Gee, I wonder where George Lucas got the idea for Darth Vader and C3P0? Take one look at these old 19th century firefighter masks and it’s hard to believe it’s just a coincidence.
In fact, the manufacturer was named Vajen-Bader… is that where Lucas came up with the name Vader? Many collectors thinks so. Hmmm.
This pair of early rescue masks, shown above, dates from between the mid-1800s and World War I. They look a bit familiar, right? Almost a 100 years before Darth Vader and 3-CPO hit the big screen in “Star Wars” in 1977, these two smoke helmets were worn by firefighters carrying our rescues in smoke-logged buildings. The buzz among collectors is that George Lucas’s designers must have found inspiration in these smoke helmets and other like them. In fact, one well-known 19th-century manufacturer was named Vajen-Bader—you could easily get the name Vader from that.