David Prowse, the actor behind Darth Vader’s looming figure in the original Star Wars trilogy, has had an odd relationship with the franchise over the years, from criticizing George Lucas for replacing his voice with James Earl Jones’ to publicly spoiling the ending of The Empire Strikes Back a full two years before the sequel hit theaters. His relationship with Lucasfilm has apparently so soured over the years that he claims he was banned from participating in official Star Wars events and conventions. But despite that strained past, Prowse was still upset that no one bothered to invite him to participate in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will feature Vader in a key cameo role.
Prowse was reportedly blindsided by that information in an interview with Radio Times, telling the outlet, “I didn’t know anything about Darth Vader coming back actually. … Where did this come from?”
While Disney invited Jones to return to voice the character, it did not extend a similar invite to Prowse, and as the actor told Radio Times, he was pretty disappointed not to be included.
“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,” Prowse told the outlet.
That’s a bit of a 180 from the last time Prowse discussed reprising the role, when he admitted that he suffers from dementia, and was worried that he may not be able to remember his lines were he to try his hand at acting again. Still, he said at the time he would have liked to have had a cameo in The Force Awakens (which featured plenty of original cast members in big and small roles), and we imagine he’s feeling the same this time around, too. Perhaps the folks at Disney felt that at 81, Prowse may not have been able to meet the demands of the role, which features Vader as “the fixer” of the nascent Empire. Then again, perhaps filmmakers simply didn’t want to risk Prowse spoiling any plot points after he spilled the beans about the “I am your father” plot twist; the internet may not have been around back then to widely disseminate that information, but Disney can’t afford to take any chances with a leak that large today.
(Via: Radio Times)