The concept originated from 501st Legion member Benoît Lambert (TK-2054), and it turned into a top-secret Lucasfilm-sanctioned project the making of which took nearly two years. In 2005, FanWars' commander TK-9999 decided to approach Lucasfilm Ltd. and spoke of the project with Stephen J. Sansweet. A FanWars team the created a file about air balloons and how special shapes could be created for movie advertising. When all the preliminary questions were answered, Lucasfilm gave the green light for a Darth Vader's helmet-shaped balloon a few weeks later.
Once the final design was approved, eight weeks of needlework were necessary to create the balloon—to keep this project secret on Lucasfilm request, the English manufacturer called it "Head One". First revealed to the general public on the official Star Wars website, the Darth Vader balloon was present at the fan convention Celebration Europe in July 2007.
The balloon props measure 26 meters (86 feet) high with the basket included, 21 meters (69 feet) wide and with a depth of 24 meters (78 feet). The estimated hot air volume 3.000 m³ (106,000 cubic feet) and estimated weight 320 kilos (705 lbs). The balloon can carry two passengers and a pilot.