Battlestar Galactica's effects genius Gary Hutzel and model-maker Pierre Drolet had to create some ancient Cylon remains for the Galactica crew to dig up. So they reached into Japanese Samurai designs... and his first efforts looked quite like Darth Vader.
Vader's fellow Sith Lord, Darth Mojo, has been posting about the process of developing these ancient Cylons at his blog It's fascinating that the designers' first stabs at a 2000-year-old Cylon centurion wound up looking so Vader-esque. Actually, I've been seeing ads around San Francisco for a Samurai art show recently, and the Samurai helmets really do look like Vader's, especially when glimpsed from the corner of your eye.
Drolet ended up losing the side flaps, so the helmet looked more Cylon and less Sith:
It's well worth reading the full article, which includes more pics of the ancient Cylons and some Samurai reference art, plus more insights into the designers' creative process. [Darth Mojo]