Star Wars trivia… David Prowse speaks!

You all know David Prowse, of course: he’s the actor who wore the Darth Vader costume in the original Star Wars trilogy, but whose voice was replaced with the voice of James Earl Jones.

Well, in Episode V he has an actual speaking part, and you can see his face.

No, really.

Well… okay. I’m talking about Episode V of the 1981 TV series, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

David Prowse (billed as Dave Prowse) plays the pinstripe-wearing bodyguard of Hotblack Desiato in Milliways, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. He picks up Ford Prefect (played by David Dixon) by the shoulders, lifting him a good eighteen inches off the ground, and gives him a thuggish talking-to. And honestly, after watching that bit, I can see why Lucas had James Earl Jones voice Darth Vader.

How do I know? Well, I just watched that episode, and confirmed my suspicion with a quick trip to IMDB.

Okay, back to whatever else it was you were doing.

27 thoughts on “Star Wars trivia… David Prowse speaks!”

      1. Re: Fasinating

        I love Asterix :-D. I have most of the books and all of the movies other than the live-action one (and that one is really hard to get your hands on). I get really weird looks when people hear me singing the poison song from Asterix and Cleopatra 😉

        1. Re: Fasinating

          Which live-action one? A&E vs. Caesar or Mission Cleopatra? There’s two of them, y’know.

  1. David Prowse lived near a mate of mine’s home, and drank with his Dad. He has rather a strong accent; apparently “Luuke, oi am yorr fathurrr” in a West Country accent wouldn’t have carried quite the same gravitas as JEJ…

    1. According to the commentary on one of the episode IV-VI DVDs, they called him Darth Farmer because of that accent…

  2. I’m not sure I need to know anything about Prowse’s accent to understand why they replaced his voice with that of James Earl Jones. I mean, it’s James Earl Jones, do you even need a reason to want to use that voice?

      1. Yes and no. We still see Sebastian Shaw’s face when Luke takes off the mask, but we don’t see Sebastian Shaw as the Force Ghost of Anakin down on Endor (in that part Shaw was replaced by Hayden Christiansen).

          1. It DOES follow the narrative curve a little better for the full story, though. Anakin was the tragic figure, and seeing him “restored” to his prime is kind of nice.

            (Well, except for the fact that Hayden Christiansen never for me captured what I imagined Luke’s father to have been like when he was first mentioned. But that’s just me.)

          2. I’ll agree to that. I always thought of him as a man of heroic stature… friendly face, strong chin, and a great sense of humour. A real jocular fellow, who was well-loved and greatly influential. In fact, I imagined him to be not angsty at all, and not even really dramatic, just a great Jedi, a greater general, and a good member of the Republic who truly loved his wife.

            Then again, I also thought a lot of things, like Jedi were allowed to marry and fall in love and all that sort of thing… I don’t know, the original trilogy lends itself to a very different feel of the universe than the new trilogy.

          3. Yeah, you’d like to think that, but look at luke… he had to get those @#$@# whiney genes from somewhere.

          4. You might as well ask “where have all his scars gone? and why does he have hair now?” for the original.
            Being restored to his natural old state is not that different from being restored to his natural in-the-prime-of-life state.

            Besides… (feel free to ignore this next part, it doesn’t make any sense)…
            The ghost is a representation of Anakin Skywalker, the Good Guy. The old guy with scars was Darth Vader, the Bad Guy. Vader didn’t reform, he merely died and let Anakin back out. Vader has gone to wherever Palpatine went, but Anakin has joined Yoda and silly ol’ Ben.

          5. Actually, that does make sense… but I was of the idea that a tiny bit of goodness existed inside Vader, and so Anakin was not really dead… It makes sense your way, though.

  3. Funny thing is, David Prowse actually thought it would be his voice and didn’t know he was being dubbed out until the screenings… *L* I heard he was rather upset at first. (And on that vein, I wonder how Sebastian Shaw reacted to being cut out of the end of Jedi… Is he alive anymore?)

  4. I’ve known this for years. (I take it you’ve never seen “the making of” for the BBC hitchhiker’s guide? I think it’s on the DVD, and long before that I had the videotape…)

    Did you know that the fifth Doctor Who (Peter Davison) is the dish of the day?


  5. On the set of Star Wars they called him “Darth Farmer” for a joke. It wasn’t until postproduction that Prowse found out that they were gonna voice him over.


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