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Original Vader costumes.

Discussion in 'Production Made Costumes and Props' started by _Lee_, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. _Lee_

    _Lee_ Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ive been thinking lately about the number of various Original screen used Vader costumes in collectors hands and to be honest im a little confused.There seems to be quite a few around and i was just curious as to how many were made for each film?

    Lee
     
  2. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Sr Member

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    I can't speak for 'ESB' , 'ROTJ' or 'ROTS' - but all sources and information on 'ANH'
    suggests one fully finished helmet with another back up. But an absolute maximum
    of two on ANH.

    The issue becomes clouded after 'ANH' as factors such as 'tour suits' come into play
    and, well...

    I don't have the energy tonight.
     
  3. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    I believe the ESB Vader 'fencing' or 'stunt' helmet is in collectors hands - I've not heard that any other screen used DV hems are? Those that survived are probably in the LFL archives I imagine.

    According to what I have read, a LFL chap sold a repainted ESB head and shoulders display via auction several years ago. I think there is more info on Jez's site www.starwarshelmets.com

    Regards

    Al
     
  4. bighowboy

    bighowboy New Member

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    There is a complete suit that can be seen at ToysRGus both in Sansweets collection as well as one owned by a collector named Amy White. I was told that the suit Amy White has is made up from various suits and that one or two parts on it are replica to complete it. Jason Joiner (Kurtz Archive) also has a complete suit I believe. The repainted head and shoulders went through Profiles I believe and it was repainted by Don Bies. Jez's site does also show a few other buckets in collectors hands and ScreenUsed.com has a dome (on a really cool clear mask display). Hope that helps.
     
  5. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    Don Bies, that's the fellow.

    Thanks for that info.

    Al
     
  6. GINO

    GINO Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sansweet's vader is not all original film used.
    The set that Don Bies repainted either was not ever original film used or it has been so heavily modified that it can no longer be considered original.
     
  7. bighowboy

    bighowboy New Member

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    That's rough news for the owner of Bies painted Vader as if I remember it went for over $70,000.
    Yikes. I had thought it was original and originally Lucasfilm either auctioned it for charity or gave it way for some charity something or other and at the time they had Bies "touch it up," then they permanently mounted it together and put it in a case. Then it was put in Profiles. Is this close to the story?
     
  8. Jayn

    Jayn Sr Member

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    According to a tailor from ROTJ, IIFC, I think he said there were 9 suits made for that film. (which sounds about accurate. )
    Not sure if that # included 9 sets of armor though.

    Jayn
     
  9. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    GINO - PM sent. :)
     
  10. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    Last year or the year before the ESB Stunt Bespin fencing helemt...(with the lenses in the cheeks) sold on ebay for 100K :eek I think I've still got the pics...

    I'll go check.

    Steve

    EDIT: Here you go.

    [attachmentid=5897] [attachmentid=5898]
    [attachmentid=5899]
     
  11. BAlinger15

    BAlinger15 Community Founder

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    What is wrong with the Bies armor/helmet?

    Aside from the obvious total repaint...

    -Brandon
     
  12. Griefboy

    Griefboy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They have one at the Seattle Sci-Fi museum that has clear cheeks. It could be this one.
     
  13. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

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    Good summary.
    And I think the Sansweet suit is a mix, not all original.
    I don't believe Jason Joiner has an original Vader suit.

    The Don Bies helmet/armor are original but the dome is a bit too short to be screen used...although it could be just mounted way too high....the faceplate could have been screen used but Don Bies cleaned it up repainted it to the extent that it's difficult to tell. Really sad what was done to that original set. The dome was permanently attached to the faceplate so that it could not be recast. It would be worth well over $100k if it was left in it's original condition. Yes that ESB dome on screenused.com is nice. On www.starwarshelmets.com, the RPF helmet is derived from an original ANH or tour ANH but it itself is not original. The Hall ANH helmet is not derived from an original...norwhere near. The MGM one is a tour ANH, not original.

    The ESB stunt helmet belongs to Paul Allen who put together the Seattle Science Fiction Museum where the helmet resides. That's really the only complete screen-used helmet I know of in private hands although I have heard rumors of others...

    :cheers,

    Thomas
     
  14. KevVader

    KevVader Sr Member

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    .....there is (or was) a Vader costume at the Planet Hollywood in Vegas (Cesar's Palace, I think)......is it just a promo suit?
     
  15. LogansRunner

    LogansRunner Well-Known Member

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    I think that one is or was just a promo.
     
  16. aliensarchive

    aliensarchive Well-Known Member

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    There was an original Vader complete costume in the basement part of Planet Hollywood London.
     
  17. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden Well-Known Member

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    The ANH Vader suit seen in the "Kermit" photos outside DP studios was privately owned by a special effects professional. Sadly, it was sold after his death.
     
  18. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

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    I have heard different versions of the story about that Kermit suit. It is a screen suit (Tantive IV) of course and the helmet is _the_ screen helmet as far as I can tell. Don Post studios was in California...so the suit would have to have been shipped from the UK. It would make sense that it would remain as LFL property but LFL doesn't have that helmet in its possession. Who started the story about someone owning/stealing/taking that screen suit? I heard the person's wife sold it for a song back then but it's still mythology to me...at one point I heard that John Mollo had it but that turned out to be unreliable information.

    :cheers,

    Thomas
     
  19. gonk27

    gonk27 Sr Member

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    ..and what guts me is that this same ESB stunt-use Vader helmet was sold by Christies in London (I think in 1995) for a mere £2,800 around $4,960 :)


    (Which to me as an impoverished post-graduate at the time might just as well have been 100k).
     
  20. gonk27

    gonk27 Sr Member

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    Here are some shots of JJ's Vader suit.

    I've heard different stories about what it is and where it came from, I'm inclined to belive that parts may well be original, but there's a lot that looks completely different too.


    From a JJ-organised convention some years ago, scanned photos given to me by my mate clanger68
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    The same suit at the Luton exhibit. (Bad photo by me.)
    [​IMG]



    The same helmet (repainted if original?) on the cover of Starburst.
    [​IMG]


    Jeremy


    (Thanks Wackychimp)
     
  21. MarkG

    MarkG Well-Known Member

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    Jeremy,

    JJ had that same suit at last Novembers Empire convention in Cheshunt.

    In all honesty, it didn't look right at all, and he did say that the chest box had been repainted.

    Really wanted to get a pic of it, and some of his other props, but he wouldn't allow photos to be taken... plus he had a few people making sure no-one took pics. :angry
     
  22. Stormtrooper

    Stormtrooper Well-Known Member

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    There is another.... (bad Yoda quote, I know :p)

    There is an ROTJ 'stunt' helmet in a private collection, with clear tinted cheeks, jaw etc. (similar concept to the ESB 'fencing mask')
    I've seen it in person and it's *very* impressive (although it looks like it was involved ina fair amount of stunt work, as there were numerous chips 'n' scrapes on it)

    As for Jason Joiner's Vader suit... he had it on a QVC (UK) Shopping Channel Star Wars special 5 or 6 years back IIRC. It was on a mannequin display in the studio, and in between hawking 'limited edition lithographs' and other tasteless, licensed sh.te the presenter would ask JJ about his Vader and collection in general.

    Unfortunately I didn't record it, but I remember JJ telling an anecdote about how he got the Vader costume... I think it came from several sources, but the leather bodysuit was recovered from the garage of a crew-member from ESB, where it had been stored in a cardboard box since 1979. When they opened it up, the leather had mould all over it, but he bought it from the guy and managed to clean it up.
    Although I was into Star Wars when I saw the programme, I really didn't pay much attention to the Vader costume as my main vice then was *Stormtroopers*. :lol
    I think he also had the Duros mask in when he guest-presented on another of the QVC (UK) Star Wars specials?

    Cheers,
    John

    PS - I was fortunate enough to visit Planet Hollywood in NYC last Summer, and thought I was in for a treat with SW props on display... they have one of the *worst* Darth Vader replica costumes on display that I've ever seen. :thumbsdown
    The plaque beside it stated that it was 'reproduction', as was the Chewbacca costume beside it... what a rip. :cry
     
  23. armourerdoug

    armourerdoug New Member

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    It may be worth you talking to Peter Botwiright at Leather concesionaires (was weasted leather)
    they made the bond and Indi Jackets and also the leatherwork for Vader I believe, He will know how many he made

    Doug
     
  24. BAlinger15

    BAlinger15 Community Founder

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    Weren't there a number of questionable SW items in that 95 Christies sale?

    Re: Wested Leather. When I visited a few years ago, Peter and his assistant (whose name I cannot recall) asked us about JJ. Apparently they knew him well, as he had comissioned several Vader suits in recent years.

    -Brandon
     
  25. gonk27

    gonk27 Sr Member

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    Oopsey, I got the year wrong.. This stunt ESB helmet was lot no 577 at the auction I mentioned where it fetched £2,800 the lots in the auction you're referring to Brandon in 95 only went up to 551.

    So this ESB must have sold a couple of years before I guess - I've only got a grainy photocopy of it's catalogue page and the year's not mentioned.

    But you're right there were some items of shady origin in the 95 Christies sale I think....


    Jeremy
     
  26. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden Well-Known Member

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    It's not mythology. I'm friends with the FX professional who helped "Mr.P's" wife sell his collection. "Mr.P" did a lot of side work for DPS, which is how he came in the possession of the suit various other SW goodies.


     
  27. _Lee_

    _Lee_ Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I honestly cannot understand why JJ is like that :rolleyes If Lucas himself lets people take pictures of all kinds of stuff at MOM tours etc why is JJ so defensive?I seriously think that guy has a lot to hide and isnt,how shall i say it....truthful about the true legitamacy of some of the props he claims are real.Ive heard a lot of rumours about him and to be honest,i wouldnt trust anything he says.
     
  28. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Jeremy, post... more... pics ... :D

    And JJ knows quite well why he doesn´t allow photography anymore :lol

    Michael
     
  29. gonk27

    gonk27 Sr Member

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    :lol That's all I have I think Michael.


    I had one of the shin guards somewhere but couldn't find it ealier.



    Putting aside most of this costume I do love the helmet and shoulder armour.

    Jeremy
     
  30. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ack, what a shame ... Does your mate probably have more pics ? And the shin guard would be really interesting .

    Thanks,
    Michael
     
  31. DaddyfromNaboo

    DaddyfromNaboo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Are there no detail pieces on top of the rods ? And the gloves look like really cheap motorbike gloves :\

    Michael
     
  32. RKW

    RKW Sr Member

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    So what's your opinion on the Amy White suit? Personally I've not seen it.
     
  33. RKW

    RKW Sr Member

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    Regarding the JJ suit the helmet looks to me to be from ROTJ. The stitching on the arms looks wierd though as if its been made to fit a smaller person.
     
  34. gonk27

    gonk27 Sr Member

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    Correct Michael, there are no detail bits on top of the rods, there's a 'patch' in the paintwork above the left rod where it looks like a detail piece used to be. And yes, the biker gloves must be there as substitues for the originals. Also the red rocker switch has red chrome tape on it, although I think the silver ones are painted.

    My shin guard photo seems to have been misplaced just now, I'll add it if I find it - it's a bit blurry though. I've PM'ed clanger68 to see if he has any more photos.

    Jeremy :)
     
  35. Ghost Host

    Ghost Host Sr Member

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    This gels with the detailed info I know about "Mr P" and his Vader suit too. The suit supposedly went for a song back in 1990 or 91, if I remember.

     
  36. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

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    I wasn't sure if the story could be corraborated by someone here...good to hear. Do you know who Mrs. P sold the suit to?

    Ya the JJ suit looks ROTJ...but I don't think the capes/cod are original and the helmet/armor might be but could also be copies of originals...why repaint them?

    :cheers,

    T
     
  37. RKW

    RKW Sr Member

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    Does anyone have any better pictures of that Amy White suit?

    Can't really make much out on that ToysRGus site. Is it viewable to the public?
     
  38. bighowboy

    bighowboy New Member

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    If anyone has contact info for her or her husband Rick I'd appreciate a PM as I have
    been wanting to contact them for the last couple years and my old info isn't current. (Or
    they're just not responding..?) As far as I know, the suit is not viewable, their collection is private
    but certainly extends beyond what they listed at ToysRGus. I believe they were the couple that initially bought the Maul stunt saber from the 9/11 Lucasfilm auction and the JJ helped them sell it at a significant loss a year or so later on ebay. JJ told me one of the few times we spoke that he had been the person to help broker some of their sales and purchases. He doesn't respond to my attempts at contact either...?
     
  39. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden Well-Known Member

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    I can ask, but he wasn't involved in the sale of that item. Numerous pieces were sold at ridiculously low prices before his involvement, so he wouldn't have let the Vader go or be sold at that price.
     
  40. voice in the crowd

    voice in the crowd Sr Member

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    Didn't JJ have his ANH stormtrooper helmet repainted (very poorly) as well. Maybe at the time of purchase they were in poor condition and his judgment was poor so he decided on reconditioning the items to look more like they did on the screen.

    Cheers Chris.
     
  41. clanger68

    clanger68 Well-Known Member

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  42. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    The links are not working for me..?
     
  43. Fatherless One

    Fatherless One Well-Known Member

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    Me too bro :(
     
  44. Fatherless One

    Fatherless One Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the pic's so far, really nice to see some new one's.

    I'm blown away by how few Vader costume photo's seem to exist of the original costume considering how HUGE Vader became after ANH and continued to be through the whole original trilogy.

    This whole Vader thing has almost become mythology.

    Rumour, hearsay, a friend of a friend once knew a guy who drove a cab who spoke to Don Bies in 1980 (blah blah blah) ...

    Why is there so little information and documentation about the most iconic sci-fi villain ever?

    JB (Vader Guy) did have one great idea, he spoke of writing an article on DV for SW Insider, all the "facts" from the "original" Vader designers and creators.
    I would love to have this info, and I'd be happy to buy a Chronicles style book all about Vader and only Vader.

    Come on guys, back me up here :) Am I the only one ...
     
  45. vaderdarth

    vaderdarth Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    One of the obvious problems with JB is that he embellishes his stories way too much.

    The idea to write this article has been around a long time however. It wasn't really JB's idea. More than one member have tossed the idea around, but nobody has actually done all the footwork. Bingobongo has come the closest of anyone I've met. He continues daily to gather information from those associated with the UK production crew on ANH.

    Dave :)
     
  46. Fatherless One

    Fatherless One Well-Known Member

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    Yep, JB is a "@#$%. artist", but great idea none the less, even if it wasn't his own ;).

    Jez, keep on it pal, and thanks on behalf of all Vader nuts out there.

    Alan.
     
  47. RKW

    RKW Sr Member

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    I believe the information exists, the problem is the people who possess it.
     
  48. Fatherless One

    Fatherless One Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmmmmmmm

    Whay do they do this ...... ?
     
  49. vaderdarth

    vaderdarth Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    RKW, I think you are correct, but that's only part of the problem. The biggest problem as I see is is actually gathering the information to one location. Lots of people have tidbits of information (some credible, some questionable), but it is scattered. We need to draw it all into one place, where it can be updated as newer information comes available. It's the oldest SW film out there, yet we've gleaned more information about that costume and origins this past year than any year previously.

    Dave :)
     
  50. RKW

    RKW Sr Member

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    I believe some of it is because LFL owns it and either don't realise they own it or can't be bothered releasing it. The other is the private collectors who I think own the biggest contributions are only interested in their own enjoyment/investment. They see no return in just sharing the information. Unfortunately everything has a price.

    Lastly the cynic in me thinks some people hold onto information to hide their actions.
     

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