The world was saddened to learn last week that British weightlifter turned character actor David Prowse, best known for playing Darth Vader on the set of the original three Star Wars movies, had passed away at the age of 85. In the wake of his passing, many former cast mates and co-workers from the franchise in a galaxy far, far away have expressed their condolences and reminisced about their time working with him. His daughter Rachel Prowse has taken to social media to thank everyone for their kindness and well-wishes, concluding her note with a hashtag that all Star Wars fans can decipher almost instantly.
"Dad would have been over the moon about the reaction he has had today," Prowse wrote online. "Me and the rest of the family have been overwhelmed by the lovely comments and the sharing of some hilarious memories. Thanks twitter for brightening a difficult day #mtfbwy #DaveProwse." "mtfbwy" of course meaning "May The Force be with you," the famous Jedi saying from the series.
Dad would have been over the moon about the reaction he has had today. Me and the rest of the family have been overwhelmed by the lovely comments and the sharing of some hilarious memories. Thanks twitter for brightening a difficult day #mtfbwy #DaveProwse @BowingtonM @BBCNews pic.twitter.com/s1Q7BtwRIf— Rachel Prowse (@prowse_rachel) November 29, 2020
Star Wars creator George Lucas released a statement on the actor/bodybuilder's passing on Sunday, writing: “David brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character. He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence. David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure. May he rest in peace.”
Star Wars star Mark Hamill, who played Prowse' on-screen son in Luke Skywalker, also shared remembrance of Prowse via Twitter, writing: "So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader. Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him. #RIP"
Prowse was a competitive weightlifter who also spent 50 years as an actor. His role as Darth Vader will always be his most memorable, but he also appeared in A Clockwork Orange and helped train Christopher Reeve to play Superman.