When James Earl Jones turned 90, an actor who is arguably the most important African American voice artist in the world, and at the very least the most important voice in the Star Wars Lucasfilm universe, the Star Wars Twitter account failed to wish him a happy birthday. Now that may seem like a petty thing, to ask some Twitter intern to wish James Earl Jones a happy birthday on Twitter, but they regularly wish other Star Wars actors a happy birthday, including Oscar Isaac and even Kelly Marie Tran, who appeared in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
Itchy Bacca surmised that the original voice of Darth Vader has some conservative leanings, so it made sense they would ignore Jones. But to decline to say anything nice about him? Anything?And for that matter, a few weeks later, the Star Wars Twitter account ignored the birthday of Carl Weathers who portrayed Greef Karga on The Mandalorian. Why would Lucasfilm ignore two legendary African American actors on their birthdays?
Now Pirates and Princes has noticed that they’ve even blown off Billy Dee Williams, who famously portrayed Lando Calrissian.
It’s not as if Lucasfilm and Star Wars Twitter accounts have been blindsided by this criticism. This is something that fans have made very clear in the past was a misstep, and yet it keeps happening without any change. At no point have the accounts said, “Whoops! We made a mistake and forgot to wish the legendary James Earl Jones a wonderful 90th birthday!” Nope… they just keep on ignoring these actors.
Now Star Wars and Lucasfilm have ignored Billy Dee Williams – the actor of Lando Calrissian. And it’s not as if he’s out in obscurity. Williams literally just played the character in JJ Abram’s Episode 9. And the character of Lando is being used by Star Wars / Lucasfilm to promote LGBTQ values with the declaration of the character officially being a “pansexual” in Star Wars cannon.
We’re noticing a definite trend here, and it ain’t pretty. We’ve also got an idea of why Billy Dee Williams may be joining a distinguished group of legendary African American actors who Lucasfilm has chosen to regularly ignore on social media. Williams once said in the press that he didn’t know what “gender fluid” was even though Lando Calrissian is now considered canonically pansexual. If you’re not down with Lucasfilm’s identity politics, then they ain’t down with you.
Clownfish also noticed that the American Star Wars Twitter account seems to have gone radio silent since April 1, while the Star Wars UK account is still regularly tweeting up a storm to promote its projects and products. It’s not clear on whether or not this is related.