Original Trilogy's roles
Purvis began working in cinema with Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope in 1977. His partner, Baker, was in negotiations to act as R2-D2. As that would have forced him to cancel the rich summer season of his theater show, which would have been a blow to Purvis' career, Baker and Purvis convinced the producers to hire both of them for the movie. Purvis began acting as the Chief Jawa, seen as he attacked and disabled his friend's droid character. His other characters in the film include the cantina patron Kitik Keed'kak and a power droid in Mos Eisley.
Purvis was called upon again to act in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Although there were no Jawas in that movie, there was another role for a man of his size: the Chief Ugnaught. Later identified as Ugloste by the Expanded Universe, Purvis can be seen on Cloud City, where Han Solo was frozen in carbonite.
Jack Purvis returned to the Star Wars saga for the final time in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Although there were Jawas in this installment, they only served as background characters. Instead, Purvis played a member of a new species, the Ewoks. His character, Teebo, was an axe-wielding gray Ewok using a skull as a helmet. Thus, he is the only person to be credited in the three original films as playing different characters in each installment. Purvis' then-teenage daughter Katie, who shared her father's dwarfism, also appeared in the film as an Ewok mother, holding a Wokling in her arms.
Later life and death
Jack Purvis later suffered an accident with his own vehicle after he'd parked it. The car's brakes failed and rolled backwards, crushing him between its bumper and a wall, breaking his neck, and paralyzing him for the rest of his life. Purvis died in November 1997 in Bushey Hertfordshire, England. He was sixty years old.
- The Art of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- The Jedi Master's Quizbook
- "Jack Purvis Remembered"—Star Wars Insider 37
- "When Artoo Met Wicket"—Star Wars Insider 39
- "Set Piece"—Star Wars Insider 61
Notes and references
- The Art of Star Wars (page 60)