Did Old Firefighter Masks Inspire George Lucas?
December 14, 2010 collections

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.

[CollectorsWeekly via Neatorama]

"4" Comments
  1. If it was going to inspire anyone, it would have been Ralph McQuarrie rather than Lucas, since McQuarrie was the one who did the concept art.

  2. Ah, wonderful point, Susan, thanks!

  3. Vader / threepio – I don’t see either of them as the rescue hero type… but the likeness is rather incredible.

  4. I don’t see an overwhelming resemblance, I think it’s more the fact that people tend to want to make connections.

    They are curious looking masks though, I’ve never seen anything like them.

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