“Hemorrhoids don’t concern me, Admiral…” That was something Dave Prowse said to me at a party after a sci-fi convention in the 1990s. He was telling me a story about how, on the set of The Empire Strikes Back, they couldn’t hear him very well as he spoke his lines inside the Darth Vader helmet. Everyone knew they would be dubbed later, so Dave thought he’d at least have a little fun with it and get a rise out of the cast and crew, replacing the word asteroids with something funnier. That should give you some insight as to the kind of guy Dave was.
I had the honor of giving Dave his very first website presence. He had put out the call to a few fans and somehow I ended up with the gig. From that day on, he treated me with the respect and dignity of a friend, and not just a person from whom he needed something. We spoke, interviewed, shared pictures, met at conventions, had dinners, and just talked and talked about everything. I met and became friends with his then manager Maxwell Patterson, who was also the loveliest of guys. We made a great little team. The site eventually moved on to someone a little closer to Dave in the UK and I was happy to hand them the keys. Dave thanked me over and over for the hard work and I never forgot it.
There will never be a more iconic moment for me in cinematic history than when Darth Vader first emerged through that smoky door in the original Star Wars film. If you’ve ever spoken to him, you know that he was also very proud of his roles in the Hammer horror films, A Clockwork Orange, and various other BBC shows, not to mention his bodybuilding career and his important role as the Green Cross Code Man, helping little kids cross the roads safely.
On November 28, 2020, Dave Prowse passed away. To him I say thank you for that villainous swagger and the ominous presence you brought to Darth Vader that’s been so important to all of us over the years. You will be missed.
(Original posting: June 01, 1998. This intro has been updated to account for Dave Prowse’s passing on November 28, 2020.)