Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lord of the Cu Sith?

Darth Vader is by far my favorite anti-hero.  Everything about him always seemed so mysterious.  Now that the first three movies have been made, we know all about him, but when I was growing up, there was always that wonder of what happened to this guy to make him so evil?  Even now I'll watch Revenge of the Sith and sort of hope that he won't actually kill those little kids, even though I know he must in order to turn so evil.  And that title:  Lord of the Sith!  When I was a kid, no one knew what a Sith was, but man, wouldn't it be cool to be one?  I even remember a Marvel comic that had a Sith as an alien being and Darth Vader, as evil as he was, had done something super nice and saved their whole world, which is why they worshipped him.

Now, Sith just means jedi of the dark side, and while it is nice to have some clarity, the magic just seems to be gone.

But since I am bored today, I'll push it a little farther.  Sith, in Gaelic, evidently means fairy.  Now, while I usually think all mythology allusions to be super cool, Darth Vader - the guy named Skywalker after the Norse trickster Loki, the guy whose name is a twist on Dark Father (a little foreshadowing back then), is now the Lord of the Faeries???  Just doesn't seem right.  I wondered if it was an accident or intentional on Lucas's part.  We have talked about faeries here, some, but not enough for me to know this.  I couldn't find out, although I did find a large history of the Sith (Star Wars-style, not Gaelic) at How Stuff Works, of all places (and they do mention the faerie thing.

Pushing on along, I found a website called Cu Sith.  It seems to be a start to a collection of mythological articles.  I was not very impressed by it yet, as there are more links to buying things, progressive newsletters, and other stuff than actual myths, but it might be interesting to check back there every once and a while to check it out to see how/if it evolves.

The interesting thing about Cu Sith is the name.  A cu sith is a faerie dog.  It is huge, so huge that its paw is as big as your hand and bigger than a bull.  It foretells death, like so many other of the black dog ilk, but in this case, what separated the cu sith from those other dime-a-dozen dogs is that he's green.  Yep.  

You really got to feel sorry for the cu sith.  While he is environmentally friendly and all, from what I've learned from Kermit growing up, it's not easy being green.


Tristram Evans said...

Same spelling, different pronunciations. The "Sith" in Gaelic, also spelled "Sidhe", or even simply "Si", is pronounced "shee" (the fairy hound is a "coo-shee", just as the Irish Bean Si is more commonly spelled phonetically as "Banshee"). The word originally mean's "rath" or "barrow-mound", which is where the ancient Irish believed the Sith (Fae) resided.

So Darth Vader is "Dark Lord of the Sith", whereas Finnvarra would be "Dark Lord of the Shee".

Lord Alford said...

Thanks for the clarification. I'm not up on my Gaelic pronunciations. With that difference, then maybe Lucas didn't have that in mind and it was just coincidence after all.