It is without a doubt that Darth Vader is and will always be the legendary and iconic villains of all time. It is still an ongoing debate whether Star Wars is the number one Sci-Fi/Fantasy film in history or not? Whatever the answer might be, one thing is for sure, Darth Vader has created his own legacy on earth.
Below are some interesting facts Star Wars fans might love discovering and the non-Star Wars fans interested in finding out.
1. Darth Vader Had More Onscreen Appearances Than The Other Casts.
The first film of the series, which is also the first appearance of Darth Vader, was in the year 1977. Up until today, as we speak, Darth Vader continues to invade our screens in different ways. The nefarious Vader has already participated in more than 200 movies and TV shows and 35 video games.
He guest-starred in the movies Night at the Museum 2 and Toy Story 3. He is one of the most recognized and famous figures in the entire world.
2. Darth Vader Was Played By Five Men In The Whole Star Wars Series.
Whenever we hear the name James Earl Jones, we immediately associate him with Darth Vader. Jones is responsible for bringing into history the unique iconic of Vader’s voice. But, Jones is not the only one associated with Vader. Actually, Jones is not the one who we see on screen acting out Vader’s role.
There are four other men who were in-charge with most of the scenes of the notorious villain. David Prowse, actor, wore the suit majority of the time in most scenes of Vader; Bob Anderson, a fencer, took place during the lightsaber combats; Sebastian Shaw, stage actor veteran, only wore Dart Vader once just to take off the helmet in a scene were Vader was dying; and Darth Vader would not be complete without the brains of sound artist Ben Burtt. He was the one who created the scary mouth-breathing effect of the villain.
David Prowse only portrayed Darth Vader completely for the first half of the Return of the Jedi. In the second half of the movie, the character was played by Bob Anderson, a stuntman, during the fight sequence, and Sebastian Shaw after the character is unmasked. Because of this, Ian McDiarmid, who plays the Emperor, and David Prowse have never met in real life.
3. James Earl Jones Was Not Recognized Until Episode VI
George Lucas originally wanted legendary film director Orson Welles to do Darth Vader’s voice, but decided against it, feeling that Welles’ voice would be too recognizable. Jones never did admit to anyone that it was his voice behind Darth Vader. He refused to be included in the credits for A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. It was later until the release of Return of the Jedi that he allowed the producers to use his name.
Even though we never saw Jones on screen, he deserves majority of the credit for voicing Darth Vader. Because of Vader’s signature tone of voice, he is still lived up until today and considered the most recognized villain.
4. Originally, Darth Vader Shouldn’t Have Had That Iconic Helmet
The original design of Vader’s suit did not include the head helmet. In George Lucas’ original script, Vader’s face was described in full details. The headgear was only seen to be an accessory of Vader to wear when travelling in space. Ralph McQuarrie, was the one who invented the iconic head gear.
5. The Helmet Of Darth Vader Is Influenced By Military Gear
Costume designer John Mollo incorporated a variety of military influences for Vader’s helmet. The design amalgamated the samurai look found at the back of the helmet, and the front resembles the Nazi helmet during WWII. As well as, Mollo got his inspiration from WWI soldiers that wore gas masks for the trench warfare.
6. Darth Vader Was The One Who Created C-3PO
Darth Vader was not Vader from the start, he came off first as young Anakin Skywalker, the person responsible for C-3PO’s birth. A bit strange because in the original trilogy Vader and C-3PO run into each other, and it’s quite strange as he does not recognize his own creation.
7. The Onscreen Darth Vader Did Not Know His Voice Will Be Replaced
For the majority of all scenes in the Star Wars, it was David Prowse who appeared to be Darth Vader. He was a bodybuilder with a towering height of 6 foot and 5 inch, making him perfect for the role. Unfortunately, there was a lack of clear communication between Prowse and director Lucas. Prowse said he was not aware that his voice would be dubbed by Jones. Astonishingly, James Earl Jones and David Prowse, who play the voice and body of Darth Vader respectively, had never met during the shooting of the movies.
8. And To Dub Darth Vader Was Very Necessary
Although David Prowse has the perfect build that completes Vader’s physical features, his voice was really not a match for it. Prowse has a high-pitched country accent, thus making it unimaginable to voice the villain. It was so irrelevant to the role that he was later labelled “Darth Farmer”.
9. Darth Vader’s True Identity Was A Major Off-Script Secret
The revelation that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father was a major shocker to the fans, and even the cast and crew of the film itself. How is that possible? On set, David Prowse acted out the climactic scene using the written script as it said “Obi-Wan killed your father”. Since all lines on set will be overdubbed during post-production, George Lucas went to replace the original script with the lines “I am your Father”.
The secret that Vader was Luke’s father was such a secret that only five people knew about it: George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, Mark Hamill, and James Earl Jones.
Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) was told only minutes before the shoot in order for him to react with the required level of anger. Therefore, even the acting Darth Vader did not know this not later until it was released in cinemas.
Another fact: Originally, when Luke takes Darth Vader’s helmet before he dies, the scene was going to involve Luke putting on his father’s mask and dawning himself the ‘new Darth Vader’. Many fans loved the idea but George Lucas hated it since he deemed Star Wars as a film series meant for children.
10. Darth Vader’s Presence Is Found At The National Cathedral
Darth Vader is forever a part of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Although he is quite small to see but Vader’s head is one of the designs in the grotesques. The Cathedral held a contest through National Geographic magazine which involved kids to design grotesque to appear in the newly-built towers on the west part. Darth Vader garnered third place but is now the most popular figure in the Cathedral.
11. Vader Has A Unique Fighting Style
Long before he became Darth Vader, when he was still Anakin Skywalker he mastered the same technique that Luke Skywalker used against him in the latter part. As soon as he became Darth Vader, he forcefully changed his fighting style instilling limitations due to his heavy-weight life-supporting armor. Vader had a distinctly brutal two-handed lightsaber technique.
12. Darth Vader’s Imperial March Is Popularly Used In Field Games
The Imperial March is Darth Vader’s one-of-a-kind soundtrack whenever he makes an entrance. If you think that the movie’s theme music is the most popular track in the movie, then think again, as the Imperial March might just top them all. It is popularly used in marching bands of football games. One time, it was even used by the Montreal Canadians as their marching music while entering the stadium. Not to mention, the LA Clippers, Chicago Bulls and New York Yankees have used this march to the field too.
13. Volkswagen Admires Darth Vader
In 2012, Volkswagen’s unforgettable Super Bowl commercial stole the show by featuring a mini-sized Darth Vader. Another teaser of their advertisement still encapsulates the Star Wars theme. This time, they did it by letting dogs bark the Imperial March.
14. Iconic Darth Vader Breathing Sound
Ben Burtt created the sound of Darth Vader’s breathing by placing a small microphone in the second stage (mouthpiece) of a scuba regulator, and then recording the sound made by his breathing through the regulator.
Another Fact: The sound of Vader’s helmet being lowered onto his body was the sound of someone putting their hand over a vacuum tube while it was still sucking in dust.
15. Darth Vader Is The Only Character Who Was Present In All Series
Although following series involved new villains, but Darth Vader is irreplaceable and stayed at ease the whole series of films. His presence was so important that even after his death in Star Wars universe, his distorted, melted helmet still showed up in The Force Awakens.
16. Vader Only Had 12 Minutes Of Screen Time In The First Film
Despite the fact that Darth Vader is the most influential and important character in the whole film, he only had 12 minutes of appearance in the first movie. Even Chewbacca had more screen time than the infamous villain. Nonetheless, even in the span of only 12 minutes, Vader managed to leave us a long lasting impression that we will forever remember.