In the 1980s, while the Cathedral’s two west towers were under construction, the Cathedral held a design-a-carving competition for children. Word of the competition was spread nationwide through National Geographic World magazine. The third-place winner, Christopher Rader, submitted a drawing of that fearful villain: Star Wars’ Darth Vader.
The fierce head was sculpted by Jay Hall Carpenter, carved by Patrick J. Plunkett, and placed high upon the northwest tower of the Cathedral. (The other winner designs were a raccoon, a girl with pigtails and braces, and a man with large teeth and an umbrella.)