"Star Wars" actor Richard LeParmentier has died at the age of 66. LeParmentier played one of the earliest victims of Darth Vader, even though he was saved at the last minute, after disappointing the leader of the dark side.
LeParmentier played Admiral Motti in "Star Wars: A New Hope" and famously mocked Darth Vader's ways and belief in the Force, which he called a "sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion." Vader did not take the accusation well and quickly began crushing Motti's windpipe without laying a finger on him, proving the power of the Force. Motti was saved at the last minute by a request from Vader's aide.
After starring in "Star Wars," LeParmentier moved on to other popular films such as "Octopussy," and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." He is perhaps best known, though, for his death in "Star Wars."
"Every time we find someone's lack of faith disturbing, we'll think of him. At age 66, Richard LeParmentier is one with the Force," a letter by his children reads. "We're deeply grateful to the many fans who have posted personal remembrances of our dad as a warm, genuine person with an unparalleled joie de vivre and gift for friendship (not to mention a mean petanque player)."
"To his fans and friends, his lines were the ultimate power in the universe. He absolutely loved traveling the world and meeting his friends and fellow 'Star Wars' fans – whose tributes have given us all the best lines in this message. He has gone to the Stars, and he will be missed. We love you dad, and thank you to everyone," read the message from Rhiannon, Stephanie, and Tyrone LeParmentier.
While today is Margaret Thatcher's funeral, at least one fan is "choosing to believe that all the funeral pomp and circumstance is for Admiral Motti. It makes more sense," tweeted Julian Simpson. LeParmentier lived in Bath but passed away while he was visiting family in Texas.
"He was just a really, really nice bloke," Adrian Davis, chairman of the Corsham sci-fi group, told the Wiltshire Times. "He was helpful, just somebody that it was always nice to be with, and was extremely proud of his children."
Watch the scene that made LeParmentier famous here: