Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Let the Force Be with You, Bob Anderson

Bob Anderson passed away on New Year's day.

There is no need for apologies if you don't know who that is, because I didn't either until coming across this article. Despite my lack of knowledge of the man, it appears he played a pretty significant role in my childhood just the same.

The man was a world class fencer, and ended up being hired on to play all of Darth Vader's lightsaber battles in the original trilogy. It appears bodybuilder David Prowse was good at being large and intimidating, but not so good at wielding a lightsabre. I was a big enough Star Wars geek to know that it was David Prowse under the armour and that James Earl Jones did the voice (I could only imagine how things would have turned out if Mr. Jones was all dressed up as Vader). I wasn't aware that the famous duels were played by someone completely different.

But now I do. I definitely appreciate the great job Anderson did with the battles since he didn't have the assistance of CGI and was stuck in a hard to move costume. Though those battle may not stand up today, they were absolutely legendary to me as a child. I remember replicating them several times in my back yard.

So, thanks Bob Anderson for creating some really special cinematic moments for me. You did a mighty fine job. I am glad you had a long and happy life.

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