Darth Vader's menacing appearance isn't complete without his cape, but have you ever wondered what he looked like without it? A rare behind-the-scenes photo from the set of Star Wars: A New Hope courtesy of Reddit user MaceWinduTowani may give us an idea.
From the back without the cape, you can see that there is a battery pack connected to the belt. This is believed to be what actually made this belt lit up during scenes. A separate battery pack is apparently needed to keep the lights on in the chest part of his armor.
While the cape clearly adds to the supervillain look, it seems that it was also made for practicality. After all, without it, all the battery packs will be exposed. It's amazing how the utilitarian needs ultimately dictated how an outfit that would go on to become so recognizable across the world ended up looking.
The presence of battery packs also meant that it must have been a bit heavy to lug around during filming. Thankfully, the Star Wars baddie was so strong with the Force that he didn't have to move so much to do some damage.
It is unclear if the person in the costume is David Prowse or the late Bob Anderson who both got to wear the iconic garb in the original Star Wars trilogy. The latter, who choreographed the battles, would only take over for the fighting sequences sometimes.
Apart from a cool set secret, this photo also reminded fans one of the many reasons they love Star Wars. George Lucas set out to build and create everything from scratch from the sets to the aliens in the background instead of using computer-generated imagery or CGI to add in the effects during post-production. In turn, he made something that's timeless and classic.
Of course, CGI was technology that wasn't around at that time. Lucas didn't pass up the chance to use it in the prequels as it became available. But even then, he still built some of the sets including Emperor Palpatine's office in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.