Actor James Earl Jones reportedly only made $7,000 dollars when he voiced Darth Vader in the first “Star Wars” film.
The New York Post shared the resurfaced clip from the American Film Institute, which shows Jones talking about how much “Star Wars” creator George Lucas decided to pay him for taking on the role of a lifetime.
James Earl Jones Was Never Inside The ‘Star Wars’ Darth Vader Suit
Although James Earl Jones, now 91, was the voice of Darth Vader, actor David Prowse wore the iconic Darth Vader suit in “A New Hope,” which was released almost 45 years ago on May 25, 1977. Prowse, unfortunately, died in 2020 at the age of 85.
At the time, however, Lucas did not feel that Prowse’s voice was the right fit for the sinister Sith Lord.
“George wanted, pardon the expression, a dark voice,” Jones explained. “So he hires a guy born in Mississippi, raised in Michigan, who stutters. And that’s the voice. That’s me.”
Although $7,000 dollars doesn’t sound like a lot of money now, Jones was excited about it at the time. “I lucked out, from all these so-called handicaps, for a job that paid $7,000! I thought that was good money,” Jones said. “And I got to be a voice on a movie!”
James Earl Jones Disagreed With George Lucas About The Next ‘Star Wars’ Movie
In its sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back,” Jones revealed that he and Lucas actually had a disagreement about how Darth Vader should sound.
Jones wanted to make Vader’s voice more “subtle” and “more psychologically oriented” behind the mask, “but Lucas saw it differently.”
“He said, ‘We don’t know what we did right, so let’s just try what we did … What we’re finding out is you need to keep his voice on a very narrow band of inflection because he ain’t human, really,’” Jones recalled.
Jones later returned to a galaxy far, far away when he provided the voice of Darth Vader to 2016’s “Rogue One.”
James Earl Jones Is Still Alive And Well!
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
Earlier this year, Disney sent fans into a panic when they decided to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the iconic voice actor.
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”
However, many fans were concerned about the wording of the tweet.
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.”
“Disney better be digitizing his voice for all eternity,” another wrote. “So we have Vader forever.”
Fortunately, Jones is still alive and well! 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.”
A most impressive career, indeed!