As Star Wars has returned to cinemas with an all-new movie series, it’s been great to see Disney and LucasFilm getting all the original actors involved in reviving their roles on the big screen, from Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill to figures like Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and the late Erik Bauersfeld (Admiral Ackbar).
However, there’s one crucial player from George Lucas’ original space opera trilogy who hasn’t been involved – and in fact wasn’t even told that his character would be making a dramatic return in upcoming prequel/spin-off Rogue One.
“I didn’t know anything about Darth Vader coming back actually,” actor Dave Prowse, who played the Sith Lord in the original three films, told RadioTimes.com backstage at London Film and comic-con.
“No, I didn’t know. Where did this come from?”
Upon being informed that his character was officially announced to be back earlier this month at Star Wars Celebration, Prowse added that the news was “wonderful”, though he wished he’d been given the chance to reprise his role alongside the returning James Earl Jones (who has provided Vader’s iconic voice in all his screen appearances).
Prowse on set as Darth Vader with Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing and George Lucas
“It’d be nice to be offered the job again, because I’m still fit and healthy, and I’m still Darth Vader in and around the country,” he said.
“I get loads and loads of requests, you know, to do loads of personal appearances, both as myself and him. People are still very interested in Darth Vader.”
Speaking more generally about the enduring power of the character, he concluded:
“When you think back to Star Wars in the 70s, like 76 I think it was, or around that period, now we’re talking about sort of 40-odd years further on, and Star Wars is as big as ever.
“I get loads and loads of requests to do these personal appearances, and if I want I could be somewhere different in the world every weekend.
“Well, it’s incredible.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars story will be released in UK cinemas on the 16th December