Chris Matthews's Galactic Gaffe: Darth Vader 'Cut Off His Own Son's Arm'; Sorry, Tingles, It Was Just His Hand

Hardball host Chris Matthews is quite the cinemaphile, frequently working movie references into his banter on the MSNBC program. So it was rather surprising when the MSNBC anchor made a whopper of a gaffe on his July 24 program regarding an iconic moment in the climactic lightsaber duel in the middle chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back. It seems Matthews remembers Luke Skywalker losing the duel when Darth Vader cut of his arm, not merely his right hand.

The botched movie reference was made by Matthews as he relayed how the fictional villain has a higher favorability rating (58 percent) than any real-life 2016 presidential prospect, including Hillary Clinton (55 percent). Here's the relevant transcript (video follows page break):


Well, some politicians will do anything to get their favorability up. And some have to because in a new poll, one of the darkest characters in a galaxy far, far away has a better favorability rating, believe it or not than the current potential 2016 presidential candidates.

In a poll from Nate Silver's 538 blog, the favorability of Star Wars characters was measured. But when compared with current national polling by Gallup, Darth Vader was viewed more favorably than Hillary Clinton, than Mike Huckabee, or Rand Paul. The only Star Wars character to come in lower than those candidates was Jar Jar Binks who still polled higher than Congress.

Darth Vader, let's recall, blew up a planet and cut off his own son's arm, yet he still gets a higher favorability than the field for 2016. 

This was the second gaffe in the program for Matthews. In an earlier segment the host referred to the presidential contest in 2016 being "almost three years from now."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters