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Two Darth Vader actors share another weirdly specific sci-fi role

Two Darth Vader actors from the Star Wars movies share a completely bizarre connection to Doctor Who, and it's totally freaked us out.

Darth Vader in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Darth Vader is one of the most terrifying, iconic movie villains of all time. Despite that infamy, there’s one weird secret about the Darth Vader actors that most people don’t know.

In the long history of the Star Wars character, the Sith lord was first played by David Prowse – an English bodybuilder who was cast because he was able to fill out the costume and add a sense of physical threat and intimidation to Vader. Then, in the spin-off Star Wars movie Rogue One the Darth Vader shoes were filled by Welsh actor Spencer Wilding.

Everything’s normal so far, right? That changes when you learn that these two actors who have portrayed Darth Vader have also both separately played Minotaurs in a TV series. That makes things a lot more surprising, but what tips this over the edge into total unlikely coincidence is that they both played Minotaurs on the British sci-fi series Doctor Who.

So, that’s two actors from the UK who have both played Darth Vader, and also both played Minotaurs on Doctor Who separately. The odds on that coincidence must be less than 725 to 1. And, what makes this all even more bizarre is that in both instances the actors played the Minotaur in Doctor Who five years before taking on the role as Emperor Palpatine‘s servant. That’s just crazy, if you ask us and there’s no explanation for all this other than that it’s down to pure coincidence.

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There are, of course, several other actors who have played the leader of the Galactic Empire over the years who haven’t previously played a Minotaur in Doctor Who. However, pointing that out is much less fun than being baffled by the coincidence, and it doesn’t make that huge coincidence any less fascinating.

For more on Star Wars, take a look at our guide to the Andor cast andour explainers on the characters Mon Mothma, Dedra Meero, Syril Karn, and Luthen Rael.