The Disney+ show “Obi-Wan Kenobi” wrapped last week, and while it’s been an underwhelming installment in Disney’s TV expansion — the writing is rough and the shoddy set design makes the Star Wars universe feel like a mid-grade Syfy show — one striking part has been the return of film’s most famous cyborg, Darth Vader. Vader’s iconic samurai-inspired costume has changed slightly over the years, the tints in his big black eye sockets changing color, the buttons switching up on his chest plate and belt, his cape at first hung over his shoulder plate and later under and then back over. But with Hayden Christensen returning to play the role of Vader and Anakin Skywalker, another change is more obvious than before: The suit adds more than 6 inches to Skywalker’s height. Christensen is 6 feet tall, but the late David Prowse, who physically portrayed Vader in the original movies, was 6 feet 6 inches tall — so Christensen is interspersed in this new show with the 6-foot-6 1/2-inch Dmitrious Bistrevsky and a 6-foot-4-inch stuntman named Tom O’Connell (fans have an in-universe answer for this — Vader’s prosthetic legs made him much taller!). Of course, the through line as always is Vader’s iconic voice, still done by the 91-year-old James Earl Jones, though the aging actor was aided in some way by a synthetic speech generator — making this portrayal the most cyborg Vader yet.
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