Wacky Wednesday: A tribute to “Darth Vader” fencing master….

Geek that I am, I love all of the Star Wars movies. I sat riveted to my seat when the first three (rather the last three)movies came out.   I couldn’t get enough of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in “Star Wars”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, and “Return of the Jedi”.  Vader, of course, made the biggest impact on me. He’s so diabolical and I do love a good villain!

Darth Vader though was, hands down, the largest larger-than-life villain I’d ever seen.

Of course when I heard it took two talented actors to pull off that character, I wasn’t surprised. I was stunned though when it was revealed there was a third man behind that mask, and that man held the secret to the character I’d grown to know and love.

I’m talking about Bob Anderson, a fencing master who spent decades working with actors in Hollywood teaching them how to sword fight, the man who hid behind the mask and light saber of Darth Vader in the last two “Star Wars” movies. I believe Darth Vader would have been just another villain in a long line of villains without the incredible sword fighting scenes. With Bob Anderson wielding the saber and adding that final layer to the evil Darth Vader, he overwhelmed the screen with power and presence, and gifted movie viewers with the ultimate battle between good and evil.

Sadly, Bob Anderson died three days ago on January 1st. He leaves behind a legacy that will never die. Today, in tribute to his memory, I’ve posted a scene from “The Empire Strikes Back” movie when Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker fight ending with Luke losing his hand and discovering Vader is his father. A striking, poignant, powerful scene now credited to Bob Anderson.


8 thoughts on “Wacky Wednesday: A tribute to “Darth Vader” fencing master….”

  1. I, too, love Star Wars. I was fascinated by all the special effects and I was aware that Bob Anderson actually performed the fights. It is a sad loss and I know that’s what your blog is about.

    But if I might digress a little, David Prouse gave Darth that effortless grace (when he wasn’t fighting duels) and the voice – who could forget the voice? I enjoyed the first Star Wars (A New Hope) but when I saw ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ I fell in love. One look at that scene where Vader gazes out at his fleet from the bridge of ‘Executor’ and I was hooked.

    Thank you for sharing this news.

    1. Hi, Greta. You’re right, the special effects ARE wonderful. And I don’t mean to suggest Prouse didn’t do a superb job, too. Not to mention James Earl Jones! These three men did a spectacular job of making a character come to life. I’m just a sucker for excellent swordplay and was saddened at the news that an icon was gone.

      It’s kind of appropriate that we had a Star Wars marathon over the holidays with my Army son and his buddy while they were here.

      Have a great day!


  2. Hi Karen,
    I’m a die-hard Star Wars fan as well and couldn’t believe it when I read about Bob Anderson. All together, Darth Vader was quite a man.
    Sia Huff

    1. I know we aren’t the only ones, Sia! 🙂 Darth Vader is an amazing character. I loved the development of Anikan Skywalker into Vader, too. I use that development sometimes in my “W” plotting class because he’s such a rich character to explore.

      Thanks for commenting!


  3. Karen, I saw the announcement of Bob’s death on the internet. Until I read it, I never realized he was the ‘swordman’. The article said that Mark Hamill let the cat out of the bag in a 1980’s interview, thinking Bob deserved the credit he’d earned. He was a very talented man. I saw Star Wars IV six times. It was the first time I’d ever gone to the theater to see a movie more than once…..

    1. Hi, Anna. I was as surprised as everyone else when Hamill revealed the secret back in the 80s. The man certainly deserved the credit! There are probably a lot of people, even now, who is unaware of how many people were responsible for Vader’s character. I, too, saw Stars Wars more than once, and now I have the complete set so we pull them down and watch them often. Never tire of them!

      Thanks for commenting. Have a great day!


  4. Big Star Wars geek here, too, I still watch the movies at least once a year, if not more often. I’m sad to learn about Bob, but I never knew. I’ve never really been interested in the magic, just preferring to believe it’s real. 🙂

    1. Waving at another big Star Wars geek, Diana. Guess I’m one who not only wants to believe it’s real but still peek at the man behind the curtain. I’m fascinated by how things work. 🙂


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