Star Wars Fans Can Not Unsee Billy Joel as Dying Darth Vader

Music legend Billy Joel was recently playing a gig in NYC's Madison Square Garden, and was still packing them in, as always! While no one can doubt that Joel still has the chops to give a stirring and memorable concert experience, there are some red flags that the singer's age is (quite literally) starting to show.

As you can see below, a picture of Billy Joel taken during the concert has Star Wars fans comparing him to Darth Vader. Ouch!

Maybe it's not so much a commentary on Billy Joel's age and appearance, as it is simply a matter of circumstance, and that proverbial case where a picture is worth 1,000 words. The way that Joel is seated at the piano with the harmonica in his mouth, and a black suit with some big shoulders, it's a pretty easy jump to connect him to the version of Darth Vader that finally met, under the helmet, in the climatic sequence of Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi.

It's become both an iconic and contradictory scene in Episode VI where Luke Skywalker faces Vader and Emperor Palpatine, and ultimately decides to sheath his lightsaber and not give into the violent tendencies of the dark side. When Palpatine tried to finish Luke off, Vader reclaimed his lost humanity by tossing his evil Sith master into the Death Star II's reactor. In their final moment of reconciliation, Luke honor's his fatally-wounded father's final request and removes his helmet, allowing them to see each other face-to-face.

The actor who played Vader under the helmet was Sebastian Shaw, and as stated, he's become something of an anomaly in the franchise. Originally, Shaw appeared as Vader's human face and a Force-ghost at the end of the film; when George Lucas released the DVD editions of Star Wars in the 2000s, Shaw's Force-ghost scene was recut so that the version of Anakin Skywalker from the Star Wars prequels (Hayden Christensen) was the Force-ghost at the end of the movie. Though the ship has sailed now with the Disney sale, a lot of fans were wondering just how long it would take Lucas to digitally transfer Christensen's face into Shaw's unmasking scene.


Consolation prize: Addams Family's Uncle Fester also got a major head nod for this:

Star Wars continues with Star Wars: Episode IX on December 20, 2019.