A VERY WELL KEPT SECRET
Back in the days when the little blue bird hadn’t yet tweeted a single tweet, it was much easier for a director to keep total secrecy about the content of his new film. Nevertheless … To prevent anyone from ruining one of the greatest revelations in the history of cinema, George Lucas preferred to take maximum precautions in preparing his Empire counter-attack (to (re ) discover on Disney +). So, during the filming of the fateful final sequence, only director Irvin Kershner and Mark Hamill, interpreter of Luke Skywalker, were aware that Darth Vader was the father of the young hero. So that the surprise of the spectators in theaters is total, Lucas has indeed decided to hide the truth from David Prowse, the interpreter of Vader himself, who thus pronounced the reply “Obi-Wan killed your father” (and not “I am your father”) on set, before his voice was dubbed in post-production by James Earl Jones.
THE HELMET OF A SAMURAI
If Darth Vader – originally described in early versions of the script from George lucas as a “great sinister general” – finally found himself decked out in his famous mask, thanks to legendary illustrator Ralph McQuarrie. This exceptional artist, who was in a way the first to bring Lucas’ ideas to life in the form of drawings, indeed equipped Vader with a spacesuit and a breathing mask (supposed to allow him to evolve in space during a sequence where he left his ship). The visual rendering convinced George Lucas so much that he decided to leave it to him. As for the characteristic aspect of his bell-shaped helmet, we owe it to costume designer John Mollo, who drew his inspiration from the Nazi uniforms of World War II … and samurai armor. No wonder this when you consider that one of Lucas’ major influences was Akira Kurosawa’s filmography, and his famous sword movies.
HAYDEN IN ARMOR
The voice of James earl jones, the body of David prowse, the movements of Bob Anderson, the make-up face of Sebastian Shaw … From episode IV to Rogue One, the famous Sith Lord will have been shaped by multiple performers. And in the final sequence of Revenge of the Sith, where Anakin Skywalker completes his transformation into Darth Vader, it is Hayden Christensen who had the privilege of wearing the mythical armor. A favor that George Lucas decided to grant to the young interpreter of Anakin when the latter begged him to have a costume built to his size rather than using an understudy. It was therefore the costume designer Martin Rezard who was responsible for designing a new version of the helmet (more symmetrical than the first, and adapted to the face of the actor) and a new costume (with prostheses and wedge soles). Before being stored in Ali Baba’s cave at the Skywalker Ranch, this new creation was worn for only two days by Hayden Christensen, on the set of the film in Sydney, the time of a particularly nostalgic sequence that brought together a good part of the team on the set.
CHEWIE OR VADOR?
The day when David prowse, English comedian and weightlifter, arrived in the office of George lucas to discuss with him his famous “Star Wars”, the American filmmaker gave him the choice between two roles. Indeed, measuring 1.98 meters and endowed with an impressive build, the future interpreter of Vader could just as easily have slipped into the costume of Chewbacca, Han Solo’s shaggy wookie companion that Prowse would later describe as “a sort of hairy gorilla who followed the heroes throughout the film “. Reluctant to sweat in a fur “for 3 months in the middle of summer”, and apparently unaware that Vader’s armor wasn’t much easier to wear, so he opted for the role of “big bad”. When Lucas asked him why his choice was Vader, Prowse told him that the villain is always remembered better in the movies. The filmmaker then confirmed to him: “Dave, I think you made a very good choice. Because no one will ever forget Darth Vader.”
AT THE LAST TIME
A long corridor plunged into darkness, a siren in the background, clouds of smoke, terrified rebel soldiers, and a sinister red laser … If we had to remember only one scene from Rogue One, spin-off of the Star Wars saga released in 2016, we would without hesitation cite the final assault of Darth Vader, massacring without warning a dozen opponents to try to recover the plans of the Dark Star. And yet, this epic sequence almost never made it into the film. Indeed, according to director Gareth Edwards, it was only added at the very last moment, about 4 months before the film’s release, following a suggestion from editor Jabez Olssen who argued that the last word of the film absolutely had to come back. to Vader. After a brainstorming session with Kathleen Kennedy and three additional days of filming during which cinematographer Greig Fraser found a way to equip Vader with a real neon red, the scene could therefore be integrated into the end of Snape. One, thus offering a grandiose conclusion to the feature film.
(Re) discover our special video dedicated to Darth Vader …