Monday, August 19, 2013

David Prowse (Who played Darth Vader in the Original Trilogy) is Open to Return in Star Wars: Episode 7.

The British actor and former bobybuilder who played Darth Vader in the Original Trilogy spoke with Hull Daily Mail and revealed his thoughts on the prequel trilogy and if he would like to be part of the upcoming Star Wars movie…

 From Hull Daily Mail:


“I still have my anonymity to a certain extent, which is nice. I enjoy being able to sit down privately and talk to people but I also enjoy the acclaim. I’ve been getting a lot of recognition lately – all of a sudden, it really seems to be taking off.”

When young, up-and-coming director George Lucas summoned him to a meeting, David was offered a choice of two parts.

“One was a character called Chewbacca. It was like a big gorilla. I didn’t think I could be in a gorilla suit for three months.”

The second part offered to David, on that 1970s morning in a Soho office, was a character who outlived his era and became a compelling element in one of the biggest franchises of all time.

The director asked him to play Darth Vader, tormented villain of the film and surprise father to its hero.

“He said nobody would ever forget Darth Vader and here we are 30 years later and I am chasing all over the world doing these personal appearances. Nobody remembers the goodies in films. Everyone remembers the villains. Vader is now recognised as the ultimate screen villain of all time.”

David played Vader’s body, but a twist of fate meant the public never heard his voice. Throughout the films, the actor spoke his own lines. But when he arrived for the premiere of the first movie, he was shocked to hear another person saying them. Lucas had overdubbed his speech with the voice of James Earl Jones.

His reasons are opaque, with speculation the director felt David’s west country accent was wrong for the role. But David himself claims it was a simple issue of geography.

“All the dialogue I was doing was coming from inside the mask, it seemed muffled and it was obviously going to be no good for reproduction purposes. At the end of the movie, George said we would go into the studio and do all the dialogue again, so I automatically assumed I would be doing the dialogue. It was too expensive to fly me over to America, so they got James Earl Jones. It was just a convenience thing. He’s a wonderful actor who did a wonderful voice for Vader – although I think I could have done an equally good job.”

That was not the only time he was kept in the dark. David had no idea he would be revealed as the father of hero Luke Skywalker in the second film, The Empire Strikes Back, until he saw it on the big screen.

Security was tight around the scripts after information leaked out early in filming and Lucas may have wanted to keep the film’s big twist closely guarded.

“They must have given me some completely different line, because it was all going to be overdubbed. When I went to see the movie I suddenly discovered I was Luke’s father. That’s my favourite scene of all.”

Even when Vader was unmasked at the trilogy’s climax, David’s face still remained unseen. He had hoped to appear at last but Lucas gave the part to Sebastian Shaw, a friend of Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Alec Guiness.

“Sebastian was down on his luck and asked for work. George said the only possible thing they could give him was the dying Darth Vader. Of course, they didn’t tell me. When it came to the unmasking of Darth Vader, they unmasked someone completely different. It was just a goodwill gesture from George to his friend.”

There was no part for David in any of the prequels. But he does not admire them as movies.

“I didn’t like Star Wars I, II and III at all. I think the common opinion now is they were really bad movies. There’s no comparison with the original movies. They had a much more believable story.”

Disney is making three more Star Wars films in the years ahead and David sees them as one last chance for the public to see him without the costume.


“Unfortunately, Darth Vader was killed off. But it would be nice to come back and do another character, because no one’s ever seen my face. I was never unmasked.”

Suffering from chronic arthritis and in remission from prostate cancer since 2009, David is no longer the athlete who once played Vader.

But perhaps, unencumbered by a helmet, he can still stalk through space one more time.

17 comments

  1. I would give him a small role perhaps as an human,
    this time not an alien with a mask! :-)

    And I think that the prequels are better then he talks about them, fans expected too much of them back then.

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  2. “It would be nice to come back and do another character, because no one’s ever seen my face. I was never unmasked.” Has anyone noticed that every time David talks about star wars he always talks about how he should have had more screen time, praise, etc etc.. James Earl Jones and Sebastian Shaw brought loads to the character. Sorry but face facts David, you couldn’t (and really shouldn’t) have been involved any more than you did.

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    1. That’s a little harsh, don’t you think? If you the same thing happened to you, would you feel differently? Let the man have some face time. After all, body language is a larger part of communication than words.

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    2. All i’m saying is he got to play Darth Vader, he was in DARTH FRIGGIN’ VADER’s SUIT! and for ALL THREE FILMS! I mean what an honour. They could have easily replaced him, had him share his role with others, or just replaced him altogether. Yet one way or another in interviews he always manages to say that the films should have got even more use out of him. I mean to be honest it says a lot about him as a person, especially that he doesn’t get invited to conventions anymore because of his track record in interviews. Sorry but he doesn’t get my sympathy. If I got to be in THE darth vader suit for all 3 films I couldn’t care less about bringing in a person for a threatening voice over, or getting a stage actor to do his unmasked scene, or stunts, or whatever. You can’t do everything David, just let it go. At the end of the day he signed on to play a guy in the suit, I really don’t know why he is so dissapointed he didn’t do other things that he wasn’t signed on for, and couldn’t do a good job of anyway. Lets face it, it’s been 30 – 40 years and he’s still whining, so I don’t think I’m being harsh at all, I’m just pointing out that it’s all a bit silly. I mean look at Harrison Ford, he’s not the biggest star wars fan at all by any means and even asked for his character to be killed off, but he doesn’t moan or imply anything bad about the films or his role does he. I’m just getting so bored of David’s digs about how he needed more this and more that, and I just think it’s a shame he doesn’t choose to show more professionalism. (*sighs* ok I’m going to end my rant now because that was far too long)

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    3. Yes it was far too long. Asking for a cameo part in the next movie is not a terrible sin. How many former Star Wars actors from the original trilogy have you heard about saying they wanted to be in Star Wars 7. He’s part of the history of Star Wars. Body language is a big part of acting, by the way. Someone else in the suit would have changed the character.

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    4. ….actors from the original trilogy…. should be actors from the prequel trilogy – also people not even associated with Star Wars like William Shatner

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    5. “Body language is a big part of acting, by the way. Someone else in the suit would have changed the character.”
      um.. Yes I know that. What are you talking about? That’s not even the point i’m trying to make.. and again, yes I know that loads of actors have cameos. What has that got to do with anything? You literally didn’t address a single one of my points haha. I’m saying he always makes these kinds of comments with a following rant about how he wasn’t given more stuff in the originals.
      “no one’s ever seen my face. I was never unmasked.”
      I’m saying I’m bored of him whining or making sly digs about what he got and didn’t get to do. I’ve not mentioned anything about body language or whatever..

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  3. “Open to return” as just what, exactly?
    In a cheapo flashback sequence?
    Well, given the imbecile that Disney has, to thier peril, handed over the reins to,
    I wouldn’t put it past him nor be all that suprised at the useage of so shoehorned
    an effort to get Darth Vader in Episode VII somehow & in some way.

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  4. He just wants a cameo folks. Probably dude in bar #3. Or The guy who said “Over there.” and point the way. He’s not asking to be Darth again. Spot on with the prequels I must say. It’s a cop out when people say fans expected to much. You mean a mildly decent movie? Yeah I guess that is a bit much.

    I wouldn’t hate the prequels so much if they had at least been ok movies. You don’t even need Star Wars in the equation. They were bad all their own. No need to rehash that though as millions of others have clearly pointed out the thousands of things wrong with the prequels.

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  5. Cry moar. Some of us enjoyed the prequels for what they are.

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    1. A big pile of shit?

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    2. Exactly. I’m sick of fans saying they were good movies because they enjoyed them. I mean so what? People enjoy Justin Bieber, but he has as much musical talent as a wooden spoon. The prequals were awful films. It’s the universe of star wars so of course you’re probably going to enjoy them, but as pieces of filmaking, the character development, tone, story, script, direction, it was all lacking. Just thank god for John Williams, Ben Burtt, Doug Chaing, and .. well.. anything George Lucas wasn’t involved in.

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  6. I loved all the Star wars movies and have read tons of the books. I think the prequels were much better than the older ones. I think fan just had too many ideas of how it should be.

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    1. “I think the prequels were much better than the older ones.”
      You clearly don’t understand a single aspect of the production of a film or how to critic.

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  7. I’d like to see Dave Prowse back in ep7 as his other alter ego: the green cross code man! Seriously, the original star wars would have been crap if they had used his real voice, he’s just bitter about the whole thing! Also, what exactly did Sebastian Shaw bring to the role? His head didn’t even fit right, bad casting indeed. No offense, but he ended up making the character look pathetic (pathetic in a crap way, not tragic)
    It’s true, the prequels were poor, but hopefully with Lucas taking a backseat this time, there could be hope…

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    1. Pathetic? He was dying!!! The character at that point was really old anyway, he had just been in a fight with Luke, de-limbed (AGAIN), been electrocuted a bit from the emperor, and then unmasked so he slowly and painfully dies from asphyxiation while he still tried to talk to Luke for a bit. Of course he was going to look pathetic! He should have looked even MORE pathetic if anything!

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  8. A New …Hope, Perhaps?

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