"Bonjour, Stormtrooper," a charming gent from Ford Europe calls out.
We're on the last day of a press event for the new Focus in France and, as the greeting suggested, I have rolled up to breakfast in a Stormtrooper t-shirt.
We exchanged pleasantries before he dropped one of the coolest knowledge bombs I've heard in a long time.
"Did you know that the new Mustang is based on Darth Vader's helmet?"
Some quick googling with a croissant hanging out of my mouth confirmed that this story wasn't new, but had somehow passed me by.
I felt simultaneous shame and excitement. Je suis desole!
Fortunately there was a Mustang on hand at the event, so I was able to check it all out. The team pointed confirmed that it's the front end of the car that has an element of villainy carved into it. As I feasted my eyes and ran my fingertips delicately along the beast, I understood what they meant.
The crafted angles and curves are distinctly vaderesque, and strike the eye as both stylish and intimidating.
This is what design manager, Melvin Betancourt had to say about it to Autoblog back in 2017.
"When we were designing the new 2018 Mustang, the team wanted to make the new model look more aggressive, and one place where we found inspiration was one of the most famous screenplay villains of all time. The angled nostrils and contours of Darth Vader's mask became the inspiration for the Mustang's new fog lamp scoops and front-end shape."
While this design inspiration may not be obious to everyone who experiences the new Mustang, I certainly can't unsee it. And I find it cool that this lifetime change of perspective manifested because I wore a nerdy shirt to breakfast.
The author travelled to France as a guest of Ford.