Origins of the ROTJ Vader helmets: JY thread continuation

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runnriottt

Well-Known Member
I agree. Save this thread.

I own the model machine one step higher and the software that created the ROTS helmet. At least the mask parts, I am not sure on the dome. It is my understanding that the mask was made in 4 parts, if I recall the Roland email I got long ago...

http://www.rolanddga.com/color/gallery/3d/vader/

If I could figure out how to use it like ILM did... :lol
 
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Qui-Gonzalez

Master Member
I think what makes this a thread for the archives is Don giving us info that has only been speculation before. Some aspects are still a mystery in regards to the helmets, but those mysteries are becoming fewer and further in between.
 

darthvaderv

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just to clarify when we say there was only one stunt. Besides the PA stunt as seen in ESB there is the "fat lipped" ROTJ stunt Vader as seen in the archives that features in the duel and lightning scenes, so if they are classed as seperate there is 2 stunts overall when grouping these :thumbsup
 

bobasfett

Well-Known Member
Damn Gino....I guess I have to give you credit, not only for sharing as much as you have recently (which you normally do not do), but also for trying to dispell a lot of rumor and conjecture over the years concerning the mounting systems and a Vader mask's screen used/promo status. Although the jury is still out for some with regards to ROTJ masks being rehashed ESB units, it does make sense that they would do this instead of going through the whole process of making new masks. As discussed before, the production departments certainly didn't view any of this stuff as 'special' or historical....so I can see why/how this would have happened. It would be nice to see more evidence.

With these revelations, assuming Gino's statements are true, every Vader helmet with a mounting system cast into the helmet is actually spawned originally/has lineage from a mold of either a production used helmet (short hat style) or promo helmet (long cylinder style). Correct?

That said then, how does Brian's helmet fit into this scenario?
 

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Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
So, you agree with my style variation guide, and that there are only Three variations that were screen used:
ANH
ESB/ROJ
ROTS (only one person seems to care about this one)

Wait... in all this back and forth there is something significant here that is being overlooked! Who is this one person who cares about the RotS helmet! We must sniff the traitor out!!!

:lol:lol:lol
 

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Qui-Gonzalez

Master Member
For shame... and I thought so highly of you! ;)

All about being a completionist, Art. That, and the creation process of ALL of the helmets intrigues me.

Oh and GINO...RotS is the best version out there! RotS is the best version out there! RotS is the best version out there!

(You know better from me, but I want to see a Hellportal open somewhere!)
 

artoo77

Well-Known Member
Don, you can't be completionist without adding in the RotS Vader. Thomas isn't the only one who cares. I just wonder why they tinkered with such a thing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Was it because Christensen had a smaller head? The few images and such I have seen makes it look like they made it to fit his face. (He was a bit of a small fella to play Vader...bobble-head Vader and all.:p)


Ivo Coveny, the head of costume props in Sydney, made the decision, I assume along with Trisha Biggar, to remake the mask. All this trash talk about the costume being smaller is wrong, as they had made a muscle suit for Hayden and put lifts on him and everything...if it was smaller, it's not by much, and I don't think the helmet and mask are any smaller, IMHO. And I stand by another statement I made in a different thread that it made no difference that Prowse wasn't in it, as they could have gotten anybody large enough to fit in the costume to play it...and little known fact, there are two other ILM employees playing Vader in the creation scene.

It is my firm belief that it was changed just so that they could call it their own...any talk of "customizing it for Hayden" was just covering that fact.

And BTW, I like that mask too.

Sorry.

--Don
 

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artoo77

Well-Known Member
I agree. Save this thread.

I own the model machine one step higher and the software that created the ROTS helmet. At least the mask parts, I am not sure on the dome. It is my understanding that the mask was made in 4 parts, if I recall the Roland email I got long ago...

http://www.rolanddga.com/color/gallery/3d/vader/

If I could figure out how to use it like ILM did... :lol


Interesting website...however, let me correct something before it works into the lexicon: Ivo Coveny was not nor never a part of ILM as the company claims. His work was done in the UK for Ep1 and Sydney for Ep2 and 3...so ILM was never involved in the creation using this machine. The ILM crew for the 2 part Vader creation scene was myself as main fabricator; Mike Jobe who pulled the fiberglass parts from the mold; Carol Bauman, painter (and we HAD to match the single color paint job Ivo established); and John Duncan, who did some work on the lower chin detail.

--Don
 

Qui-Gonzalez

Master Member
Ivo Coveny, the head of costume props in Sydney, made the decision, I assume along with Trisha Biggar, to remake the mask. All this trash talk about the costume being smaller is wrong, as they had made a muscle suit for Hayden and put lifts on him and everything...if it was smaller, it's not by much, and I don't think the helmet and mask are any smaller, IMHO. And I stand by another statement I made in a different thread that it made no difference that Prowse wasn't in it, as they could have gotten anybody large enough to fit in the costume to play it...and little known fact, there are two other ILM employees playing Vader in the creation scene.

It is my firm belief that it was changed just so that they could call it their own...any talk of "customizing it for Hayden" was just covering that fact.

And BTW, I like that mask too.

Sorry.

--Don

I would not say it was made smaller, but HE is much smaller. It shows in some of the shots where whoever is in the suit does not meet up with the shoulders.
 

runnriottt

Well-Known Member
So I am guessing that the ROTS mask was prototyped by a third party, sent to ILM to be assembled by your team?
 

HAL9000

Sr Member
I just wanted to flag something that Mr Bies described with regards to the ANH in the archive that reminded me of something. It was the use of the word catch (or was it latch?). Im sure everyone remembers that very impressive 'tour' suit that Jez posted on his site a while back.

Anyway - I just remembered it was of ANH type and it had a catch / latch that I have not seen anywhere else... (jez I hope it is okay to post this)...

swh_new_vad07.jpg



Additionaly, In some correspondance I had from John Naulin a while back, he mentions the adjustments made to the ANH for ESB. I was curious if any of this info clicks or jives with Mr Bies?...

Don Post Studios signed the very first merchandise license for Star Wars (set up by William Malone and Bob Short who worked there at the time). The license was strange in that DPS owned all of the rights to any full sized use and representation of the characters for 7 years.Because of that, once the film was a huge hit DPS ended up in the middle of all the original promotions as they had to give permission to Lucas and 20th to use the characters!One of the DPS employees was 6 foot 6 inches tall, could create the raspy metallic breathing sound and could do a spot on James Earl Jones vocal impression, so he became the American Darth Vader (Kermit Eller).


Whenever you saw and heard Vader it was Kermit as he was the only one to encompass all 3 characteristics seen on film. The original costume was shipped from England and for many of the first appearances Kermit appeared in it.
There was fear that the original would get lost, stolen or damaged, so in combination between Post and Lucas replacement parts were created and the original suit was handed over to Lucas.About that time I took over the R&D Dept. at Post and by then Kermit was working directly for Lucas. We maintained the Vader suit, but it was kept in boxes by Eller, so he could travel with it. I travelled all over the country with Kermit and other original cast members! We also supplied over 300 Stormtrooper helmets and did some post production work on 2 Boba-Fet costumes at Post for ESB and ROTJ, so I ended up working closely with the vendors in London (which are now combined basically as Elstree Props).

When renowned sculptor Jim Leonard started working in my department he was blown away by how crude the original Vader was. He asked and obtained permission to rework the original. A set was cast in England from the original molds to aid with this, but it took so long to get to the states that Leonard had already made an armature and was nearly done with the new helmet. (it is that 4th original cast set that is being auctioned this Fall by Elstree).
Leonard's second generation Vader is the one used to base all subsequent versions on as it was almost machine perfect in its symmetry and balance.
So, remember, when discussing original Star Wars pieces that Don Post was the American source for all the original parts and pieces as they (we) kept the parts of several characters in good shape, preserved and owned the rights to them en-total for the first 7 years.
 
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