Star Wars mad dad dons £5,000 Darth Vader suit at film’s European premiere
- Credit: Archant
It is a galaxy far, far away from his day job but for one Star Wars fan it was a dream come true when he was invited to be Darth Vader at the release of the franchise's new film.
Huw Jones, who works at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, donned his own £5,000 creation of the iconic sci-fi costume to march on the Rise of Skywalker European premiere last month.
The 43-year-old is a member of the 501st Legion's UK Garrison, an international organisation dedicated to constructing and wearing screen-accurate replicas of Star Wars characters.
The head of the hospital's oral health laboratory was chosen by Disney to form a parade, entertain fans and scenery for the world's press while the film's stars arrived at the premiere in Leicester Square.
Mr Jones, from Norwich, was at work when he got the shock news.
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He said: "I read the email with a shocked face and leant back on the door and it swung open. I went backwards through the door."
But while there were butterflies on the night itself, it was a once in a lifetime experience.
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"It was terrifying. You're just thinking "don't fall over, don't fall over," he said.
"Only afterwards you think 'I've done it, I cannot believe it'.
"I've been a huge Star Wars fan since being the geeky little kid in school who found it an escape from the reality of being bullied."
Mr Jones has spent £5,000 to painstakingly recreate Darth Vader's suit worn in Revenge of the Sith.
It took him more than four years to complete with leather elements of the suit tailor made in Argentina. The helmet was created from moulds from Lucasfilm Ltd.
Mr Jones has also made many of the parts himself and built his own lightsabers.
Mr Jones said: "My love of stage acting had an element of costuming involved, and the thought of building one of the most iconic costumes seen on screen took hold about seven years ago.
"Building the costumes is as rewarding as actually wearing them."
It is also a hobby he shares with his wife and two children, attending exhibitions in his own Captain America costume.
In April 2018 he was given clearance to join the UK Garrisons, which requires members to have 'screen correct' costumes.
With the Garrisons, the dad-of-two is able to support charity, including NNUH's charity."