In a world with social media, hardcore fans are quick to let people know who is under costumes that cover faces, like how Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder are often inside Din Djarin’s suit in “The Mandalorian” while Pedro Pascal does the voice (and sometimes the suit). When Prowse was playing Darth Vader, however, this wasn’t the case. He recorded the dialogue, then found out that George Lucas had James Earl Jones re-record what would be played over his movement. Then he found out he’d been replaced again. He recalled:
“I wasn’t privy to everything going on in the movie, and was disappointed when I learned that the dying Darth Vader would be played by actor Sebastian Shaw. I think the fans were disappointed too, as they hoped to see Dave Prowse when Darth Vader was finally unmasked.”
It’s hard to imagine how much that must have sucked. You get a part in what became one of the most well-known movies in the world, you lose the speaking part, and after being promised that your face would finally be shown, that gets taken from you in what everyone assumed would be the last “Star Wars” film. According to Prowse, the casting change happened because Shaw and Sir Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, were close friends. Shaw, he explained, was having “a bad time financially,” and Guinness asked Lucas about getting him a part. It was the only role available.