Calm down, Star Wars fans, I’m going to clarify how Darth Vader was played in the original trilogy – Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi (1983).
Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones, but the man in the suit was bodybuilder David Charles Prowse.
Prowse, who was born on July 1, 1935, sadly passed away on November 28, 2020.
While many actors hate being defined by one iconic role, Prowse was proud to be Vader, says Mashable.
“I created Darth Vader,” Prowse insisted to a London reporter after the release of the original Star Wars in 1977.
“His movement, his mannerisms are what I and no one else put into the character.” Stung by what he saw as Lucasfilm’s lack of recognition for his contribution, Prowse would spend the rest of his life pointedly signing photographs to fans: “David Prowse IS Darth Vader.”
While the voice is what most fams remember, Vader would have been nothing without his menacing presence.
Lucasfilm wasn’t always happy about his opinions, especially because Vader was very much a composite character created by George Lucas, imagined by Ralph McQuarrie who created the mask, and costumed by John Mollo, with his scuba-like breathing added by sound designer Ben Burtt.
They also suspected him of leaking plot details.
“Sometimes you get in trouble just for speculating,” Prowse said in 2013. He’d guessed that Luke would find out about his father, in what would later be an iconic scene and a line that is still firmly cemented in pop culture (“Luke, I am your father”).
It was the closest he’d come to explaining it. Years of bad blood with Lucasfilm had flowed from that moment; he’d supposedly been given fake dialogue to read on the set of Empire (“Obi-Wan is your father”), and partly replaced by his fencing coach in Return of the Jedi, over paranoid fears that he would leak plot points to newspapers.
He was later banned from official Lucasfilm and Disney events.
During filming, Prowse read Vader’s lines, which were later dubbed over by Jones. He retained his Bristol accent which led to the cast calling him “Darth Farmer”.
Before he landed the iconic role, he was the British Heavyweight Weightlifting Champion from 1962 through 1964 and toured Europe. He competed against an up-and-coming Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“The one thing I had going for me was my physical presence,” Prowse wrote in his 2011 autobiography From the Force’s Mouth.
He started a magazine called Power, founded his own gym, and signed up with a stunt performer agency called Tough Guys, which brought in his first acting gigs.
Apart from Darth Vader, he has also played Frankenstein’s monster in three separate movies. He was a minotaur in Doctor Who and a bodyguard for the writer whose home is invaded by the droogs in A Clockwork Orange.
He appeared in Terry Gilliam’s first film, Jabberwocky. He played a bodyguard, again, in the BBC TV adaptation of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
He also played Green Cross Code Man – Britain’s best-known homegrown superhero:
He beat back multiple bouts of severe arthritis and prostate cancer, and denied suffering from dementia.
He succumbed to what is being described as a “short illness”.
Whatever happened with Lucasfilm, he will always be the man who made Darth Vader the imposing character that he was.
[imagesource: GB News] Fox News is a profit machine, and shows hosted by the likes of S...
That’s what they’re calling it, folks - hysteria! According to dictionary.com: hys...
[imagesource:here] Sometimes it's hard to remember a time when there was anything other...
[imagesource: Anwar Amro / AFP - Getty Images] The latest COVID-19 stats, released last...
Lindani Myeni: 'Very Different Story' Emerges As New Video Released Of SA Man's Death In H...