014: We Meet Darth!
“LORD VADER IS COMING ABOARD” I’ve discovered that this line came from the Radio Adaptation of 1981! It was amazing to hear the Droid announce Darth Vader, in my headphones, lying in bed, 3 decades later. It gave me a start, “Gosh—so that’s where it came from!”
I think whenever I found any extra little tid-bits of expanded story, I was very eager to do a new page and try to get them in to add more meat to the comic.
The voice of Vaydurrr
It’s well known by serious Star Wars fans that Vader’s scenes were shot with big strongman Dave Prowse delivering the lines. And that Dave’s always sworn that he believed all along that his voice was intended to be in the final edit—intended for inclusion in the film! But have you ever heard his voice when he says those lines?
I mean, how could he possibly..? Never mind. Dave is by all accounts a lovely man and has a delightful creamy, rural sounding accent but it was just as well that James Earl Jones later over-dubbed Vader.
A bit ‘off’
Still, at times—the voice does seem a little out of sync, detached if you like from Prowse’s movements. Especially in this scene and the one when he meets Leia. Perhaps it was an approach that was destined to be less than successful. Well, we were young and it looked good enough to us! It’s especially apparent when he points his finger or makes any sort of hand-gestures.
However, I think when the Special Editions were done—and re-done—and RE-frigging-DONE; it might have been a good idea to shuffle his dialogue just a bit to see if it matched better. A few frames forward or back could have made all the difference. Especially to some of those finger-pointing, hand-acting bits.
Incidentally, also watch one of those Death Star conference room scenes between Vader and Tarkin. At the very end, Vader does a grasping/clenching gesture that actually makes no sense. Very odd! I think this instance may have been a case of George just not shooting enough film for the editors to work with.
Art Notes: Darth Vader’s Coming Abord!
“The ship’s information retrieval system has been wiped cleen”
So we meet Luke and Leia’s old man. I’ve just noticed that I never depicted Vader making his big appearance – striding through the burnt-out hatch. The scene that Francis Ford Coppola (or was it Brian DePalma) criticised.
“George… this is your villain. And you introduce him to the audience like this?”
Or words to that effect. Thanks lads, with friends like you… Well, Lucas gave up directing after this film. Until the Prequels.
By the way, I think i started to write ‘Imperial‘ in panel 3, but realised I hadn’t given myself enough space. So I changed it to ‘Empire‘.
Incidentally, Dave Prowse and Kenny Baker are best pals you know? I met Kenny once. Well, I say “met”, it was more sort of… he graciously signed this comic at a convention in Dublin – when I passed it to a member of staff (another story for a later page or blog post). So, it’s a bit like we’re acquainted. So to Dave, I’m a friend of friend—if you know what I mean. And Dave’s Darth Vader—kind of—even though Vader’s not ACTUALLY a real character—but you get the gist—so technically… in a way, I’m a pal of Vader. And as I turn a blind eye to his doings—so I can continue being his friend—in Ireland so to speak: does that make me an accessory to his crimes? Or just a supportive friend who cares?
“…by the name of Darth Vader”
And by the way, I make NO apologies for naming him ‘Darth’. Darth is not his rank, he’s a Lord. Darth is his first name—goddamit.
Next: Escape Pod “F-TOOM!”
The Imperial Death Star droid announces Vader's arrival, "Lord Vader is coming aboard."
A stormtrooper has brought the captive Captain Antilles before Vader. "Lord VAder, the ship's indormation system has been wiped clean!"
Vader grabs Antilles by the throat, "Empire trash!" the rebel Captain blurts, choking for air.
"Then Captiain Antilles will tell us what we need to know," Vader rasps.
We see a cut-out Star Wars trading card which has been glued into the page. It shows Vader holding Antilles by the throat
Close-up of Antilles in a death grip. "Where is the data you intercepted?" demands Vader.
"We're on a diplomatic mission." Antilles blurts.
'SNAP!' Vader's arm drops the rebel to the deck. "The fool is dead! Start tearing this ship apart piece by piece until you have those tapes!"
A final strangled death moan escapes the captain's throat.