Keith Swaden (Stormtrooper)

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Keith Swaden
Stormtrooper (A New Hope), Rebel, Snowtrooper (The Empire Strikes Back), Rebel (Return of the Jedi)
Interview: March 2013

How did you get started in the movie business?

I started in a rock band, then I went to a drama school and did some theatre work. After that I did some modelling. A lady I knew suggested I should join an agency.

How did you get cast for all three Star Wars movies? And how were you assigned your roles? And which roles did you play?

I was cast in the first movie because I was very slim and fitted the costume. In The Empire Strikes Back I was a Hoth rebel, and a snowtrooper. In Return of the Jedi I was once again a rebel, I think they used me because they knew me well.

In which scenes can we see you and what do you recall of the filming of them?

I know I was in a scene where they were taking princess Leia in A New Hope, on the ice planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back and getting ready for battle in Return of the Jedi. My memory is a bit hazy because it was over 30 years ago and I have done a lot more work since then. When I was on Empire the director asked me to jump over a crevice in the ice which I did. He said let’s set up for a take, but then the prop department loaded me up with gear on my back which affected the weight and when I jumped I fell down. The director was not too pleased but the rest of the crew thought it was funny. I remember how stiff the stormtrooper costumes were and how much you sweated in them. They gave you drinks but then you needed to use the toilet so you had to get the costume off which all took time. I am sorry if I can’t remember more but over the years I have been in about 500 movies, TV shows and had several theatre jobs.

What is the best memory you have regarding Star Wars?

My best memory is working with the wonderful Peter Cushing again.

You have attended some conventions. Did you enjoy these?

I do really enjoy the conventions, seeing all the fans they are fantastic.

Besides Star Wars you were also in another legendary Lucasfilm movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Which part did you play in that movie?

In Indiana Jones I was in some scenes where they were in the zeppelin.

What do you regard as the highlight of your career?

Going to Japan for a Star Wars Convention.

What are you currently doing? Are you still in the movie business?

At the moment I am not working because of illness, but I am still in the business, the last time I worked was on Eastenders last year.

I wish you good health!