Story: “It’s rather easy to shine in the light, but to glow in the dark that’s mastery” quote by Rick Beneteau. Known as one of most feared and powerful lords of the Sith in the far away galaxy, his reputation still holds as one of greatest villains in film history and is looked at as the symbol to what Star Wars is all about. Torn between the light and dark, Vader’s destiny is about to be tested.
Creating: When creating and capturing this moment of Darth Vader, I wanted to bring a sense of balancing the light and dark to what Vader has been through in his life. So by having one side of the photograph darkened, I wanted that to represent the dark side (fear, hate, anger and suffering) and that the light side would represent the Jedi he once was. By having the sun in the shot, this then allowed me to create a symbol of guidance to him to returning as a Jedi again, which the sun light had also created a thin line over Vader like a spirit orb (Anakin’s ghost) and that there is still some goodness in him. As for the lightsaber, this was to create a question for the viewer “as Vader walks towards the light, why does he have his lightsaber ready”? to answer this question, I wanted this to be moment to looking at Vader as he’ll always be torn apart by two sides that he believes by doing what he thinks is right he still loses everything on whatever path he chooses to walk on. Another inspiration to creating this moment was symbolizing the connection of Vader and Luke Skywalker to how they both look out to the sunset.
Facts: Voted as one greatest villains in film history, Darth Vader was first created by George Lucas in 1973 in a two-page synopsis journal where Lucas would write and keep all of his ideas to making his 1977 future film Star Wars. Tilted as Journal of the Wills, Lucas would write 12 more pages in his journal and wrote the original title The Star Wars and introduce Vader as General Vader. In 1974 Lucas made his first rouge draft of his script for The Star Wars and changed Vader’s name from general to Darth. In Lucas’s second draft of The Star Wars and giving Vader his identity to being described as a seven foot Sith knight that wore black ropes and would duel against another character called Starkiller who was actually Luke Skywalker. As Lucas was about to file his final draft of his script, Vader was actually meant to die in the script in battle of the trench run but another draft was made and Vader would survive the battle.
. Described in the early drafts just wearing black ropes, in 1975 film designer Ralph McQuarrie was brought in to paint out scenes from Lucas’s script which would help the film to be invested by 20th century fox. As McQuarrie would read Lucas’s script, McQuarrie would base Vader’s appearance on historical warriors from Japan to which Vader’s helmet was an inspiration of the Samurai. As for the mask, Vader’s mask was actually created for him to wear when Vader’s scenes were in space, but Lucas loved the design that much he wanted it to become Vader’s iconic face. As for Vader’s suit, costume designer John Malo would take McQuarrie’s work and his inspiration of the Samurai and Nazi look to be fine-tuned and then the suit would be sculpted by Brian Muir and in 1976 leading to Vader’s costume to be finally wore.
. As the production of Star Wars was to be based in the UK, when it came time to finding someone to fill Vader’s suit they had found English actor David Prowse. Prowse who was known for his tall build and being recognised on the television in the UK as the Green Cross Code Man was also in Stanley Kubrick’s 1972 film A clockwork orange which caught Lucas’s attention to hire him for the role for either Vader or Chewbacca, but Prowse chose Vader for villains are more memorable. When Filming had started, Prowse was shocked to find out that his voice was replaced by another actor’s voice by stage actor James Earl Jones for Lucas felt Prowse’s voice was not intimidating enough. As for the deep breathing sound that Vader created, the sound was created by sound engineer Ben Burtt which he recorded himself breathing through a scuba diving respirator and because of this it made Vader’s appearance more terrifying.