Apparently, the Dark Side of the Force doesn't help evade the details of fine print. The London Times overheard David Prowse (a.k.a. "The Man Inside Darth Vader") reveal a rather shocking fact to Equity magazine -- he's never received any residuals from The Return of the Jedi because the film never made a profit.

Says Prowse: "In the last 30 years you can count the number of times [The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi] have been in the cinema on one hand, and it never returned much money. I get these occasional letters from Lucasfilm saying that we regret to inform you that as Return of the Jedi has never gone into profit, we've got nothing to send you. Now here we're talking about one of the biggest releases of all time."

His friends say that the letter informing him that ROTJ hadn't made a profit actually referred to the Special Edition re-release and DVD, and that the terms of his contract reward him profits only when the film exceeds its production costs ... which the ROTJ Special Edition may never have done. LucasFilm won't comment, except to say that Prowse is mistaken: "Lucasfilm, as a matter of policy, does not discuss its financial arrangements with cast or crew on its movies, and we will respect that policy here other than to say that Mr Prowse's statement is not accurate."

Call me crazy, but I think even the Special Edition has turned a pretty tidy profit by now. Even if it hasn't, if there's one thing the Star Wars films have been, it's insanely lucrative -- and you would think the studio could toss its players (especially a fan favorite like Prowse) a chunk of change just to say "Thanks for the memories."

[Thanks to Kris Aaron and burnieburns for Tweeting this where I would see it.]
categories Movies, Cinematical