Actor James Earl Jones is just fine!
2022 has been a rough year full of celebrity deaths, so when Disney put out a tweet celebrating the life of the Mufasa voice actor, fans were understandably concerned that the now 91-year-old actor might have passed away.
Fortunately, Jones is just fine. The memorable voice of Darth Vader is just fine!
Disney D23 Frightens ‘Star Wars’ Fans With James Earl Jones Spotlight!
Mufasa. Darth Vader. Disney Legend James Earl Jones has brought to life iconic characters in the worlds of Disney. Read more about his impressive… most impressive career with Disney here: https://t.co/5MNMZCX7Bm #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/chlqHIWwod
— Disney D23 (@DisneyD23) February 18, 2022
Disney is shining a light on some of their most notable actors during Black History Month, and that includes James Earl Jones. In addition to voicing Darth Vader in the films, he has also contributed the voice to animated projects, video games, and the Star Tours: The Adventure Continues attraction at Disneyland.
According to Wookieepedia, Jones has voiced Darth Vader for “A New Hope,” “The Star Wars Holiday Special,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Returns of the Jedi,” “Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “Star Tours: The Adventures Continues,” “Star Wars Rebels,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “The Rise of Skywalker.”
It’s definitely worthy of a shout-out, but some fans took issue with the wording of the tweet.
Disney tweeted: Mufasa. Darth Vader. Disney Legend James Earl Jones has brought to life iconic characters in the worlds of Disney. Read more about his impressive… most impressive career with Disney here: https://bit.ly/2Z9eiU9 #BlackHistoryMonth”
Some fans were understandably concerned with that wording.
‘Star Wars’ Are Worried About James Earl Jones: ‘I Almost Had A D— Heart Attack’
Everyone’s immediate reaction because of how poorly Disney worded this: pic.twitter.com/gzfiXCRunS
— HC (@ZakuFan0079) February 19, 2022
“Y’all REALLY need to start your posts differently when talking about James Earl Jones,” one user wrote. “I almost had a d— heart attack.”
“I hate how we live in a time where we can’t celebrate older celebrities without people assuming they died 😂😭” another wrote.
“Blame it on Disney for scaring us,” another replied. “All these greats dying at what seems an insane rate frightens us.”
“Y’all… don’t do that, I thought you were announcing his death 🤦🏻♀️💜” another shared.
“Disney better be digitizing his voice for all eternity,” another wrote. “So we have Vader forever.”
“Don’t ever do that again,” another fan wrote. “Scared the s— out of me.”
“Nearly dropped my f—ing phone,” another added. “However they always put the photo in greyscale so I knew it was fine.”
Considering Lucasfilm just announced that legendary composer John Williams, who just turned 90 on February 8, was going to compose the score for the upcoming Disney+ live-action series “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” fans are starting to become understandably anxious when their favorite celebrities start trending!
James Earl Jones: We Will Review His Career With Great Interest
The poorly-worded tweet seemed to distract fans from its initial intention: celebrating the life and accomplishments of James Earl Jones. The link in the tweet led to a Black History Month Spotlight on the legendary voice actor, which can be read below.
“With nearly 200 credits in film and television, and countless more on the Broadway stage, it’s hard to imagine a more recognizable voice than the rich and commanding basso profundo tones of James Earl Jones.
In 1977, as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope, Jones helped create perhaps the most indelible screen villain in decades, a role which he has continued to portray in subsequent films in the Star Wars franchise, including Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), and the Disney XD TV series Star Wars Rebels (2014–2018).
In stark contrast to his vocalization as Darth Vader, he also voiced the majestic Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King (1994). “Doing a voice for animation is acting in its purest form. It’s a bit like the ancient Greek form where the actors would wear masks. In our case, the masks are the animators’ drawings and we just simply supply all the behaviors, emotions, and feelings behind that mask,” the actor recalled. His Mufasa would be heard again in The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998) and The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015).
Other Disney credits include Three Fugitives (1989), ABC’s Recess (1998), as the voice of Santa Claus, True Identity (1991), Jefferson in Paris (1995), segment host for Fantasia/2000 (2000), and narrator for the Disneynature film Earth (2009). His voice has been heard in Disney Parks around the globe, including recurring vocal performances as the menacing Darth Vader for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue and as a past celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Ceremony and Processional at Disneyland Park.
In 2019, Jones reprised his role as the voice of Mufasa in The Walt Disney Studios’ photo-realistic re-imagining of The Lion King, and proudly was inducted as a Disney Legend that same year.”