Allegedly, that's what actor David Prowse told George Lucas at the end of his audition for a little something something called Star Wars (1977). Prowse -- a bodybuilder by trade -- had found himself sought after for roles requiring a bit of size; so he went in to his audition not entirely sure what to expect. What he got was an offer from Lucas himself to play either Chewbacca or the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Prowse wanted to be the fallen Jedi, and he told Lucas why in that simple statement above.
Well, apparently Lucas even remembered Prowse as a bit of a villain as the franchise creator eventually banned the bodybuilder-turned-actor from appearing at Star Wars related events. The exact reasons why remain a bit of a mystery -- a statment was made about "too many bridges burned" -- though I'm happy to unpack what I've read over the years.
As the story begins, Prowse learned and delivered Vader's lines during the production of the original film in the trilogy, but it was a performance that director Lucas assured him would be re-recorded in post. How would the words be clearly heard from under than massive helmet? Prowse insists he was never called in to deliver his lines in studio and only learned upon release of the film -- seeing it on the silver screen himself -- that the words were instead spoken by actor James Earl Jones. There has been some conjecture that Prowse was simply unable to get to the states for the dubbing process (the late actor himself has even offered up said reason), and Lucas has stated that the bodybuilder's voice just didn't "work." Whatever the truth is, it remains shrouded in as much mystery as Vader's true identity did at that time ... which brings us to another behind-the-scenes development ...
Because he knew his voice wasn't going to be used in the final product, Prowse stopped memorizing the script, instead improvising dialogue approximating what he did remember from his reading of it. In an interview, Prowse has even admitted that he'd muck up a line here and there just for laughs. As one can imagine, this caused some kerfuffle with creatives on-the-set who prefer an actor to stick to the script (unless being directed to adlib); so Lucas and his peers were further disenfranchised.
Well, as everyone knows, The Empire Strikes Back had a big, big secret -- namely involving a certain somebody turning out to be another certain somebody's father -- and Lucas along with the entire production team were hard-pressed to keep this under wraps. In order to accomplish this monumental task, the reveal was shared with as few people as possible (I've read three people knew, I've read four people knew, etc.); and here is where things get a bit frosty. On more than one occasion, Prowse has clarified that he did not know that Vader was Luke Skywalker's father; but I've read accounts where Lucas was furious with the actor over implying the relationship in an interview wherein he said something to the reporter akin to "The father cannot kill the son, and the son cannot kill the father." It's entirely understandably how such a statement certainly sounds like Prowse was in on it and perhaps spilled the beans ... or it could've been just an incredibly fortunate (or unfortunate) guess. Whatever that truth may be, it's now lost to the ages.
Still, the feud between Lucas and his actor didn't end there. It was, after all, only the second installment in what was the Original Trilogy ...
Once the final shooting script was delivered, Prowse believed that his face would finally be shown to the world outside as, certainly, the villain would be unmasked. So far as everyone knew, this was the last Star Wars, so why not go out on a high note and reveal the man beneath the mask? Audiences would be coming back to find out the truth behind Luke's lineage, how it all unfolded, and what fate awaited the Rebel Alliance.
In order to keep all things secret, actors were only given scenes they were involved in. (I've read that only three full shooting scripts ever existed, and Prowse -- who had been considered a 'security threat' by Lucasfilm after The Empire Strikes Back -- didn't have one.) But he had his scenes, and it's been long alleged that he spoiled Vader's death scene to the London press.
Lo and behold, when it came time to shoot the big scene, Prowse wasn't on the call sheet for the role; instead there was an actor named Sebastian Shaw.
As this particular story goes, Prowse insists he heard the news of Vader's death and the casting of Shaw from a United Kingdom reporter who cornered him during a workout at the gym. The actor has maintained that his position was that no one -- not even George Lucas -- would deny him the opportunity to have his face associated with the iconic role he helped to create and shape on film. Because he wasn't listed as the actor who'd ultimately played Anakin Skywalker in Return Of The Jedi, he wouldn't have been provided those scenes during production ... so how could he have known? The reporter's story links the spoiling of Vader's death directly to his Prowse interview, and Lucasfilm was incensed.
Alas, the bad blood doesn't end there.
The People Vs. George Lucas (2010) is a documentary feature from writer/director Alexandre O. Philippe which examined fan discontent with the franchise creator about the ways in which the Prequel Trilogy "didn't align" with what was already established within Star Wars mythology as well as deconstructing the controversial 'Special Edition' releases. While much of what's inevitably discussed in the film could be considered nitpicking, some of its interview subjects clearly put a lot of thought, effort, and logic into dissecting creative choices Lucas made along the way. Though it's never been clearly established that the writer/director himself has even viewed the doc, he did learn that David Prowse participated with it ... and that's what many claim was the last straw that broke the Bantha's back.
From that point forward, Lucas stated categorically that Prowse was to be no longer invited to participate in official Star Wars events.
Whatever the truth to all of this may be, we'll likely never know. All we have are the stories of those involved, and even those might be heavily shaded by personal opinion or merely obfuscated by history. Lucas did speak warmly about Prowse's contribution to the Star Wars saga upon the man's death in 2020, so maybe there's a measure of peace achieved when such rivals confront mortality. Vader lives on -- he's still often voted one of cinema's iconic villains -- and I like to think that somewhere under that mask there's a bodybuilder smiling ... though you'll never hear his voice.