“Darth Vader is one of the numerous carved grotesques on the Cathedral. Like gargoyles, grotesques carry rain water away from the buildingâ€™s walls. Gargoyles carry away excess water via pipes running through their mouths; grotesques deflect rainwater by bouncing it off the top of their heads, noses or other projecting parts, and away from the stone walls.
How did Darth Vader, a fictional villain from the Star Wars movies, end up on the wall of Washington National Cathedral?
In the 1980s the Cathedral, with National Geographic World magazine, sponsored a competition for children to design decorative sculpture for the Cathedral. The third-place winner was Christopher Rader of Kearney, Nebraska who submitted a drawing of this futuristic representation of evil. Darth Vader was placed on the northwest tower with the other winning designs: a raccoon, a girl with pigtails and braces and a man with large teeth and an umbrella.”