Wed, 12 Feb 1997



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Dear Mister Wonderful,

How does James Earl Jones feel about not getting listed anywhere in the credits of the original release of Star Wars? I have found out that he only did two hours of work and got paid $7000 for doing Darth, and maybe at the time he was just considered as a bit actor. But how does he feel about it? Got any friends who have connections to the inside story? Yippe kayyeah, mama jama.


A New Hope


Dear Hope,

Many are the legends and mysteries surrounding that cultural touchstone of late 20th century America, Star Wars. For example, many people know that Anthony Daniels was not the first choice to play C3PO, and that George Lucas was looking for a more "American used-car salesman" type. What many people do not know is that luckily, the plucky British Daniels had the photos of Lucas and Ron "Opie Cunningham" Howard to use as leverage. Likewise, many people believe that Peter Mayhew was merely an overgrown English freak before donning the furry Wookie encumbrage of Chewbacca. Actually, Peter Mayhew is the *same* dwarfish actor that played inside the R2-D2 can. Faced with budget restrictions, Lucas simply decided to stretch the diminutive thespian on a rack until he fit the outfit. 

As to the question of James Earl Jones, it should be noted that David Prowse (the man inside the Vader mask) is actually a very tall and powerful man who lifts weights to this day and he really doesn't need the Force to crush people's throats, so let's all give him a big Hollywood smile for being the "Real Darth Vader". What you say is true, however. Mr. Jones did a day's work and recieved a day's wages for scaring the bejesus out of us as the voice of the Dark Lord of Sith. What few know, however, is that James Earl specifically requested that his name be left off the credits. At the time he was running guns to the Bahamas, leftover militant activism from his days with the Black Panthers, and he only used the Star Wars money as a way to purchase more Irish Landmines. The unexpected success of Star Wars forced him to give up his smuggling and violence, but he is still a wanted man in several nations, which is why his name does not appear in the credits of *any* of his films.


(The Very First Wonder Query courtesy Matthew D. Sellers)