Cabota, Bestard and friends. | Jaume Morey


Stormtroopers paraded proudly at the Ocimax Theatre in Palma last Friday, which hosted the premiere showing of the brilliant documentary movie I Am Your Father. Star Wars fans from across the island voyaged to the cinema to catch a glimpse of Darth Vader and discover the untold story of British actor, David Prowse.

Majorca film makers, Marcos Cabota and Toni Bestard, honour and obey the true story of the British actor, who dedicated six years of his life acting as Darth Vader in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Cabota and Bestard's documentary highlights the truth: that Darth Vader was not played by James Earl Jones, not played by Sebastian Shaw, but that Darth Vader was played by David Prowse.

Some of you may be familiar with the actor David Prowse, the six-and-a-half feet tall body builder from England, who is now in his 80s. David Prowse was a champion weightlifter and competed in the Mr. Universe contest; his enormous physical presence and sweet, affable nature, made him a sought.after commodity in the movie world. This gentle giant of a man scored acting roles in the Hammer House of Horror movies, Up Pompeii (1971), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Casino Royal (1967). The I Am Your Father documentary cleverly highlights the monumental career of the rather likeable Mr. Prowse and reminds the audience that maybe his best-known role, beginning in the late 1970s, was that of The Green Cross Code man, whose groundbreaking public awareness campaign is said to have halved the number of fatalities on British roads.

David Prowse is portrayed as a genuine, hard-working, devoted, family man, who managed to succeed in the cut-throat, egotistical film industry. He was committed to working both in front of the camera and behind the scenes as a personal trainer. His most successful yet least valued role was behind the mask, obscured by the indelible black suit of Darth Vader in George Lucas’s Star Wars.

In I Am Your Father, Cabota and Bestard expose how in the pivotal and poignant scene of The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke Skywalker pulls off Darth Vader's helmet to reveal the man behind the mask, that the true actor David Prowse had unknowingly been replaced by a different actor. David Prowse had worn the Darth Vader suit and embodied the Darth Vader character on George Lucas’s set for six years and was kept in the dark about this one scene. Prowse only discovered that his Darth Vader suit had been worn by a different actor when he watched the film in the movie theatre after its release.
Cabota and Bestard have uncovered the truth about the real man behind the Darth Vader mask. Vast amounts of research and in-depth interviews with most all of the key players (with one noticeable exception - Mr. G. Lucas) from the first three Star Wars films are neatly presented in this fascinating, punchy, respectful and credible documentary. Cabota and Bestard pursue the righteous path. In I Am Your Father they invite David Prowse to recreate the infamous scene, which he had stolen from him, all those years before.

Cabota and Bestard have brought justice to a true, living British legend and brought us the truth. This is the story of an untold hero, accompanied by a seductive musical score; and you do not need to be a Star Wars fan to appreciate this brilliant piece of film making.

Documentary movie making at its best, here in Majorca. May the force be with you David Prowse, Marcos Cabota and Toni Bestard.

George Lucas was not available to comment on this article.