I’ve loved science fiction and fantasy for as long as I can remember. But I hadn’t thought much lately about exactly where that love began until a phone call from my mom today. She called to let me know that David Prouse had died. While James Earl Jones was the unforgettable voice of Darth Vader, David Prouse was who we all saw.
Before tonight’s conversation, where she reminisced about taking my sister and I to see it in the theater, I distinctly remember her taking me to see Return of the Jedi in the theater when I was 9. I remember the anticipation of seeing and just how much I enjoyed it. But when she mentioned my sister being in a stroller, I paused. Because my sister and I are 4 1/2 years apart, she wasn’t talking about when we saw Return of the Jedi. My mom was talking about the preceding movie—The Empire Strikes Back. While I’ve seen it many times since then in almost every conceivable format save LaserDisc, I didn’t remember the very first time. She thought I would be scared of Darth Vader, but as she told me I mostly stared in awe.
So Rest In Peace to David Prouse. Thanks to you—and my mom—for starting my journey into science fiction.