The Star Wars fandom has lost a number of talented individuals to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021. This is a tribute to the Star Wars actors and others associated with the Star Wars universe who died of the novel coronavirus.
David Prowse portrayed Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. He died from COVID-19 complications at the age of 85 on November 28, 2020.
Prowse was chosen for the role due to his stature as a bodybuilder and weightlifter, Star Wars Fandom reported. He spoke the lines during filming, but they were later dubbed over by James Earl Jones. The video below shows how he sounded as Darth Vader before the dub.
Prowse’s daughter confirmed that he died of COVID-19 complications, Deadline reported. She said he had Alzheimer’s and had been hospitalized with COVID-19 for two weeks. She said that because of COVID restrictions, she and other family members didn’t get to say goodbye.
“It’s horrible that Covid restrictions meant we did not get to see him and say goodbye,” she said. “But when we went to collect his stuff from the hospital the nurse said what a cool guy he was. He was such a larger-than-life character. He would have loved to see himself trending on Twitter.”
On March 31, 2020, BBC reported that Andrew Jack died at the age of 76 from COVID-19 complications. His wife, Gabrielle Rogers, was quarantined in Australia when he died in a Surrey hospital, and she couldn’t visit her husband in person in his last days. She had just flown into Australia from New Zealand the week before and had been in a mandatory quarantine.
Rogers posted on Twitter that he was not in pain and had died just two days after his diagnosis.
In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Rogers shared that Jack had been working on The Batman in London just a month earlier, and she believed that was where he contracted the virus. After getting sick, he self-isolated on his boat in Thames so as not to infect anyone else. She said he lost his sense of taste and smell and was out of breath when she spoke to him on the phone. But his loss of breath happened slowly, so he didn’t realize how serious it was. She said she made him call an ambulance when she realized how sick he was.
“For a voice person, that was all the alarm bells that I needed because he had the best voice in the world,” she said.
She said that he was intubated seven hours later and died about 30 hours after that.
“It could have been a heart attack, it could have been a car accident, it doesn’t really matter, my husband died,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald. “A father died. But I am glad and not surprised that, when his time came, he died wrestling a world-stopping pandemic. It was the thing big enough to take him out.”
Jack played the role of Caluan Ematt in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, Star Wars Fandom reported. His character accompanied Organa to see Commander Poe Dameron’s recruitment. Jack also coached Daisy Ridley and John Boyega in dialogue and accents.
Mark Hamill tweeted about Jack’s death, writing: “I’m so sorry and saddened to hear we have lost Andrew Jack. He was such a kind gentleman who was deeply gifted & beloved by all who knew him. My deepest condolences to his family. #RIPAndrew”
Jay Benedict portrayed Luke Skywalker’s friend Deak in a scene from Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope that was deleted. His scenes were included in a Blu-Ray release. You can see him in the video of deleted scenes below.
He died at the age of 68 from COVID-19 complications on April 4, 2020, Star Wars Fandom reported.
Benedict was in many other productions, including Aliens, The Dark Knight Rises, Emmerdale, and Foyle’s War.
While not an actor in the Star Wars universe, Gimenez was a comic book artist who worked on covers for Doctor Aphra 3 and Darth Vader 25. He died of COVID-19 on April 2, 2020, at the age of 76, Star Wars Fandom reported. Gimenez was best known for his work on The Metabarons.
Gimenez had been hospitalized after traveling to Spain since March 22, and he died of COVID-19 on April 2, The Hollywood Reporter reported. He was the first professional in the comic industry to die of COVID-19.