David Prowse, 1935-2020

David Prowse, the man who played Darth Vader in the original trilogy, has passed away.

David Prowse, the actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, has died, the Associated Press reported. He was 85.

George Lucas asked Prowse to audition for Star Wars after seeing the 6-foot-6 actor in the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange. Prowse had his choice of playing Chewbacca or Vader, and opted for the latter because, as he told the BBC, “you always remember the bad guy.”

Prowse played Luke Skywalker’s erstwhile father in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, but famously, his voice didn’t make it into the films. He said all Vader’s lines, but the voice of James Earl Jones was later dubbed in.

Before he became an actor, Prowse was a UK champion bodybuilder in the 1960s.

Everyone knows about James Earl Jones’ impressive Vader voice, but real nerds like me knew Prowse was doing all the heavy lifting. Prowse rarely received any credit for his portrayal of Darth Vader, which may have bothered him, but he was simply happy to play the role. Let’s hope he knew every kid from my generation knew Darth Vader was the baddest badass in all of cinema.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Prowse. Thank you for the memories.

Nerd Ranking: Sith Lord

Darth Vader Choking RebelAs most of you know, I am an insufferable Star Wars nerd. I still have all my ships and action figures from the 70’s and 80’s, I can quote the original trilogy pretty much verbatim, and I was Mr. April on the Star Wars Nerd Calendar. I dressed as IG-88; a very underrated villain.

That said, while I literally drool when I see the Millennium Falcon in action, I have never once considered changing my birth name to fit the Star Wars canon.

Darth Vader is a tattooed 43-year-old former Marine who owns a gym and is raising funds online for a bone marrow transplant. A western New York man legally changed his name last year to match the villain in the “Star Wars” films.

Eric Welch, of Canandaigua, says he grew up in foster homes and didn’t have strong family ties to his name. The “Star Wars” fan says he chose Darth Vader for his new name because the character carries an aura of leadership and toughness.

You know, I was all set to post an epic rant about this guy, then I find out he’s a Marine who needs a bone marrow transplant. Even I’m not that evil. What a jip.

Down Goes Vader! Down Goes Vader!

Darth Vader Robs Florida Convenience StoreA Florida man’s plans to rob a Jacksonville convenience store went horribly wrong when he found himself front-stage, center of The Cashier Strikes Back.

Jacob Jeremy Mercer, 32, was arrested in the attempted armed robbery of Jacksonville Beach’s 8 til Late store. The mask-wearing thief entered the store with a pistol and demanded cash.

With no light saber around, a store clerk picked up the next best thing – a bottle of salad dressing – and hurled it at the Vader wannabe, who turned and fled. A man identified only as Ricardo told First Coast News he saw the thief leaving the store with a bloody face from where the bottle struck him. (H/T – TXNick)

Mr. Incredible, Darth Vader… I’m old enough to remember when thugs robbed banks while wearing presidential masks. What, did none of you see Point Break?