10 Actors Who Went Uncredited For Major Film Roles (And Why)
10. James Earl Jones - Star Wars & The Empire Strikes Back
We’ll kick off the list with one a lot you Star Wars buffs out there may already know: The vocal performance that launched Darth Vader to be one of the most iconic movie characters of all time went uncredited for two whole films.
For the original Star Wars, James Earl Jones asked not to be credited. Part of Jones’s decision was because he considered David Prowse’s performance inside the Vader costume to be the more defining of the two performances. Prowse, after all, had to wear that darn thing and he spoke all of Vader’s lines from inside the helmet. Prowse was told by writer-director George Lucas that all of his dialogue would be re-recorded in post-production, but what Prowse didn’t know was that Lucas planned to overdub his vocal performance with an actor who had a deeper, more menacing voice. That would not be the last time Lucas pulled the old switcheroo on one of his cast members, now is it?
In keeping with Jones’ decision to be uncredited for playing the voice of Darth Vader, the second installment, The Empire Strikes Back, did not have the actor’s name in the credits, either. By the time of the final film in the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi, Jones changed his mind, citing that by that point, everyone already knew that it was him performing the voice of Vader. Then in 1997, when Lucas Film rereleased the trilogy in Special Edition form, the actor’s name was retroactively added to A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. But you already knew that, didn’t you, Wookie-pajamas?