Vader helmet tusks - what were they?

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kalkamel

Sr Member
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The strap locks look the part but then I read the Ebay auction listing: "In 1981, Schaller developed and got the patent for a totally new category of product which revolutionized the connection between guitar and strap..."
 

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Mouse Vader

Sr Member
I'm intrigued about both custom & found object here as there are at least three scenes in ANH where Vader's right tusk is either very dark compared to the other one & also appears of slightly different form at the base (?) - thus:

Drktusk01.jpeg
:
Drktusk02.jpeg




...or is much shorter or possibly missing leaving a stud - thus:

Tusk-us01.jpg

Tusk-us02.jpg



again at ANH opening promo, but here the stud also looks bent out of place :

Tusk-us03.jpg


The left looks the same in all shots so presumably is the 'standard version'. To me neither look much like what's been shown so far. To me the end looks spherical - on both sides when present. I admit I haven't looked for scenes where both may appear the same so don't have a chronology. I took these screen grabs while looking for shots of saber wiring.

This has been noted before I take it ?
 
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DaddyfromNaboo

Master Member
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New direction: the studs on leather ammo pouches. When I built my Naboo pilot pouches I got myself screw on locks like these here Button Stud Screwback In Leathercraft Studs, Rivets & Tacks for sale | eBay

However, I do wonder what was used for the promotional Vader masks?! I think that the helmet shown in 2007 in Paris/France as part of the MoM exhibit was a tour helmet, anybody have decent pics of that helmet?
 

DaddyfromNaboo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow - some of those look very like what I see in my 1st picture, very close.

The thing is, I can´t atm come up with a good reason for incorporating such a small detail into the overall design right from the start. Does anyone probably know when this first showed up in any paitings or sketches or drawings? I haven´t seen that detail in any of the concept sketches.
I can´t shake the feeling that the helmet was finished in pre-production, but then someone felt that it was missing something. Yes, I am looking at YOU, George Lucas! No, seriously, this may have been anyone in the art department OR costume department or both departments. Yes, it could have been a found object, and yes, it could have been custom pieces.
 

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GINO

Sr Member
There really is no point in debating this as its a known fact. 100% they were machined for the productions. I've seen the actual machine drawings (which were hand sketched and among tons of other metal bits for other costumes made for the production as well).
The tusks are different in each OT film, and for ROTS, fan replicas were sourced and used in the film.
 

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thd9791

Master Member
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There really is no point in debating this as its a known fact. 100% they were machined for the productions. I've seen the actual machine drawings (which were hand sketched and among tons of other metal bits for other costumes made for the production as well).
The tusks are different in each OT film, and for ROTS, fan replicas were sourced and used in the film.

Thank you for this. It wasn't known to me, but it's cool to know that they had a bunch of stuff machined. Since the Michell parts, Dental parts, etc. were found/got in bulk its hard to remember they also did this. ESB DL-44 flash hiders were knurled and made for filming too!



The dark is just paint.

the last of those close-ups actually looks like the "tusk" area doesn't protrude as much, maybe it's an optical illusion?
 

vader45

Sr Member
Thank you for this. It wasn't known to me, but it's cool to know that they had a bunch of stuff machined. Since the Michell parts, Dental parts, etc. were found/got in bulk its hard to remember they also did this. ESB DL-44 flash hiders were knurled and made for filming too!





the last of those close-ups actually looks like the "tusk" area doesn't protrude as much, maybe it's an optical illusion?

Considering it's black I'd say yes.
 

Mouse Vader

Sr Member
The dark is just paint.
Begs the same question then - why paint one & not the other?
Ref my 3rd pick - why make one shorter than the other?
This doesn't make any sense to me for machined parts.
(as per usual I'm ref to ANH only here.)
 
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Lan Jenn

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I can tell you exactly where the tusks used in Episode 3 came from, a plastic pouch of dozens I had made for the Vader Reveal project.

Jason Smith, pwrsce here, called and asked if I had any left. I sold him 3 pairs. He then sent them to Don Bies for the exact amount he paid for them, $5/pair. Don put them on the Vader helmet. I didn't find out what they were used for until November of 2005, months AFTER Episode 3 came out. Jason and I were talking on the phone and he said something about the tusks used in the movie and I said, "Wait! What?!" He said, "Oh, I didn't tell you?" I said, "NO, YOU DIDN'T!!"

And there you have it.
 
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Mouse Vader

Sr Member
Because the helmet was painted asymmetrically. The black tusk is on the black cheek side and the silver tusk is on the silver/gunmetal cheek side.
That always looked like reflected light to me (he has such a shiny helmet...) - but checking other pictures I can see what you mean - does explain this well. Thanks.

I don’t see one tusk shorter than the other.
Tusk-us01.jpg


This is the angle that shows it but I'll admit I can find no other clear instance so is weak evidence esp. as later in the shot it's obvious that this side is totally black.

Thanks for that second pic too It's far clearer than anything I've been able to find - & dead ringer for those button studs. Even if they're not what was used a great substitute for the builder.
 

Mouse Vader

Sr Member
And there it is. Reminds me of a chess pawn (IT's not).

tusker.jpg



That's looks like it will be a very useful resource for me (now book marked). A big thank you for pointing me at it.
 

Lan Jenn

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There really is no point in debating this as its a known fact. 100% they were machined for the productions. I've seen the actual machine drawings (which were hand sketched and among tons of other metal bits for other costumes made for the production as well).
The tusks are different in each OT film, and for ROTS, fan replicas were sourced and used in the film.

To GINO you listen.
 

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