way OT: Star Wars actor Richard LeParmentier dies at 66

Submitted by WingsNWolverines on April 17th, 2013 at 4:22 PM

For the Star Wars fans like me this quote is one movie moment we will always remember. "THIS STATION IS NOW THE ULTIMATE POWER IN THE UNIVERSE." One of Star Wars most famous lines came from an actor really nobody even heard of yet his icy tone and stone cold stare and non fear of Sith Lord Darth Vader made an incredible chilling bad ass movie moment. Richard LeParmentier who played General Motti in Star Wars Episode 4 a New Hope in the original trilogy passed away at 66 Tuesday morning while with his family in Austin Texas. LeParmentier also had several roles in other feature films such as appearing in "Rollerball," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "Octopussy," and in recurring roles on the British television series "Capital City" and "We'll Meet Again."

In 1980, while appearing in "Superman II," he met actress Sarah Dougless, who would become his wife from 1981 to 1984. In the late 1980s, LeParmentier began dividing his time between acting and writing; he wrote episodes for several popular UK TV shows, including "Love Hurts," "Boon," and "The Bill," and wrote the 1995 documentary "Castle Ghosts of England." 

LeParmentier was said he loved his Star Wars fans and traveling the world when he could. Sad day for Star Wars fans nation wide. May the force always be with you Richard. Rest in Peace.



April 17th, 2013 at 4:33 PM ^

And once in a while you'll hear when they have those wacky movie lines and sound effects stuff they play that line from Star Wars. I'm sure a lot of other radio stations do it too but it's one of my most memorable and for a lot of the fan base of Star Wars movie lines in the trilogy.


I also posted this cause I know there's a lot of Star Wars and sci fi fans on this blog. I actually had the privilege of meeting him at the Star Wars celebration for Episode III 5 years ago I believe it was. Awesome guy with a lot of humor and tons of stories to talk about behind the set when they were filming.


April 17th, 2013 at 4:34 PM ^

It's always kind of a shame to learn things about someone's life only because you hear about their death.

An interesting connection between Star Wars and Michigan, for those who don't know, is that the (co)writer of Episodes 5 and 6 (as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark), Lawrence Kasdan, is a Michigan alum (and worked on the Gargoyle sometime during his studies, making him at least as interesting as Arthur Miller). He's also tentatively involved with some of the upcominc Star Wars productions. Just something I have to mention whenever I hear a Michigan fan mention Star Wars.


April 17th, 2013 at 5:02 PM ^

at orientation in the year 2013.  Way back in the mid 1990's, UM hadn't yet transitioned to the ability for students to register for the next semester's classes online.  As recently as 1994 (my freshman year), students had to actually go register for classes in person which even at the time seemed archaic and ridiculous.

Beginning in 1995, the university implemented a registration by phone service.  There was an acronym for this service that was called CRISP - I can't remember now what the acronym stood for but just like any other voice automated service, there was a relatively non-offensive female voice that guided you through the registration of your classes.  This voice was referred to as the CRISP lady. 

The early days of CRISP sucked.  While you could now register for classes from the comforts of your bedroom, the entire system was slow and things took forever to process because everyone was calling into it at the same time to register.  Given the long wait times and frequent voice overs you'd hear from the CRISP lady, someone got the bright idea of "hey, wouldn't it be cool if we had someone famous do the voice over for CRISP instead of the CRISP lady?" 

That idea turned into a full blown editorial in the Michigan Daily in either 1995 or 1996, when a movement started to get James Earl Jones to be the new voice of CRISP.  I don't remember any of the specifics of the article besides the very beginning which went as follows:

"Luke....I....am your father...."

"(If this is not correct, press 1)"

Sadly, the movement died before we ever were able to replace the CRISP lady's voice with the voice of Darth Vader.

On the bright side, I'm glad to see that this stupidly random anecdote that is as off topic as off topic can possibly be just became my 100th point on this site. 


April 17th, 2013 at 5:56 PM ^

I believe you are correct. A little bit of nostalgia think ing about CRISP, but, wow, did CRISP suck. Standing in a line that stretched halfway down the basement hall in Angell, waiting to get to sit down in a chair while the person on the computer punched in your classes and told you that these three courses are full, so please try again.

Missed the phone system by two years.


April 17th, 2013 at 7:42 PM ^

The phone system was equally as time consuming, and just as bad about ensuring that all the classes you tried to register for were full. I once broke a phone after getting completely frustrated from dealing with that piece of shit system. Even without Darth Vader as its voice, I was still driven to the Dark Side of the Force by CRISP!


April 17th, 2013 at 11:51 PM ^

You're close .... it was actually Computerized Registration Involving Student Participation.  I know it goes back at least to 1983 and probably a bit before that.  If I remember right, when I was there in the late '80s, CRISP took place at Lorch Hall.


April 18th, 2013 at 8:28 AM ^

This is correct.  CRISP goes back to well before phone or online registration.  It's just that there was a computer operator who actually entered your requests into the system.

By the time I got to school (fall of '89) LSA and other schools were separate.  Engineers had to register in person, at a particular time, on North Campus.

Part of why I remember these details so well is that in late March of 1992, my wife (then girlfriend) went to the Final Four in Minneapolis with a friend while I stayed in Ann Arbor because my CRISP time was at 8:00 in the morning the Monday of the National Championship game.  If I had missed that time, I might not have gotten the classes I needed to graduate the following year.

At least we got to go to New Orleans the next year!


April 17th, 2013 at 6:47 PM ^

The September 15th, 1997 issue of the Daily (start of my sophomore year) provides some of the background as well. Google has as scanned copy of the paper edition and story here - (LINK). I remember this because it was run by the "James Earl Jones For CRISP Lady Task Force", and I actually knew several of its members. 


April 17th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

Kasdan is a cool guy. When my then roommate and I moved to LA he talked to us for an hour on the phone after we wrote to him. Very generous of him.

At the end though when we asked him the 'what would you do if you were us to get started' question. He basically said what was helpful to him was that his friend George asked him to write a sequel to his scifi movie. I think that was maybe a unique to him circumstance and not necessarily what the average film student can hope for.


April 17th, 2013 at 4:38 PM ^

Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you enough clairvoyance to find the rebels' hidden fortress...


April 17th, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

Okay, I need some help from a true Star Wars nerd: Why was Darth Vader not able to use Force (Sith) Lightning? It just seems terribly inefficient to waste time with a lightsaber when you can just blast people from a distance like the Emperor.


April 17th, 2013 at 5:43 PM ^

It's my understanding that he never learned how to do force lightning. The books may explain further as I haven't read them all but I'm betting that Palpatine just never let him into that secret as darth would then become more powerful than he and overthrow him. There can only be two.


April 17th, 2013 at 6:06 PM ^

I don't think it's because the Emperor never taught him. After all, Dooku used it often in the prequel trilogy. Also, in the Force Unleashed video games, Vader's apprentice Starkiller used it liberally.

I would guess that it has to do with much of Vader's body being robotic. It could conceivably be impossible to shoot force lightning through robotic arms. But even if not, you could imagine that it would be a bad idea to mess with it when you are kept alive by electronic life support.


April 17th, 2013 at 7:35 PM ^

As someone else mentioned, it was because of his robotic arms. To add to that, that's why Palpatine was so interested in Luke. With only one robotic arm Luke could become more powerful than Anakin.

Edit: wrong spot. Meant to reply to why Vader couldn't do force lightning.