Hmm, this looks like someone doing a steampunk version of Star Wars, doesn't it? Wrong! These are real antiques.
This pair of early rescue masks, shown above, dates from between the mid-1800s and World War I. They look a bit familiar, right? Almost a 100 years before Darth Vader and 3-CPO hit the big screen in “Star Wars” in 1977, these two smoke helmets were worn by firefighters carrying our rescues in smoke-logged buildings. The buzz among collectors is that George Lucas’s designers must have found inspiration in these smoke helmets and other like them. In fact, one well-known 19th-century manufacturer was named Vajen-Bader—you could easily get the name Vader from that.
The mask on the left is German; the one on the right is French. Maybe the resemblance is coincidental, or maybe George Lucas and/or his designers saw these masks at one time or another. Link -Thanks, Ben Marks!