Many actors who have appeared in Star Wars movies in the past want to get in on the next trilogy. Recently, Ian McDiarmid and Ewan McGregor have both been linked to Episode VII, as Emperor Palpatine and Obi-Wan Kenobi, respectively. Now it looks another original cast member is interested in returning that galaxy far, far away.
According to THR, British actor David Prowse, who we all remember as the man in the Darth Vader costume in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, wants to be a part of the new films. Here’s the kicker, though, he doesn’t want to reprise his role as the Dark Lord of the Sith. Instead, Prowse wants to be a different character for J.J. Abrams. “Unfortunately, Darth Vader was killed off,” he admitted to his hometown newspaper, Hull Daily Mail, adding that, “it would be nice to come back and do another character, because no one’s ever seen my face. I was never unmasked.”
Prowse, now 78, revealed that he was originally offered the role of Chewbacca in the first Star Wars movie. He declined to play the Wookie because of the cumbersome costume. He said, Chewbacca “was like a big gorilla [and] I didn’t think I could I could be in a gorilla suit for three months.” Instead Prowse opted to play Darth Vader instead, because that outfit is so much more comfortable and convenient.
Prowse doesn’t appear in any of the prequels because those films are primarily about how Anakin Skywalker turns to the Dark Side of the force and becomes Darth Vader. The Vader we know and love only appears in the classic black suit at the very end of Revenge of the Sith, and it was Hayden Christensen, who begged and pleaded with George Lucas, who donned the iconic helmet and cape. This is the first time in the Star Wars universe that the same actor played both Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader.
If Prowse appears in the new Episode VII, it would most likely be a cameo, like Warwick Davis in The Phantom Menace, rather than a full role. Nothing against Prowse, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is super excited to see him not play Darth Vader. If Abrams and screenwriter Michael Arndt somehow bring Vader back to life, then movie bloggers can get the “Star Wars: Episode VII – A Jedi Jumps The Shark” headlines ready to go.
New rumors also suggest that the release date for Episode VII could change. Some have suggested that the film could come out in December 2015 instead of May. Since the first film, each of the six movies has been released in the summer. The reasoning behind the move is likely due to production and marketing. Summer 2015 is loaded with big blockbusters, like The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now that James Cameron’s Avatar 2 has a Christmas 2016 release, perhaps Disney and Lucasfilm can take advantage of the relatively open slot in December 2015.