Forget Academic Achievements: THIS Is Impressive

by Calico Rudasill, Porn For Women

Every so often, I’ll read an article which heaps the praise on a porn star for some manner of achievements outside their profession, like when Heather Swift (AKA Holly Price) passed the California bar exam on her first try last year, or pieces about the academic and mainstream professional aspirations “Duke porn star” Belle Knox.

Honestly, while I’m always happy for the performers who are subject of such articles and respect their achievements, I’ve always found that sort of story to be mildly insulting (unintentionally, of course) in that they suggest there’s something surprising or unexpected about a porn star being bright, capable, talented and otherwise not fitting the tired old stereotype of the drug-addled trainwreck with daddy issues.

Read on…

I’ll also admit to being biased in favor of creative (as opposed to purely intellectual) accomplishments, mostly because they’re usually more interesting as subject matter. There’s nothing particularly entertaining about a diploma, for example, but a piece of art, or writing, or dancing – anything expressive – has the potential to have inherent merit of its own which goes beyond it representing an achievement on the part of its creator.

This is why, of all the Pornstar Does Something Other Than Porn Which Catches Our Eye stories out there, my new favorite of all time is – without a doubt – Kayla-Jane Danger’s Darth Vibrader.

Toe Toy Connected to the Foot Toy, Foot Toy Connected to the….

Working with special effects artist Todd Devlin and porn producer Seth Beard as co-creators, Danger assembled a life-size version of Star Wars’ iconic antagonist using somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000 worth of sex toys and other accoutrements, including a spiffy pair of knee-high leather boots, a couple hundred vibrators, strings of anal beads, a bunch of spanking paddles and a massive rubber fist.

To me, what really makes the thing work are the little details – like the handcuffs holding Darth’s cape in place and the clever use of anal beads and bullets to mimic his front panel circuitry. The Sapporo Snow Festival’s giant Star Wars ice sculpture has Darth beat in terms of size, but it can’t touch Danger’s work for sheer low-budget sci-fi appeal.

In a way, it might have helped that Danger herself was not a Star Wars fan growing up (she told HuffPo “It wasn’t until my late teens that I could watch it without falling asleep”) – because a more dedicated fan might have shied away from building Darth Vibrader in fear of committing some kind of Hollywood sacrilege.

Sure Beats That ‘Phantom Sith-Clone’ Bullshit

As a child of the seventies, I remember the original release of Star Wars with the same sort of reverent nostalgia hippies who attended (or claim to have attended) Woodstock reserve for that event – only with a lot less mud, pot smoke and ‘perma-grin.’

I’m so attached to the original, in fact, that I never even fully accepted Return of the Jedi, much less the more recent atrocities and their Jamaican accented fish-rabbits, or whatever that thing was supposed to be. For that matter, by the time the battle on Hoth was over, so was The Empire Strikes Back, so far as I was concerned.

It might come as a surprise, then, that I’d have such fondness for Darth Vibrader. Heck, part of me feels like I should have to surrender my 1977 Han Solo fan club card as punishment for cheering on his creation and promotion.

When you think about it, though, in many ways Darth Vibrader has more in common with the original film than much of what Lucas has tacked on to his (OK, Disney’s now) franchise over the years. The cheapo construction of the original Darth, especially the not-fooling-anybody ‘circuitry’ on his chest plate, is a far closer cousin to Darth Vibrader than he is to the abomination which is CGI-Yoda.

If you’re thinking I’m one of those people who hates the fact Lucas went back and inserted new scenes and digital effects into the original trilogy, you’re quite right in your assumption. I’m not one to bellyache about it much, or hold Lucas in contempt for his retroactive fiddling about (they were his films, after all). I simply prefer the original versions, any day.

Might ‘Han Solonoid’ Be Next?

Hopefully, Danger’s work starts an artistic trend of sorts, because I can see a real future in alternative-material, Star Wars-themed sculpture flowing from her sex toy-based triumph.

From electromagnets (“Han Solonoid” anyone?) to recycled old arcade game cabinets (“Obi-Wan Shinobi”), we may be on the cusp of a movie-turned-statuary renaissance!

Failing that, if nothing else, Danger already has undeniably redefined the familiar old phrase “Star Wars action figure.”

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