According to Wikipedia, George Lucas banned David Prowse in 2010 from attending official Star Wars fan conventions. He reportedly gave no reason why other than Prowse "burnt too many bridges".

Prowse was on the outs with Lucas well before 2010. A stuntman was chosen for the scene where

Darth Vader throws the Emperor down the elevator shaft.

David Prowse claimed that he, rather than Sebastian Shaw, was supposed to be in the scene where

Luke Skywalker unmasks Darth Vader.

What caused the friction between George Lucas and David Prowse?

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    <comments deleted> The reliability or otherwise of Wikipedia as a source is pretty irrelevant since this is a question not an answer. If someone posts an answer based on Wikipedia, feel free to request more reliable sources. But here the OP found something on Wikipedia and wants to ask for more/better information. They never claim Wikipedia to be a reliable source.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 8:54
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    @Randal'Thor More importantly, the Wikipedia article cites its sources. Wikipedia follows similar standards to this very site: you must cite your sources (which are vetted for notability), otherwise unjustified claims can and will get removed.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 20:32

1 Answer 1



(See "bold" text below for the answer)

Lucasfilm wished to keep the "I am your father" moment under wraps ahead of and upon the sequel’s initial release for obvious reasons.

However, Den of Geek notes that Dave teased the reveal to the press beforehand, saying: "Father can't kill son, son can't kill father, so they live again to star in Star Wars IV."

The information appeared in at least one newspaper and encouraged Lucasfilm to try harder to keep plot details hidden from the press. Although, Dave later claimed that he didn't know about the reveal and that it was simply a lucky guess.

Later, in 1982 and a year prior to the release of Return of the Jedi, a UK newspaper leaked that Darth Vader would die and the book How Star Wars Conquered the Universe highlights that Dave was blamed for the leak.

The previous source adds that this led to Dave being left out of many of the third film's scenes and when the helmet did come off to reveal Vader's true face, it was Sebastian Shaw's face underneath.

Diving deeper into the issue of the leak, Dave recalled that a journalist called him one day to discuss his career as a weightlifter. However, the journalist began to talk about Star Wars at some point. Dave has since spoken about the moment:

"He turned up at my gymnasium that evening and halfway through he says, 'You know you're being killed off in this movie, don't you? And another guy's playing the dying Darth Vader?' I said, "They wouldn't do that – they wouldn't go and unmask somebody else after I've played the part for six years.' He asked if I had a call sheet, and he looked at it and it said: 'Dave Prowse, Darth Vader, Studio 1,' and underneath it 'Sebastian Shaw, Anakin Skywalker, Studio 10'."

Dave remembers that the Daily Mail published a piece headlined "Darth Vader to be killed off in the next movie, in an interview with David Prowse" the next day, saying "and that ruined my association with Star Wars."

He added: "I was ostracized while on the movie, the producer and director wouldn't work with me, and Lucas wouldn't speak to me. I had six weeks of purgatory."

Den of Geek addresses that Dave and George lost touch after the trilogy's production but notes that Dave was blocked from appearing at official Star Wars conventions in 2010 due to his participation in a documentary which took aim at George called The People Versus George Lucas.

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    interesting info - I'd edit the response to be just that last paragraph since that truly seems to answer the question succinctly, then include the link to the rest of the article which gives more details
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 21:25
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    @NKCampbell: Thought that too, but decided to post the whole part, but again not the whole article. Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 21:26
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    Prowse's supposed "leak" also incorrectly predicted there was a 4th Star Wars movie coming out. (Well, incorrectly for several decades at least.) And that his character would be in it. (Again, sort of, yeah, but as a 9-year old, so he wouldn't have been playing the role anyhow.) And Vader obviously didn't live to be in the sequels decades after that. So his "leak" was only sort of accurate on 1 count. Definitely more of a guess than a leak. Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 13:59
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    At last put the last paragraph at the beginning of the answer, then include the rest for more background. The appearance in People v. Lucas may only be the last straw, but it also seems to be the most direct reason, rather than the paragraph in bold. Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 2:05
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    I see some of us think only the end of the quoted parts of the article matter, but IMO the whole ordeal with leaks is important because it shows that Prowse's relationship with Lucas was deteriorating while episode IV was still in production.
    – Marvel Boy
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 16:35

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