Black Star Wars: James Earl Jones

The intent of Black Star Wars is to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of black artists within the realm of Star Wars. As we aren’t in the financial position to contribute yet, we are doing our part to celebrate and amplify black voices.

James Earl Jones is an African American actor, Jones is often thought of as one of the best stage and screen actors both in the US and internationally. Most of his career has been spent doing traditional acting but he has also done a variety of voice acting jobs. Jones has an iconic voice, to say the least. Some of his more noteworthy voice performances have been in Disney’s animated featured, The Lion King as Mufasa and of course everyone’s favorite Sith Lord, Darth Vader. 

Star Wars Characters

Darth Vader 

James Earl Jones is most recognizable in the Star Wars universe as the voice of Darth Vader. The hair-raising voice of Darth Vader, that creates goosebumps whenever he speaks, comes from actor James Earl Jones. Jones did the voice of Vader in six different Star Wars films; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and The Rise of Skywalker.

Darth Vader

He has also portrayed the iconic character in the animated series Star Wars Rebels. James Earl Jones provided the voice of Darth Vader but he was not the actor seen on the screen, Dave Prowse was the actor in the suit. Since Prowse had a strong English accent, his voice seemed unsuitable for the role and Jones had the perfect dark and low voice for the villain.

Jones recorded the voice of Vader for A New Hope in just one day. He would not even take credit for his work until after the release of Return of the Jedi. He even would go as far as to tell people that the voice-over was not him. You can even hear his Darth Vader voice on the Disney attraction, Star Tours. Needless to say, James Earl Jones is a huge part of the Star Wars Universe. 

Career Outside of Star Wars

James Earl Jones has had a huge career outside of the Star Wars universe. His acting career has spanned over 50-years. His first role was in 1966 on the long-running soap opera Guiding Light, where he played Dr. Jim Frazier. 

One of the biggest roles outside of his Star Wars legacy is in the movie The Great White Hope. Jones played Jack Jefferson, which is a role he previously played on stage. This role alone earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor. He was the second African American male performer, after Sidney Poitier to be nominated for this award. The Great White Hope also earned him several other awards including a Tony, Grammy, and a Golden Globe Award. 

James Earl Jones has appeared in a variety of stage productions, films, animated series and films, and TV shows over the years. Some of his more notable performances were in the stage production Fences, which won him a Tony; The films Coming to America, Field of Dreams, and Hunt for Red October; the TV mini-series Roots: The Next Generation; the animated Disney film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar; and the TV shows Two and a Half Men, House, and The Big Bang Theory. 

Legacy

James Earl Jones has had an amazing acting career over the years. Something you may not know about him is that he is heavily involved in charity work. In 2014, he supported SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young in the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots’ new ad campaign. The campaign, which features six celebrities sporting the famous red boots, encourages people to live by the message of the show and “Just Be Who You Want To Be.” He has also done work with African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, Habitat For Humanity, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

At Edge of the Galaxy, we fully support the #BlackLivesMatter campaign. If you are able, please donate to the cause. For more information, visit BlackLivesMatter.com today.

Lindsey Soucie
Lindsey is a new fan of Star Wars, but since watching all of the movies and visiting Galaxy’s Edge frequently she has become a huge fan. Her favorite character is Darth Vader, and her favorite piece of Star Wars is Rogue One.

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