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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.

(via Empire)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."