'Star Wars' Original Darth Vader Actor Reveals the Sad Reason He's Not Involved in the New Sequel
As a kid, the scariest part of watching Star Wars was Darth Vader. Not only was his appearance and demeanor downright terrifying, but the breathy, distorted voice behind the mask was just as intimidating. Though the majority of the franchise's fans loved the Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer — aside from a few concerns about the revamped lightsaber design, that is — there was the overwhelming feeling that, with some of the original cast members involved, the project is missing one key player. David Prowse, the actor who originally portrayed Darth Vader, wasn't included in the new Star Wars movie. According to The Mirror, Prowse expressed his disappointment at not being involved in the project, and his sad story tugs at the heartstrings.
The 79-year-old said he wanted to make an appearance alongside the original cast, but, tragically, revealed that he struggles with dementia, and that would've interfered with his ability to remember his lines.
Of not being included in the film Prowse said, "I would have loved to have been involved. Of course, Vader got killed off and there was no way back." He also added, "But it wouldn’t have mattered what it was, I would have loved to have done something in it – even if it was just a cameo." When fans ask about his involvement in the new movies, Prowse simply responds, "Sorry, not that I know of."
Sadly, Prowse also revealed in the interview that his struggle with dementia is a daily battle, and though he's on medication, it's still difficult: "Sometimes I can’t remember things I did yesterday. That worries me more than not remembering something 20 years ago," he said. "There’s nothing you can do. They’ve put me on tablets. I don’t feel it working though. I don’t feel I’ve improved at all. I don’t feel in any shape or form like I am demented. I’m not staggering around."
From 1977 to 1983, Prowse portrayed the original masked villain in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi alongside Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. An appearance from Prowse would've served as a great way to pay homage to his contribution to the earlier films, and probably would've gone well with the producers' decision to unearth the Millennium Falcon (which makes an appearance in the latest Star Wars film for the first time in 31 years.)
While it's unfortunate that he's not featured in The Force Awakens — and the reason being because of his struggle with dementia is even more devastating to hear — but it's clear that he's left an undeniable imprint on the Star Wars legacy.