HomeUncategorizedMichael Culver, Star Wars Actor Choked by Darth Vader, Dead at 85

Michael Culver, Star Wars Actor Choked by Darth Vader, Dead at 85



Star Wars actor Michael Culver has died at the age of 85.

According to a statement from Culver’s agency, he passed away on February 27th. No cause of death has been revealed.

“We are very sad to confirm the passing of our friend and client Michael Culver,” Alliance Agents shared in a statement also noting his “career spanning over 50 years with notable roles in Sherlock Holmes, A Passage to India, Secret Army and of course one of the most memorable death scenes in the Star Wars franchise.

Culver played a small role as Captain Needa in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In the 1980 film, the character goes to Darth Vader to take responsibility for failing to capture the rebels. After the scene cuts, Culver is seen falling to the floor after Vader uses the Force to choke the life out of him. “Apology accepted, Captain Needa,” Vader quips.

Born in London on June 16th, 1938, Culver began his on-screen acting career in 1961 on television and would play notable characters in British series like The Avengers, The First Churchills, The Adventures of Black Beauty, Secret Army, and Sherlock Holmes.

Besides The Empire Strikes Back, Culver made appearances in films like Goodbye Mr Chips and A Passage to India, with his most recent role in 2016’s Servants’ Quarters.

In the early 2000s, Culver started focusing on political activism as a major supporter of anti-Iraq War and peace campaigner Brian Haw, who camped out in Parliament Square for 10 years in protest against UK and US foreign policy. In 2023, Culver helped campaign for a statue of Haw to be installed in London.

Elsewhere in its statement, Alliance Agents reflected on how it was an “honour” to represent Culver and facilitate his connection with Star Wars fans worldwide: “A real highlight was taking Michael to Celebration in Chicago in 2019. He was lost for words when he saw his queue line with nearly 200 people waiting to see him.”

Revisit Culver’s iconic death scene below.



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