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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Movie Villain Monday: Darth Vader - Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

It’s Movie Villain Monday and since it’s May the 4th (Star Wars Day), I thought it only right that today’s villain should be the legendary Darth Vader from the Star Wars saga.

Introduced to audiences as the main antagonist in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Darth Vader has become one of the most iconic movie villains of all time.

Few other characters are as instantly recognisable by sight or sound as the Sith Lord.

Who is Darth Vader?

Formerly Anakin Skywalker, a promising and powerful young Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the force, Darth Vader was born when Anakin was seduced by the dark side and bested in battle by his master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

After being left for dead, Anakin was rescued by the evil (soon to be) Emperor Palpatine and made part machine in an attempt to save his life.

Vader was voiced by the brilliant James Earl Jones and has been physically portrayed by various actors throughout the many Star Wars films. Most notably is David Prowse (MBE) who’s physically imposing 6’7” frame landed him the role of the original Sith Lord in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope.


Sixteen years after we thought we’d seen the end of the Star Wars saga following the events of Return of the Jedi (1983), we flocked to cinemas to see the first of three new films set previous to the originals that depicted Anakin’s inevitable journey to the dark side.

The first two films were met with mixed reviews with the third being received more favourably.

It’s still something that divides many Star Wars fans today.


Vader’s appearance was actually inspired by Japanese Samurai armour and originally didn’t feature a mask. This was added later as the character design evolved.

Also, the name Darth Vader came from many ideas based on the phrase “Dark Water” that George Lucas had in mind in the early stages.

Apparently, David Prowse was under the impression that his voice would be used for the character but George Lucas had other ideas. His West Country accent wasn’t considered right for the villain so James Earl Jones was brought in to provide a more intimidating voice for the finished movie. There are conflicting reports about this however, some saying Prowse thought he’d be overdubbing his lines in post production and some saying that Lucas never intended to use his voice from the beginning...🤔

Darth Vader is one of my earliest memories of watching movies.

He was terrifying!

The voice, the mask, the cape!

Few other movie villains demand as much screen presence as him and that makes him a well deserved addition to the Movie Villain Monday hall of fame. 🙌

“I find your lack of faith disturbing”


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