As I’ve said before, we can’t keep everyone in this world, not even some of the best such as David Prowse, who provided the imposing look of Darth Vader back in the days when Star Wars was still one of the most electrifying movies to hit the scene. Prowse stood at an imposing 6’6″, which today is about the average size of many sports stars and would be big but not humongous in a WWE ring. But clad in his black armor and with his blood-red lightsaber he cut a terrifying look as the dark lord of the Sith and was quite impressive in his role since he towered above almost everyone on set, save for Peter Mayhew, who was definitely a tall man at 7’2″. Between Prowse and Mayhew the rest of the cast looked absolutely tiny. But the Bristol-born powerhouse had been lifting weights and had been into bodybuilding for a good part of his life, so thinking that he was going to be anything but imposing was kind of naive to be certain. David passed just a short time ago sadly, but he’s leaving behind a legacy that will no doubt be carried over to several generations since Darth Vader is such an iconic character that his fame has already lasted for a little over three decades, and is doubtless going to keep going since he’s still a character that people want to see.
Diverse as David’s interests were though he was definitely a supporter of the Star Wars franchise, apart from the prequels. He did lend himself out to a couple of Star Wars fan films, but he didn’t express any respect for the prequels as he believed they weren’t quite as necessary as others did. Some might want to claim that this is because he didn’t have a part in them, considering that this was before Darth Vader existed, but there are still plenty of fans that believe that the prequels were a waste of time and are still the worst thing to happen to Star Wars. Some have finally come around and declared that they’re better than the most recent trilogy, but Prowse was quite adamant that the movies weren’t that great. Unfortunately, Prowse was banned from all Star Wars conventions after a while since it was deduced that George Lucas had stated that David had burned too many bridges between himself and Lucasfilm. The truth of this is likely never going to be known at this point since both Lucas and Prowse had their own opinions on the matter, and it didn’t appear that either one of them was going to back down.
Sadly, the idea that an actor can believe that they’re greater than the story is something that does happen, but if this is what happened with Prowse it’s hard to say since he enjoyed his time participating in the movies apparently and he was a very needed individual since after the movie it was obvious that Darth Vader needed that force of presence that made him such a terrifying character. But the voice-over was interesting due to the fact that David’s voice obviously wasn’t imposing enough and as a result, James Earl Jones was brought in to provide the vocals for the horrifying Sith lord. Apparently, Prowse was given the choice of auditioning for Chewbacca, whom he called a hairy gorilla or Darth Vader. Thinking that he didn’t want to wear a mask he opted for the villain, only to realize too late that he was still going to be wearing a mask. It feels fair to say that he wasn’t too happy that his vocals weren’t going to be used, but he made do and the show went on. He became one of the most important parts of the cast since Darth Vader was by far and large one of the most important characters in the story. With the joy he had in helping to create the character, it’s still odd to think of why he would have any issue with Lucasfilm, but that appears to be the way things go at times, as issues can arise from virtually nowhere to ruin relationships, or at least put a heavy strain on them.
Despite being in his 80s and no longer a part of the movies, Prowse was still a respected individual by Star Wars fans everywhere, and rightfully so. Every actor that helped the original movies come to light has gained a great deal of respect from the fans, and while there are only a few left as of now, those that have passed have been immortalized in numerous ways as Star Wars is even bigger now than it was back in their glory days. They helped to create something that could very easily last for many more decades if not longer. Rest in peace sir, you’ll be missed.
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