As I said on the blog, I finally went to the Star Wars Identities Exhibition in Montreal.

There, I took this photo of Darth Vader's Chest control panel (You could get it in higher resolution here) :

Darth Vader's Chest control panel

So, what is written under those buttons?

  • 17
    Oddly enough I compared the lettering to aurek-besh alphabet(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) and the letters don't really match up. The letters actually look Hebrew to me (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_alphabet)
    – onewho
    Aug 28, 2012 at 16:56
  • 47
    Coffee, Hot Chocolate and Mocha. But where is the dispenser?
    – Xantec
    Aug 28, 2012 at 17:22
  • 4
    So... the Jedi were Jewish?
    – CamelBlues
    Aug 28, 2012 at 20:18
  • 12
    It probably says - "One to rule them all, one to find them, one to bring them all, and to the dark side guide them!"
    – Secko
    Aug 29, 2012 at 1:32
  • 5
    It says: ON, OFF and DEMO
    – djm
    Dec 15, 2016 at 15:53

4 Answers 4



It says nothing coherent.


I am an Israeli, fluent in English and Hebrew is my mother tongue.

Although the translations are true it is not what is written on the shield.

First line

The first letter of the first line is a mirrored א

"Aleph", Wikipedia

Second line

The second letter of the second line is an upside down ח or ת

"Tav (letter)", "Heth", Wikipedia

The fourth fifth and sixth letter מצש has only one remote meaning in Hebrew which is מצ"ש - meaning the part of Saturday which is no longer considered Sabbath (after sundown).

The second line has only one letter which can be read as Hebrew which is מ as can be seen here vader's chest panel

Third line

The third line has two words:

  • The first עד means until
  • The second word is שלכה which can mean walked.

Notice merit is spelled שזכה the difference is the second letter ל or ז

"Lamedh", Wikipedia

"Zayin", Wikipedia

As for phonetics the words can't really be read.

The first 'word' can be read as

at (sounds like @)

The second word is

Mooutazssh (Moo-za-ash)

The second line cannot be read on my link on the original link it's

TzitzMilag - tz-i-mi-laagg

It has no meaning and can't be read.

The third line can be read as

A'ad Shelacha.

  • 6
    So the conclusion is? ... It says nothing coherent? Aug 29, 2012 at 0:04
  • @raam86 Second line on OP image is clearly upside-down ציצמלג (which is meaningless), your image is different and it looks like upside-down ימנהמ
    – Sandman4
    Aug 29, 2012 at 8:21
  • It is not different just higher res. With a lot of imagination I can see ימנהמ but the י is off and so is the last (two?) letters
    – raam86
    Aug 29, 2012 at 10:03
  • 1
    Or maybe it's just hebrew script in the galaxy far far away language
    – raam86
    Dec 15, 2016 at 8:42
  • 1
    Is it possible that it's using ancient Hebrew rather than modern Hebrew? Jan 3, 2018 at 17:20

According to SW Wikia discussions:

he control panel from V and VI bore Hebrew lettering that can be translated as "His deeds will not be forgiven, until he merits".

Someone fluent in Hebrew was able to corroborate that based on Star Wars Blueprints: The Ultimate Collection, by DK publishing as well

There is also a fairly extended discussion on the page where Wikia links as a reference (Wayback machine link, search for "Hebrew"). It seems that most or at least some of the research dates back to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc newsgroup.

Yahoo Answers has phonetics of the wording (not corroborated or referenced):

ein ma'asav = his deeds will not
nisslachim = be forgiven
ad shezacha = until he merits

They also note that the middle line is upside down.

Extra several pages of discussion are at STAR WARS Technical Commentaries.

  • 4
    מעשיו לא יסלחו, עד שהוא ראוי = "His deeds will not be forgiven, until he merits"... Letter for letter it doesn't match with the image.
    – onewho
    Aug 28, 2012 at 17:54
  • 14
    The text from the "Yahoo Answers" answer clearly does not match what's in the photograph. But given that the middle line is upside-down, and that one of the letters on the top line is upside-down as well, I'm assuming that the person who actually put the lettering the costume didn't know any Hebrew. It's probably better to ask what the text is supposed to say than what it does say; and your answer might well be the answer to that.
    – ruakh
    Aug 28, 2012 at 19:17
  • 2
    The middle might be upside down, but even so, it does not resemble "nisslachim" Not even a single letter matches.
    – soandos
    Aug 29, 2012 at 5:36
  • 2
    @ruakh - this is an important enough note that you should consider a separate answer Aug 29, 2012 at 14:07
  • 1
    @onewho - - this is an important enough note that you should consider a separate answer Aug 29, 2012 at 14:09

People, remember: It's a prop. Whoever made it back in 1975 decided it needed labels but knew that they would never be readable, so they stuck on something that was clearly not meant to be readable.

Given raam86's statement that the labels are hebrew it is highly likely that the prop maker was jewish enough to know the alphabet and decided to mix it up a bit. Given the number of easter eggs in many movies ( E.T. appears in one scene in this franchise) I'm slightly surprised it doesn't say Coffee, Hot Chocolate and Mocha.

  • 3
    If I had a life support suit like that, I would DEFINITELY have those three buttons. :) (Personally, I would have Mocha in the middle, mixing the coffee and the hot cocoa.) Dec 15, 2015 at 20:19

This is addressed by Leland Chee (AKA Lobot) in Star Wars Insider 103. Apparently the letters are random nonsense and have no meaning whatsoever.

Q. What do the Hebrew letters on the chest box of the classic trilogy costume for Darth Vader say?

Ask Lobot: During their extensive research for the upcoming Star Wars Blueprints book, illustrators Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas consulted with multiple sources and concluded that the "Hebrew" characters found on various versions of the Darth Vader control panel amount to absolutely nothing. The writing is all just gibberish with many of the characters reversed, upside-down, backwards, incomplete or a combination of those. The letters themselves are different on the different versions of the unit.

As to why they appear there, one of the theories is the letters were actually reused from a Raiders of the Lost Ark prop, as the letters did not appear on the Vader costumes from A New Hope

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