Continued from previous post
Now for some close-up pictures of Sideshow Star Wars Darth Vader (also called ANH Darth Vader after "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope").
Here's a picture of Darth Vader without his helmet! I don't think Sideshow Darth Vader's helmet is removable but when I got mine, the helmet came off - no big deal really, now we see him as if he was bald. You can see where they had applied the glue.
And here's how he should appear, with helmet. Darth Vader's mask, with his tinted Visual Enhancement Sensors or Receptors (eyes), Speech Projector and Respiratory Intake (the grill like radiator looking thingie he has for a mouth) and other details are very well realized in 1/6 scale
Question: Is Sideshow Darth Vader's helmet too small? I was able to find some screen shots / movie stills from "Star Wars (1977)" and it does show that Darth Vader's helmet is a tad small. In the first picture, you can also see Vader's height difference compared to Princess Leia's and the Stormtroopers, another point of contention among collectors - Is Sideshow Darth Vader too tall? David Prowse (the actor who portrayed Darth Vader) was 6' 6.5" tall without the costume. Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) was 5' 1" tall. With full costume and armor plus helmet and boots, David Prowse as Darth Vader would have cut quite an imposing figure, as you can see from the picture! A little too tall is better than too short, as was the case with Medicom's puny puny Vader (SIGH!)
More movie stills of Star Wars Episode IV Darth Vader. These are to show how Sideshow stuck very closely to screen accuracy (which I wish they hadn't). If you examine all the pictures closely (movie stills and my close-up shots), you will notice that the Atmosphere Sensors (as it is called in the "Star Wars Technical Journal" by Shane Johnson) - located at the corners of his "mouth" (Speech Projector and Respiratory Intake) are not consistent. One is silver tipped and the other is just left as black. The right tip isn't painted silver. Just because it appears so in the movie. In the later film versions, this would be corrected and I think it was purely overlooked by everyone on the set and not intentional. I am so tempted to take some silver paint and paint the black tip silver myself.
Even Darth Vader's Respiratory Vent is reproduced in fine 1/6 detail, along with the chain that holds his outer robe (cape) over his shoulders
For "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", Darth Vader's inner robes go over his armored breastplate. The breastplate was moved on top of the inner robes in "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back", emphasizing the armor and giving him a slightly more robotic look. His control box was also significantly overhauled. In "Star Wars" it was merely a device to control his respirator, and was fastened with straps similar to the ones the Rebel pilots use on themselves for similar space-travel related matters. For "Empire Strikes Back", the box was instead more integrated into Vader's body, and the "coin slots" were re-designed so as to look more high-tech. Finally, blinking lights and LEDs were added. The same facelift was given to the electronic devices on his belt.
In "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", the Visual Enhancement Sensors or Receptors (eyes) were tinted a dark red and became translucent when viewed at certain angles. For the sequel, "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back", Darth Vader was given a very subtle make-over to reflect the cyborg angle George Lucas wanted. The eyes were coloured pitch dark.
Darth Vader's lightsaber hangs on a hook on his belt
Sideshow ANH 1/6 scale 14-inch Darth Vader with lit lightsaber. The chestpiece or chest box is Darth Vader's Life Support Systems Control Computer
Another view of his insulated bodysuit, belt with (from left to right) temperature regulation system, audio enhancement unit and respiratory sensor matrix, codpiece, shin armor and boots
In "Revenge of the Jedi", the hand-sculpted mask of the original films was remade using a robotic tool to ensure the mask was perfectly symmetrical. The main changes were the widened back, neck flare, flat lenses as opposed to curved for the eyes, sharpened cheeks and the neck piece and face plate were one piece. The main changes that are immediately apparent to look at are the neck flare and the lenses. Finally, the helmet was made to connect underneath the breastplate, instead of overlapping on top as it did in the original films - this subtle but effective re-design gave Vader a more robotic look. The chestbox was now made to be fully integrated into Vader's torso, creating a cyborg look.
Unfortunately, the helmet looks way too big!! And unlike David Prowse who was a body builder and a big man, Hayden Christensen's body type just cannot carry off the menacing look. Instead, the big helmet on a small body makes Darth Vader look like a super-deformed Humpty Dumpty. Remember the Star Wars spoof "Spaceballs" and Lord Dark Helmet? George Lucas must have had visions of "Howard the Duck".
NEXT: Sideshow Darth Vader vs Sideshow Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Final Duel (post HERE)