A few weeks ago we directed you to a wonderful three-part BBC documentary about modern philosophy called Human, All Too Human, adding that we considered the chapter on Jean-Paul Sartre the most satisfying of the three.
Now we give you a light-hearted chaser for that documentary’s strong spirits: The French philosopher’s teachings as interpreted by the science fiction overlord Darth Vader. Perhaps more than any other 20th century supervillain, the disgraced Jedi knight tragically and perfectly embodies the Sartrian notion that “Freedom is what you do with what has been done to you.”
For those who might consider the Joker a better candidate, we humbly submit that with the Joker, it’s more of a Nietzschean thing.
Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly