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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15661
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Makes me wonder if The Voice would be entirely synthetic, too.

As it currently stands, Vader has gone from the kindly, Humpty-Dumpty
look to pretty-boy Christensen in burn makeup. And we've had comics,
figures, statues, and artwork featuring this new version of unmasked
Vader, as with the unmasked Doom.. The mind boggles.

I vastly prefer a truly monstrous visage to a pretty-boy in burn makeup!

And, really, since the suit is integrated into his body, the mask IS his
face, for all intents and purposes. Knowing that there's a horribly-
injured monster-face under that cold, terrifying mask is just the icing on
the cake.
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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
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Posts: 15661
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 2:38pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Oh, and here's early concept art from JEDI. You can see the basic vibe of the final version, and how it was toned way down.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 09 May 2013 at 2:39pm
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Michael Penn
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Joined: 12 April 2006
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Posted: 09 May 2013 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

My passion being exclusively for the original film alone, I have been trying to peel away the veils of time to think how much did I assume in 1977 that Darth was more machine than man. Hmm... Anyone else who saw the movie back then, and just based on the movie, had a thought at the time about what he looked like in the suit?

Tangentially, unfortunately...
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Scott Adsit
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Joined: 11 January 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 71
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 3:22pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Best 2.5 inch nightmare I've ever seen.

I like how you've incorporated a vague approximation of the mask in his face with the nose and mouth forming a loose triangle and the glassy eyes. The mouth is the most disturbing. A hideous, quivering maw that looks cyber, yet fleshy, dangerous but vulnerable. Perfect.

As for Doom, it's always a mistake to give us a glimpse. And whatever glimpse we get, I always know it's wrong. Though I do like the notion that his ego led him to finish the job which that tiny, little cheek scar started. Thought it was preposterous at first, then I really warmed to it, now it's simply the truth.

Thank you for the Vader, Byrne! Keep preachin', preacher!
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Scott Adsit
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Joined: 11 January 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 71
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 3:33pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

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Paul Greer
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Joined: 18 August 2004
Posts: 14125
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 3:43pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

That is a pretty sweet Vader, JB. Thanks for sharing that gem. Thank you Scott for asking for such a thing. 
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11981
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 4:03pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

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Michael Roberts
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Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12953
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 4:21pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

You mean Vader doesn't look like Hayden Christensen under the mask? I'm surprised they didn't keep going after changing Anakin's ghost.

Seeing the picture of Star-Burns, it occurs to me: Did Pete use the same handbook on faking one's death that he did?
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Greg Kirkman
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Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15661
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 4:33pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Something I find interesting is that, in the three original films proper,
we're told almost nothing about Vader's nature, or how he got that way.

In the original film, he wears the suit all the time, and has that heavy
breathing. His voice sounds like it's just being filtered through the mask.
He appears to be wearing an armored spacesuit. That's all we get.

The Duel came along late in the game, which is where Vader became a
cyborg--during the sound mix. Prior to this, Lucas mused that Vader
wore the suit merely because he'd been badly burned and wanted to
hide his appearance, not because he needed it to live.

In EMPIRE, the suit was made slick and shiny, with more details--and
blinky lights--added to the chestbox, and the voice made to sound
electronically processed. And, we get that glimpse of Vader without his
helmet, which establishes for the first time that he's both human and
badly disfigured.

Also, if one pays attention, there's an external respirator being retracted
from his head as the helmet is lowered in that scene, indicating that he
can't breathe without assistance.

In JEDI, we get Kenobi's "more machine than man" comment, see that
Vader's right hand is artificial, get flashes of his cyborg parts when he"s
zapped with lightning, and are told--and see--that he'll die without the
mask.

And that's it. The novels and interviews from the time filled in the rest
regarding The Duel and Vader's cyborg nature. I wonder how much of it
seemed shocking for audiences as each successive film was released?
Did, say, Kenobi's comment or Vader's mechanical hand seemingly
come out of left field for some viewers, who hadn't seen or read
anything outside the movies themselves?

Lucas has stated that he put that unmasked moment into EMPIRE to
show that Vader was not a robot or an alien. Anyone here doubt that he
was human upon the original film's release? Or guessed that he was a
cyborg of some kind, prior to the famous ROLLING STONE interview
that introduced the idea if the lava duel to the public?



Anyway, I very badly want JOHN BYRNE'S STAR WARS: ORIGINS, a
prequel comic series that shows his take on the backstory and ignores
everything but the original film. That would be way cool.
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Tim Cousar
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Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1575
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 5:07pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Wow, in that little 2.5" drawing, I see Darth Vader, Christopher Pike from the framing sequence of "The Menagerie," and Lon Chaney.
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Eric Smearman
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Joined: 02 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5450
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 6:05pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I remember seeing the unmasking for the first time and thinking how
pathetic Vader looked under the mask. I think that may have been the
intention; that there was still some humanity left in him, small, sad and
shriveled though it may be. JB's version may make more sense - and
great job, BTW - but I think Lucas & co. were going for pity, not
revulsion. Pitiful and vulnerable as JB's version may appear to us, I
think general audiences would at least need human eyes to feel any
measure of empathy.

Just my two cents...
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Greg Kirkman
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 May 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 15661
Posted: 09 May 2013 at 6:39pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Well, of course they were going for pity in JEDI.

But, we're talking about the irredeemably evil Vader of the original film,
the guy who deserved to be thrown into a volcano.


And I love the fact that JB's sketch ties in with the mention of Vader's
"red eyes" glaring from behind the mask in the original film's
novelization.
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