader’s helmet, promising, “I will finish what you started.” Except that’s not actually what Darth Vader’s helmet looked like after Luke Skywalker burned the thing in Return of the Jedi — or, at least, that’s not what the prop version of Darth Vader’s helmet looked like after it got burned, for real, on the actual movie set.

Looks like Darth Vader’s helmet was probably made out of fiberglass, so when the prop got burned up, it looked like this:


Fiberglass is made out of, well, fibers, although it doesn’t look fibrous until it’s burned. Other pictures of burned fiberglass will reveal that, rather than melting, it splits off into singed hairs that look a little like Wookiee fur. The helmet that Kylo Ren has in The Force Awakens looks more like plastic, or blown glass — not fiberglass.

Then again, we don’t know what substance formed Darth Vader’s helmet within the fictional world of Star Wars. I mean, we do know that the prop was most likely made out of fiberglass. And we also know that burned fiberglass doesn’t look the way people think it “should” look. I think most people expected Darth Vader’s burned helmet to look melted and singed, as it did in The Force Awakens, as opposed to a brown, fuzzy mass of fibers. This is a great example of movie magic allowing a prop to look the way it “should” look as opposed to how it looks in reality.

Or maybe it’s evidence that Kylo Ren totally bought a fake Darth Vader helmet on the internet, and he got ripped off, and he has no idea. That works too.

(via io9, images via WA Today and Imgur)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (