Star Wars Legend James Earl Jones Reflects On That Empire Twist


Almost 40 years ago, long before electronic computers gave rise to the Internet as we know it, Empire Strikes Back delivered one of the most shocking, groundbreaking twists in film history: Darth Vader was, in fact, the father of Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill’s farm-boy-turned-Jedi who continues to be a fixture of the Star Wars universe.

And though the entire fanbase is currently walking on eggshells to avoid spoilers for The Last Jedi – don’t worry, this article is completely free from plot details, but we will point you in the direction of WGTC’s official reviewStar Wars legend James Earl Jones has recalled a simpler time when the intricacies of a film weren’t analyzed ad nauseam leading up to release.

That being said, as part of a new documentary entitled Star Wars: Empire of Dreams (via The Hollywood Reporter), Jones admitted that even he was taken aback by the “I am your father” zinger.

When I first saw the dialogue that said, ‘Luke, I am your father,’ I said to myself, ‘He’s lying. I wonder how they are going to play that lie out?’

For years, James Earl Jones lent his booming voice to the galaxy’s greatest foe, and later reprised that role for last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Spencer Wilding was in charge of the physical performance, mind you.

Elsewhere, in a separate interview with the American Film Institute, the actor then recalled what it was like fine-tuning his vocals under the stewardship of George Lucas.

I remember on [Empire], when George had a chance to counsel me, he said, ‘We don’t know what we did right [on A New Hope], so let’s just try what we did.’ Naturally, I wanted to make Darth Vader more interesting, more subtle, more psychologically oriented. And he said, ‘No. no. What we’re finding out is you’ve got to keep his voice on a very narrow ban of inflection because he ain’t human, really.’ So, that was the answer.

Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will begin its rollout from tomorrow, December 14th, and the Rian Johnson sequel is projected to clear $425 million worldwide by Sunday – an estimated haul that would place The Last Jedi in the company of box office royalty.