Need some help clearing up a rumor or possible false memory…
So everyone, of course now David Prowse has passed on (R.I.P.), and many of us heard about the infamous past situation of him being “banned” from official Star Wars conventions due to beef or bridges burned between him and Lucasfilm (or George Lucas personally).
I don’t care to back go into all that, but a friend of mine alleged it had gotten so bad at one point that the man’s name was actually removed from the Star Wars end credits!
Now I know for the longest time (until 1997) that the end credits for the original Star Wars didn’t credit James Earl Jones as the “voice of Darth Vader” and instead just referred to David Prowse as playing “Lord Darth Vader,” so could this be just a confused memory?
I’m so used to watching the original (GOUT or a restored edition) my own mind may be playing tricks on me. I was looking for my 2011 Blu-Rays (which I only bought, used, because of fan edits).
But Prowse appears in the Laserdic and VHS releases, just like the theatrical Special Edition.
But both men are credited in the 1997 SE and the 2004 SE (2005 edition discs are identical) and the 2006 GOUT DVD edition as well (the included SE disc is just the 2004 edition again).
So here would be the versions to check:
2011 Blu-Ray of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (the 2013 “individual movie” and “individual trilogy” Blu-Ray releases are the same as the 2011 “Saga Edition”, although the 2013 sets came with DVD editions of the 2011 cuts, for the first time on that format). This was the box set that showed Jake Lloyd walking one way with the shadow of adult Vader behind him on Tatooine. The re-release lacked the saga bonus discs and each movie had a CGI bust of Vader, Yoda or a Stormtrooper on the cover, iirc. * EDIT: Confirmed, both men are credited in this edition! *
2015 (?) Star Wars Digital Collection (the releases that removed the 20th Century Fox Fanfare, if memory serves). Don’t recall if these were “limited edition” and so can no longer be purchased (can they still be streamed if you bought them back then?).
2018 (?) Star Wars Saga, Individual Trilogies and (?) Individual movie releases on Blu-Ray, presumably the 2011 editions with the Lucasfilm logo altered and Disney branding added, but (iirc) the 20th Century fox fanfare added back to Episode IV. I believe the “Saga” set was the one that advertised “Forces of Destiny” cartoons, and had a full body picture of Vader on the cover. At this time infamously Kathleen Kennedy laughed when she was asked if they were going to tinker with the movies anymore.
2019 Star Wars digital streaming version on Disney+ (the infamous “Maclunkey” edition, which should be the latest and I think is the one really in question)
2020 “Skywalker Saga” Release (giant box set on 4K, Blu-Ray and DVD… or digital copy?). I believe these are the same 4K editions as the individual movie releases on 4K Blu-Ray. I’m told the included Blu-Rays are the same as the previous release, and the DVDs (or digital copies) are just SD editions of those Blu-Rays. This is massive set had a picture of the death star on the long box it came in. The individual movies had washed out re-arrangements vaguely resembling the original posters of each movie, with a kind of color tint to them. I barely paid attention at the time, so I don’t recall if ANH was yellow, pink or what, but I’m fairly sure ESB was blue and ROTJ was green.
The 2020 4K version should be the same “cut” as the Maclunkey edition, so I expect it wouldn’t be changed, but on the streaming service, anything is possible. We’ve heard about Disney making digital alterations seemingly on the fly to various movies, often without any kind of fanfare until spotted by subscribers.
Empire Strikes Back had a re-release in theaters in 2020, but that was the only one of the classic films re-released that I recall (and I couldn’t tell you what cut it was, though probably the modern one, since I was wearing a slightly fogged up helmet at the time).
[I don’t have Disney+ and I don’t care to subscribe, so if anyone has it and can check, I’d be curious to know if he’s mentioned in the end credits!]
So the question is… was he ever actually removed, and if he was, was he reinstated (perhaps after his death)?
I’m guessing when certain actors have been replaced, they have gotten quietly removed from the credits (Jason Wingreen as the voice of Boba Fett, Sebastian Shaw as the face of Anakin Skywalker, Clive Revill as the voice of the Emperor), but maybe not in all cases. It seems like the 1997 SE credits remained in the 2004 edition, for example.
Anyway, any help is appreciated! I can check the 2011 blu-ray but that’s about it for me.