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James Earl Jones wasn’t buying it.
When the beloved actor read his script for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Jones thought for sure Darth Vader was putting Luke Skywalker on when he made the huge reveal.
In a previous interview unearthed by Heat Vision, Jones said, “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?'”
In a separate interview, Jones said he was looking forward to voicing Vader once again in The Empire Strikes Back because he wanted to explore the character. George Lucas squashed that idea right away.
“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,'” Jones said. “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.”
Still, Jones said to help him with some of his delivery, Empire director Irvin Kershner spoke Vader’s lines into a recorder. The result shocked Jones, he confessed.
“On [Empire], because David Prowse [actor in the suit] knew his voice wasn’t going to be used, he just sort of threw the lines in,” Jones explained. “And Kershner gave me a soundtrack with him doing the voice of Darth Vader…it was scary as hell. Kershner was scarier than I could ever be.”
The latest installment in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, opens Thursday night. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Anthony Daniels reprise their iconic roles from the original trilogy.
Watch Jones talk about playing Vader in the videos below.
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