Movies - TV
Darth Vader's Helmet Design Solved a Practical Problem in the Star
Wars Script
While Star Wars fans may not know the name Ralph McQuarrie, the conceptual artist worked with George Lucas to design characters and locations that include Tatooine's desert landscape, Chewbacca, C-3PO's golden chassis, and the Imperial Stormtroopers. However, his most iconic contribution is the one he made to Darth Vader’s helmet after he discovered a practical issue with the early design.
In issue #76 of "Star Wars Insider" magazine, McQuarrie revealed, "George said he wanted a costume that would flutter in on the wind, sort of a dark guy in a black cape with a big helmet, like a Japanese warrior, maybe with black silk over his face." But as the script had Vader passing through outer space as he went between spaceships, McQuarrie pointed out that a silk covering wouldn't help him breathe.
McQuarrie then made a suggestion to Lucas that Vader, "[...] might have some sort of spacesuit to enable him to survive this trip through the vacuum, and George said, 'Well, okay, give him some kind of a breathing apparatus.' So along with the big helmet, I put a mask on him." And with that practical change, the iconic costume one of the best film villains ever, was born.