The US-American Bryce “Kermit” Eller appeared as Darth Vader at movie premieres and promotional parties from 1977 to 1982. Now, more than forty years later, Eller says goodbye to his heavy suit. In May it is being auctioned in London and is expected to raise 1 to 2 million dollars.
Eller scored his promotional role thanks to his deep voice. The deep bass was close to that of actor James Earl Jones, who gave Lord Vader his characteristic voice in the Star Wars movies. Only one Darth Vader costume was available for the first Star Wars movie A New Hope. Eller got it after the shooting was completed. In 1978 it was Eller, and not actor David Prowse, who walked around in the well-known black outfit at the Oscar ceremony.
The suit that is now on sale was made in 1979 by the team of costume designer John Mollo for the second Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back. Eller received it afterwards, but whether it was actually used in the movie itself is unclear. It is one of only a handful of suits that was made for actor David Prowse and stuntman Bob Anderson at the time.