Fans Panic After Disney’s Tweet About James Earl Jones Appears Morbid

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James Earl Jones wearing glasses posing for the camera

Credit: D23

When a Disney legend passes, it is often heart-breaking, and many of us fans discover the tragedy through social media. On Twitter, we often see the actor/creator/performer/etc in a photo, next to an iconic role or work they helped to create. Just seeing the photo laid out in such a way often leaves fans with a pit in their stomach. Recently, a Tweet put out by D23 sent fans nearly panicking after seeing iconic Disney legend James Earl Jones on display. 

(l-r) carrie fisher, james earl jones, and jim parsons in the big bang theory
Credit: CBS

Related: Carrie Fisher Slapped Oscar Isaac 40+ Times on ‘Star Wars’ Set

Thankfully, this tweet was not meant to appear as morbid as many fans took it, and James Earl Jones is still well and alive, at 91 years young. James Earl Jones is known heavily for his work with multiple Disney franchises. Arguably, most iconically he provided the voice of Mufasa in The Lion King and its 1998 sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. He reprised the role in the 2019 live-action version directed by Jon Favreau and the pilot film for The Lion Guard. On top of that, he is very well known for his voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga, which went on to be owned by Disney. He reprised his role in Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, and The Rise of Skywalker.

Over the past 40-some years, Jones has provided the voice of Darth Vader for a wide range of Star Wars projects. Wookieepedia provides a full list:

  • Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game
  • Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
  • Star Wars Rebels
    • Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion (ABC premiere)
    • Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal
    •  Star Wars Rebels – “Shroud of Darkness”
    •  Star Wars Rebels – “Twilight of the Apprentice”
    •  Star Wars Rebels – “A World Between Worlds”
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
james earl jones disney legend ceremony
Credit: Walt Disney Archives

Related: James Earl Jones Could Be Coming Back to Voice Darth Vader on Disney+

He even reprised his role as Darth Vader in the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and voiced Mara in Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland; and that is just scratching the surface. D23 (@DisneyD23) recently released a profile on the actor for Black History Month, and on Twitter, some fans had to take a second to breathe after seeing it at first glance.

Mufasa. Darth Vader. Disney Legend James Earl Jones has brought to life iconic characters in the worlds of Disney. Read more about his impressive… most impressive career with Disney here: #BlackHistoryMonth

Instantly, fans panicked.

HC (@ZakuFan009) noted an iconic Star Wars scene that shows Vadar in utter turmoil.

Everyone’s immediate reaction because of how poorly Disney worded this: 

Nick Nocera (@nnocera2580) said:

I hate how we live in a time where we can’t celebrate older celebrities without people assuming they died

Lolooney (@Lolooney1) responded:

Blame it on Disney for scaring us.
All these greats dying at what seems an insane rate frightens us.

Okiro (@TheFirstOkiro) said:

Y’all REALLY need to start your posts differently when talking about James Earl Jones. I almost had a damn heart attack

Tina Diaz (@TinaDz88) also had a brief moment of panic.

Booooooooooooyyyyyy why. Why you trying to scare the life outta me? Love JEJ I all his many roles. But many ar first glance o thought this was THE news about him. No mas my heart

Over 1,000 fans continued to comment or re-Tweet the post explaining that Disney sent them into a moment of panic, when really the intention was not that at all!

D23 noted:

With nearly 200 credits in film and television, and countless more on the Broadway stage, it’s hard to imagine a more recognizable voice than the rich and commanding basso profundo tones of James Earl Jones.

In 1977, as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope, Jones helped create perhaps the most indelible screen villain in decades, a role which he has continued to portray in subsequent films in the Star Wars franchise, including Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), and the Disney XD TV series Star Wars Rebels (2014–2018).

Lion King
Credit: Disney

In stark contrast to his vocalization as Darth Vader, he also voiced the majestic Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King (1994). “Doing a voice for animation is acting in its purest form. It’s a bit like the ancient Greek form where the actors would wear masks. In our case, the masks are the animators’ drawings and we just simply supply all the behaviors, emotions, and feelings behind that mask,” the actor recalled. His Mufasa would be heard again in The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998) and The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015).

Other Disney credits include Three Fugitives (1989), ABC’s Recess (1998), as the voice of Santa Claus, True Identity (1991), Jefferson in Paris (1995), segment host for Fantasia/2000 (2000), and narrator for the Disneynature film Earth (2009). His voice has been heard in Disney Parks around the globe, including recurring vocal performances as the menacing Darth Vader for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue and as a past celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Ceremony and Processional at Disneyland Park.

In 2019, Jones reprised his role as the voice of Mufasa in The Walt Disney Studios’ photo-realistic re-imagining of The Lion King, and proudly was inducted as a Disney Legend that same year.

Lucky for all of us, there is no need for concern regarding James Earl Jones!

Did you see this Tweet and panic as well? 

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