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 Post subject: Re: Very Brief Picture Guide to OT Vader differences..
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:46 pm 
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Some nice little basic ANH Vs ESB comps done by NoHumorMan :thumbsup

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Very Brief Picture Guide to OT Vader differences..
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:37 pm 
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The pink background photo representing the ANH - what we fondly refer to as the "Chronicles" shot - is a bit of an enigma to some fans due to the thinness. This was a studio shot so the lighting was entirely different than what we were used to in watching ANH. I also believe the camera was rotated 90 degrees to do a portrait shot, and certain cameras will cause an image to look narrower (simultaneously, the same lenses will widen things when photographing landscape/horizontal shots).

So if I rotate the image and adjust the dome positioning very slightly, and widen the image a touch, I get this.

Image

The image to the right is the adjusted Chronicles shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Brief Picture Guide to OT Vader differences..
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:01 pm 
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Enjoyed the read and well written Mac, brings back memories and reflections of mine. Missed being young in the cinemas :sad5

CSMacLaren wrote:
Paul, well said.

We know the original screen-used ANH was molded and then castings were made to provide the helmets for ESB and ROTJ. With any new pull from a mold, it's subject to molding, casting, curing issues, how it's pulled, sanding preparation for painting, etc. (and how much something was sanded too.) Then, along the way in filming, props are mishandled, dropped, repaired, patched, repainted, etc. What part all these things play - whether requested or a natural byproduct of being produced by the propmakers - in terms of how they contribute to how the audience perceives the character is interesting. The causes and effects of both intentional and unintentional changes are speculative. One cannot say that Lucas intended some facet or feature of the mask to be, say, exactly 1.3 mm narrower than in the previous movie because with ESB and ROTJ. On the other hand, as Paul indicated, the totality of changes (subtle and overt) do seem to lend themselves to the development of the character across the OT. Sometimes things are intentional, and sometimes things are just dumb luck - which anyone with the right frame of mind would try to chalk up to being, instead, a stroke of genius!

The recent documentary of the making of the ROTS Vader seemed to indicate that Lucas sought to improve Vader with each film. His feeling that the ROTS Vader being the epiphany of the helmet's evolutionary process is obviously disagreed with by many fans of the original trilogy.

There are two aspects of that development I enjoy discussing: the development of his role from ANH through ROTJ, and the emotional subtext (though it's more behind the scenes, and later exemplified by the new context provided by the prequels) in conjunction with how the differences of his costume played into that subtext.

In ANH, we see his mask and armor rough and raw. Marketing materials and press coverage described him as the "Dark Lord of the Sith" even though many didn't know what the "Sith", yet he was clearly the fearsome antagonist. However, he is a bit like a thug, on the end of Tarkin's leash, and even commanded by Tarkin.

In ESB, Vader has gained prestige. He now commands a Super Star Destroyer, and he has his own personal chamber which almost doubles as a throne. We see him reporting directly to the Emperor (who we see for the first time). There are definitely noticable changes in paint finish (paint was sprayed on and the paint job more refined. By contrast, the ANH's metallic gray was brushed on by hand). You also notice the widow's peak is gone (in ANH it helped created the angry look and sense of meanace) and the mask's own eyebrows are more noticable.

Anyways, in ESB, Vader is clearly at the top of his game. There was definitely something that made him appear more elegant overall. (It reminds me of C3PO in tahat when you see 3PO throughout ANH, he had a weathered matte finish, but at the end ceremony, he was given a full presentation polish.)

In ROTJ, we see him side by side with the Emperor, but now we see him also tortured on the inside. When he steps off the shuttle into the landing bay of the Death Star II, you see remarkable level of light reflections off of his dome. (For some reason, I've always felt that ROTJ's light balance and brightness levels seem to make Vader look very dark.) I agree with Paul that Vader looked less aggressive. Along these lines, while in ESB the dome's rim was positioned such that you saw the mask's eyebrows, ROTJ you see the dome positioned above the eyebrows. Whether intentional or not, this somehow this played into the character's sadness. Lucas described the six episodes as being about "The Tragedy of Darth Vader."

Now there are changes that took place from ANH to ESB to ROTJ that perhaps were not done specifically for contributing to the portrayal of the character. The chin triangle was widened in ESB to allow Prowse to breathe better. Apparently in ANH, there was originally no chin triangle, but was made as Prowse had complained he was having difficulty breathing through just the teeth holes.

The armored parts of Vader in ESB and ROTJ appeared glossier than in ANH. The ANH dome had a bit more gloss than most people realize, but you can also see the surface effects of fingerprint grease not properly wiped off. Also, our perception of gloss is based on how a gloss surface reflects light - as well as the nature of the surrounding lighting. In ANH, we see very dark interiors of the Death Star which had very soft overhead lighting and lots of lateral lighting from the wall cutouts. In the Tantive shots you had overhead lighting that was diffused, but the white interiors of the ship bounced light everywhere. With ESB, however, the lighting was more contrasted and you could really appreciate the wetness or gloss of the dome. The reflections looked deeper. It was more refined looking. Similar with ROTJ when we see him in the Death Star II. However towards the end when Palpatine is frying Luke with the Force Lightning, we see Vader's armored parts covered with white powdery oxidation (powdered burnt Luke, and/or smoke from having his hand cut off) which lent a little to a battle-ravaged look. This is simply a surface effect and not a structural effect.

Vader looked really sad (emotionally and aesthetically) when Luke unmasked him. By this time, we as the audience is empathizing with what's left of the human amid the machine. Here was one fearsome Dark Lord of the Sith, and now you felt sorry for him - a weak old man barely able to breath under the imprisonment and horrific weight of all those cybernetics.

Unfortunately, anything we can appreciate from Vader's portrayal was utterly overshadowed by those lousy little Ewoks! :toothy

Much to the discontent of hardcore fans, Lucas sought to improve upon the appearance of Vader for ROTS. The Costume Props Supervisor for ROTS, Ivo Coveney, discussed how Vader's face was asymmetrical, and that with the result of 3D scanning and computing efforts, a mirrored replacement facial piece was created to achieve the first-ever symmetrical Vader. And we know how the ROTS Vader turned out. Somehow, Vader appeared younger and cleaner. Was this the intentional result of simply trying to make Vader symmetrical? It certainly played into the character. Anakin had just joined Sidious and was at the beginning of his apprenticeship. Twenty years later, we'd come to Episode IV: ANH where he had the look of having seen battles for two decades.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Brief Picture Guide to OT Vader differences..
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:13 am 
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Thanks, Clouds. One thing that has been on my mind of late is the 20+ year stretch of time between ROTS and ANH. Although we see differences in the costume from ANH, ESB to ROTJ, these differences were never quite accounted for. The comics draw Vader's suite inconsistently at best.

Just as you see C3PO polished to a presentation gleam at the awardation ceremony at the end of ANh, it's possible that in the events immediately preceding ANH, Vader saw some action, resulting in his armor appearing beat up. Perhaps he was deployed somewhere on a long term basis where the elements were not friendly to his armor and attire. I'll touch on that in a minute.

In the graphic novel Clone Wars Volume #9: Endgame, (*SPOILERS ALERT*) we see that Vader was lured into an ambush whereupon his armor and helmet were damaged. The artist appropriately used ROTS photographs as an art reference. Master Tsui Choi, in a last and desperate effort, threw his lightsaber at Vader, and it sliced into the facemask.

Let's say the technology existed to repair the facemask - or to replace it altogether. But the OT era seemed to be very minimalist and utilitarian in culture, whereas the Prequels had all kinds of technologies for luxuries and excess. I envision Vader was deployed on a long mission by Palpatine to evaluate his loyalty and abilities. Perhaps there was prolonged exposure to torturous temperature whereupon the helmet warped under the heat.

Such temperature would have wreaked havoc on soft costume parts, so Vader could have replaced them but not before having his armor attended to.

Although the changes to his costume aren't really covered by the comics and graphic novels, the novel "Dark Lord Rising" had mention of the mechanics and technology in relation to Anakin's internal suffering. Building stories around the costume transition during this 20+ year period could really enrich the character.

For example, before the events of TESB, Vader was in a lightsaber duel with someone who had survived order 66, and in lashing out against Vader's face with a horizontal strike managed to cut just the widow's peak off. By this time, Vader was less concerned about replacing his armor or having it look so perfect. The man underneath the armor changes over time - not just emotionally and psychologically, but physically.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Brief Picture Guide to OT Vader differences..
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:01 pm 
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Hi guys,

So, I understand the difference between the dome from each film and I understand the faceplate (chin vent) difference between the ANH and the Empire, but what are the distinguishing features that set apart the Empire and Jedi faceplate?

David


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 Post subject: Re: Very Brief Picture Guide to OT Vader differences..
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:02 pm 
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omp uk wrote:
Hi guys,

So, I understand the difference between the dome from each film and I understand the faceplate (chin vent) difference between the ANH and the Empire, but what are the distinguishing features that set apart the Empire and Jedi faceplate?

David


Well the differences are subtle. Things like the teeth, nose, neck, eyes,vent etc, it's more of a refined ESB. If you were to have both an ESB and ROTJ casting they stand out alot in hand but on screen with the dark lighting and shiny paint jobs they can often look the same to an untrained eye. View the ROTJ differences in short as a cleaned up ESB look. Keep on studying and collecting pictures and it should become clear after some time :cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Guide to OT Vader differences & Prop Terminology
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Bump for newer members.


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 Post subject: Re: Guide to OT Vader differences & Prop Terminology
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:06 pm 
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Darthvaderv wrote:
Bump for newer members.


Sorry for dredging up an old thread.But is it true that Vaders eye sockets in ROTJ are bigger (open wider) than in ANH and ESB? I had an SPFX ESB and SPFX ROTJ helmet and the ROTJ had eye sockets about an 1/8" taller than the ESB


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 Post subject: Re: Guide to OT Vader differences & Prop Terminology
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 pm 
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Not as far as I know. But I don't know much about the RotJ Vader, though. The front facing part of the eyebrow was half painted black, unlike ANH which was all black and ESB which was all gunmetal. The effect + the higher sitting dome can easily make it appear his eyes are larger. Something the ANH didn't suffer from - even though having the eyebrows painted black - because of the lower dome putting it all in shadow anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Guide to OT Vader differences & Prop Terminology
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:34 am 
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No Humor Man wrote:
Not as far as I know. But I don't know much about the RotJ Vader, though. The front facing part of the eyebrow was half painted black, unlike ANH which was all black and ESB which was all gunmetal. The effect + the higher sitting dome can easily make it appear his eyes are larger. Something the ANH didn't suffer from - even though having the eyebrows painted black - because of the lower dome putting it all in shadow anyway.


Interesting..Thanks for reply


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