Darth Vader's ambitions slain in Ukraine vote

KIEV (AFP) - Darth Vader is in trouble in Ukraine - again.

A candidate posing as the iconic villain from the Star Wars movies already had his Ukrainian presidential ambitions thwarted by suspicious authorities in May.

But the scary man from the dark side of the Force was not going down without a fight.

An impressive six Darth Vaders managed to get their names registered for the snap parliamentary ballot being staged across the war-torn former Soviet republic on Sunday.

They all represent the tiny Pirate Party of Ukraine - one of more than 40 groups that have sprung up worldwide in defence of Internet freedoms and limits on copyright laws.

The Ukranian pirates decided to be a little more daring than their counterparts by also registering the Star Wars movie's hairy giant known as Chewbacca and planning to nominate him for the health ministry post.

Chewbacca mostly grunted and growled his way through Star Wars and played only a minimal role in the Ukranian campaign.

Not so Darth Vader - a mysterious figure in both fiction and life.

The Sith Lord who drove up to the polling station in Kiev on Sunday atop a black Darth Mobile refused to take off his black mask to prove his earthly identity to the nervous-looking lady at the registration table.

"I thought this might happen," the man in the shiny plastic helmet told a swarm of reporters and a crowd of curious onlookers with their cellphone cameras in hand.

"But I am still disappointed. My rights have been violated again," he said as the Star War theme music blaring from his black van faded and the crowd gradually thinned.

The suspense over Darth Vader's personal history was resolved quite dramatically in the original science fiction trilogy directed by George Lucas and which debuted in 1977.

The Hollywood version revealed him as the disfigured father of Luke Skywalker - a dashing golden-haired hero who leads a cast of odd but heart-warming creatures such as Chewbacca in a battle against tyrannical rule.

The version in Kiev seems to be a man who identifies himself as Darth Viktorovych Vader but whose real name is Viktor Shevchenko.

Social media sites were flooded on Sunday with the alleged mug shot Darth Vader submitted when registering his candidacy.

It shows a man with a receding hairline staring glumly at the camera in what looks to be the top of his Darth Vader suit. Information accompanying the partially cropped picture shows that he was born in 1987 and is the director of a small private firm.