By Darren Franich
Updated September 17, 2010 at 03:09 PM EDT
Credit: Lucasfilm, Ltd.

Image Credit: Lucasfilm, Ltd.Everybody loves pretending to be their favorite character. Maybe you’re a kid on Halloween night, or a college coed going to a skimpily-dressed costume party, or a totally awful human being who works for Blackwater. But this is really going too far: A convenience store in Ferndale, Mich., was robbed by a man wearing a Darth Vader mask. Fortunately for justice, the Sith enthusiast has apparently never heard of security cameras. (See video after the jump.)

This follows a mere two months after another Vader-wannabe robbed a bank. Why the sudden vogue for Vader masks in the armed-robbery community? Simple: there is almost nothing freakier than a dude in a Darth Vader mask. (Even Hayden Christensen got scary once he put on the helmet. And he stopped talking, too. That helped.) Between these freaky Vader robberies and those horrible Town nuns, I’m pondering: What is the scariest pop culture robbery mask?

Two movies come to mind that feature criminals who put on clown masks: Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing and mini-Kubrick’s Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. We can all agree that clowns are scary, because they eat the souls of children, but I’m semi-certain that if a clown pulled an automatic weapon on me, I’d just squeeze his nose. Much scarier are the Dead Presidents in Point Break, which I recently rewatched with Keith Staskiewicz. The sight of Patrick Swayze’s eyes moving underneath a leathery Ronald Reagan mask would make any noble bank manager open the vault. (Richard Nixon supposedly wore a Richard Nixon mask whenever he robbed a convenience store, because there’s no way they’d suspect!) The pilot episode of Nikita featured bank robbers in bunny and pig masks, and the upcoming premiere of No Ordinary Family features robbers in — wait for it — Obama masks.

Of course, if a criminal came up to me wearing a Yogi Bear mask, I’d definitely curl up in the fetal position and give him my wallet, my credit cards, and my checkbook. PopWatchers, can you think of freakier masks than that? (By the way, Stupid-Vader was arrested. Hooray for justice!)

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