The force is strong in Odessa. Inside the gates of an old factory complex in the outskirts of Odessa, Ukraine, stands a monument to Darth Vader, the Sith Lord and Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet.
The statue doesn’t seem so out of place when you consider that Odessa is home to the Internet Party of Ukraine, a registered political party who’s leader, named Darth Vader, attempted to run in Ukraine’s 2014 presidential election.
How To Visit Odessa’s Darth Vader Statue
The statue is located in an old factory complex about 30 minutes from downtown Odessa.
The easiest way to get there is to catch trolleybus number 3, which stops right in front of the factory gates. Riding the trolley bus in Odessa is easy, just hop on and hand the conductor 2 UAH for a ticket.
The Darth Vader statue is hiding behind the gates of this old factory complex. When I visited, the gate was ajar, and I walked right in. But 20 minutes later when I tried to leave, there was a huge chain and padlock on the gate, and a security guard asking what I was doing there, in Russian.
He seemed friendly enough, and let me out. If you’re planning on visiting the Statue, I’d recommend checking with the security guard first. You’ll find him in the booth to the right side of the gate. The guard on duty when I visited didn’t speak any English, if showing him your camera and saying “Darth Vader” doesn’t get you in, try saying please:
“Mogu li ya uvidet Darth Vader , pozhaluysta” – May I please request a moment with the Sith Lord, kind Imperial guard.
The statue sits in a courtyard surrounded by factories and office buildings, where workers come to catch some fresh air, and pay their respects to the Sith Lord.
The statue was once a monument to communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, until it was flagged for demolition under Ukraine’s current process of “decommunisation”.
But rather than tear the statue down, local artist Alexander Milov instead proposed a slight re-modelling, to a more popular figure in Odessa. The statue still contains the original bronze Lenin, now wrapped in Darth Vader’s cape and helmet.
The plaque pokes fun at the sort of propaganda you might find on a typical soviet monument.
“To the father of our nation, from it’s grateful children and step-children”
Vader’s helmet contains a WiFi access point, beaming free internet to followers of the dark side of the force.