When it was announced that Star Wars legend Darth Vader would be appearing in a new film, many seasoned fans of George Lucas’s space opera almost dropped their lightsabers in disbelief, only to later pick them up again in weary disappointment because the announcement is not all it appears.
Let’s face it, Stars Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars without Darth Vader. The tragedy and eventual redemption of Anakin Skywalker is what makes the Force, well, so Forceful. The character’s odyssey from a fresh-faced Jedi to a disfigured old tyrant with a slight speech impediment and the breathing difficulties of a 60-a-day man is a sight to behold.
Despite eventually doing the right thing and saving his son Luke Skywalker from the creepy Emperor, Darth is pretty much pop culture’s embodiment of evil, and psychiatrists have even used the Star Wars villain to explain to their students how to identify someone with a borderline personality disorder.
Darth is pretty much the ultimate bad boy, who’s also pretty hand with a lightsaber to boot, and Star Wars fans have been speculating endlessly about whether the real man in black will or won’t appear in the new Star Wars films
So when headlines started to appear in the press along the lines of “Darth Vader Returns,” it was enough to tickle the curiosity of even the coolest Jedi.
Yet intergalactic brothers and sisters, here’s the caveat. The second part of that headline reads, “Star Wars actor David Prowse to reprise his other role as the Green Cross man.”
It’s not actually Darth Vader who’s returning in a new Star Wars film. It’s the 79-year-old actor who played Lord Vader all those years ago, reprising his other famous role as a safety-conscious superhero.
David Prowse may be renowned worldwide as the Star Wars icon, but in Britain he was equally recognizable as the Green Cross Man. In a distant galaxy a long time ago, the Star Wars actor was busy telling British children the three commandments of the Green Cross Code, “Stop, Look and Listen” in a series of public information films.
Now Lord Vader, sorry, Prowse, has resurrected his road safety role in a new film, only this time he’s not telling children to “Stop, Look and Listen”, he’s telling adults to stop tweeting and listening to music when they should be listening to traffic instead.
The Star Wars actor told the Mirror he is a firm believer that modern gadgets are responsible for the thousands of casualties, the result of getting hit after stepping into the road without looking last year.
“It’s hard to believe the Green Cross Code man has had to come back to teach adults how to cross the road. But I’m thrilled to do it – road safety is a passion of mine.”
Now just close your eyes and imagine the voice of Darth Vader saying that, and you’ll soon realize why the new Star Wars films could be found wanting.