In 1977, right after the original Star Wars made its debut in the theaters with lines around the block as audiences couldn’t whet their appetite enough about viewing the trials and tribulations in the galaxy that was oh so far away all that time ago, the first wave of pop culture fallout started. While it’s totally taken for granted now that tons and tons of Star Wars goods exist today, physical confections in all shapes and sizes, from T-shirts to action figures, to cereal bowls, towels, and Lego sets to video games for all platforms which have become commonplace by way of large, sprawling department stores around the globe, in 1977, the marketing blitz had just begun, and it was waters tested slowly, which eventually built to financial fever pitch for all involved in it.
To participate in today’s Star Wars celebratory “May The 4th Be With You” and right on the heels of the film’s 35th Anniversary on May 25th, comes a rather rare and fun clip from 1977 from the television game show To Tell The Truth, in which a panel of B-grade celebrities had to guess who a real person was among three — the one out of three who actually did the endeavor or the skill or the task mentioned by the game show moderator before the guessing game is played.
In this case, the moderator is ex-baseball catcher Joe Garagiola; the panel is comprised of Bill Cullen, Peggy Cass, Barry Nelson, and Kitty Carlisle; and the mysterious subject at hand is one David Prowse, who donned the suit of super villain Darth Vader for the film (as voiced by James Earl Jones).
Irresistible fluff, but for the Star Wars fan who may think they’ve seen everything, here’s a scarce clip from a time when the film was still playing in theaters during its original 1977 run with a rare look at David Prowse out of the jet black shiny helmet for once. How many of you can guess which one is him before he’s ousted? Stoogeypedia hint: If you’ve seen Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 classic film A Clockwork Orange, Prowse plays “Julian,” the bodyguard of the character of Frank Alexander (played by the late Patrick Magee) in that film.
Have fun playing along with the panel if you don’t know what Prowse looks like sans the Vader gear, and pay attention, as if the Gold Five X-Wing was telling you to: “Stay on Target, Stay on Target!”