Star Wars, Princess Bride, Lord of the Rings Swordfight Choreographer Passes Away
Buckle Buckle Swash Swash
Sword-fight choreographer and fencer, Bob Anderson, has passed away. You may not know him by name but the talented man worked on many films and franchises we love including acting as Darth Vader’s stunt double in Star Wars.
Yes, 89-year-old Anderson was one of the folks in Vader’s costume during lightsaber fight scenes in both Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He’s one of seven actors to have worn the famous suit in the George Lucas’ films. His role was a secret for some time with star Mark Hamill finally talked about it in a 1983 interview.
“Bob Anderson was the man who actually did Vader’s fighting,” he said. “It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told George I didn’t think it was fair any more. Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It’s ridiculous to preserve the myth that it’s all done by one man.”
He trained with famous swashbuckler Errol Flynn and represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games in 1952.
Anderson’s credits also include acting as sword master on The Princess Bride, Highlander, First Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean and all three of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films.
The One Ring reported that Anderson, “was also brought in to train the actors in different fencing techniques. An expert in medieval arms, Anderson read the novel and then developed sparring methods based on Tolkien’s descriptions of each culture.”
They also wrote, “According to director Daniel McNicoll, Anderson once told him, “You know I don’t feel like I found the sword, I feel like the sword found me.”
So sad to hear this news, our geek world wouldn’t be the same without him.