‘Vadering’ takes the Web by Force

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Who among us hasn’t daydreamed about performing the infamous “Vader choke” on someone?

For those who haven't, a quick primer: In the "Star Wars" saga, Darth Vader uses his Force abilities to choke another person (usually one of his inept colleagues) into submission. And now, “Vadering” has become the day's most-popular Internet meme, with thousands of social media users creating their own versions of the classic Vader move. It's even resulted in a number of mentions on Twitter from the official "Star Wars" account.

The meme has taken off so quickly that it has ignited speculation that the whole thing is actually a stealth marketing campaign by Chick-fil-A (and no, we don’t think that’s actually the case).

However, Vadering is not a risk-free endeavor. After all, a disturbing lack of faith in the Force has had repercussions for at least one real-life actor who fell victim to Vader on screen.

Actor Richard LeParmentier was the first on-screen recipient of Vadering, after unwisely questioning the abilities of Vader in “Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope.” He told the Coventry Telegraph in an interview, “I did the choking effect by flexing muscles in my neck. It set off a chain of events. ... I can’t do it anymore because, oddly enough, I have had an operation on my neck and had some 21st century titanium joints put into it!”

Vadering follows in the wake of other Internet photo memes such as planking, Hadouken and Tebowing.

Regardless of what you think of Vadering, it’s ultimately another step towards the reality espoused in the 2012 "South Park" episode “Faith Hilling,” which warned viewers of the dangers of memeing.