Once upon a time, Dave Prowse wanted to be Mr. Universe. He was a contender, but was told once by a judge that he should give it up. When he inquired why, the judge told him that when the choice was between Prowse and another competitor, the other competitor had better feet. Instead of vainly attempting to bulk up his feet, he made the switch to weight lifting and was very successful. He won the British Heavy Weight Lifting Championship in 1962,1963 and 1964. He then took the show on the road with an exhibition of strength. He was nicknamed “Jack the Ripper” as he ripped phone books in half with his bare hands.
Luckily for film fans, Mr. Prowse then decided to make a career change and began acting. His film credits include Casino Royale, Hammerhead, Vampire Circus, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, A Clockwork Orange. After his role in A Clockwork Orange, he received many other offers. When he asked directors and industry people how they had heard of him, the response was, “If you’re good enough for Stanley Kubrik, you’re good enough for me.” Later, Mr. Prowse met with George Lucas, who offered him a choice of two roles. The two characters were Chewbacca or Darth Vader. As Mr. Prowse had had enough of doing creatures and feared being typecast, he chose Darth Vader of course. He said, “You always remember the baddies.”
Mr. Prowse’s Darth Vader character is now one of the most recognizable icons in the world, ranking only behind Mickey Mouse. When commenting on the future of Darth Vader, Mr. Prowse said, “I would dearly love to reprise the role.” He hasn’t been contacted at this point, but it is early in the process for the next two films. Regarding Jake Lloyd’s portrayal of the young Anacin Skywalk, Mr. Prowse said, “Jake Lloyd is the spitting image of me at that age.”