by Ken Korman
Bob Anderson, who died Sunday at age 89, knew how to wield a sword. He fenced for Great Britain in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and went on to enjoy a 60-year career as a choreographer and instructor for sword fights in dozens of major movies. His credits include early James Bond film From Russia with Love, Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, The Princess Bride, and Peter Jackson's upcoming film, The Hobbit.
Most famously, Anderson worked on the original Star Wars Trilogy, appearing on screen for lightsaber fights as Darth Vader in both The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi when actor David Prowse proved unskilled at the task. Anderson's performance was kept secret until Mark Hamill spilled the beans in an interview with Starlog magazine.
May the force be with you, Bob.
Here's the epic lightsaber duel from The Empire Strikes Back, starring Mark Hamill and Bob Anderson: