That Time I Learned Carrie Fisher And James Earl Jones Met On The Set Of The Big Bang Theory, Not Star Wars

 Leia speaking to grand moff tarkin with Darth Vader looking on in Star Wars: A New Hope.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Being nearly as old as the original Star Wars movie, I have grown up with the franchise my entire life and look forward to upcoming projects in the galaxy far, far away. Like so many, I was obsessed with it as a kid and I’m still a big fan. I’m looking forward to the day I show my kids Star Wars for the first time. By this point, I honestly thought there was nothing about the franchise I didn’t know and yet, I had no idea that Carrie Fisher and James Earl Jones had never met in person until years after the trilogy was over.

It’s confirmed that the first time Carrie Fisher and James Earl Jones met in person was when they both did a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory back in 2014. According to showrunner Steve Molaro (via EW), the first thing Fisher said to Jones when they met was “Dad,” which sounds exactly like her sense of humor based on everything I’ve ever read about the late actress.

Carrie Fisher and James Earl Jones Didn’t Cross Paths For Almost 40 Years After Star Wars

It makes perfect sense that Carrie Fisher and James Earl Jones would not have met during the production of the original Star Wars trilogy. Jones only ever did Darth Vader’s voice, so his work would have come after filming was complete. Leia and Darth Vader also have remarkably few scenes together throughout the trilogy, though their interactions are often the highlights of the best Star Wars movies.

But I would have thought that in the nearly 40 years between the first film and the Big Bang Theory episode, the two would have crossed paths. They could have met at a press junket for the movie or during some other event surrounding Star Wars. It’s not like there has been any shortage of Star Wars-themed events over the years. Of course, the two both made several non-Star Wars movies and just made movies in general. They could have met at an awards show after-party or the pool party of some mutual friend in Hollywood.

Other Star Wars Actors Met James Earl Jones Despite Never Filming Scenes With Him

The fact that Fisher and Jones didn't meet early on is all the more surprising considering that the other members of the original Star Wars trio met the Darth Vader actor much earlier than Carrie Fisher. While I don’t know exactly when Harrison Ford met James Earl Jones, the two shared scenes in 1992’s Patriot Games after Ford took over the role of Jack Ryan from Alec Baldwin, so they met no later than that.

The same is true of Mark Hamill. He wished his movie dad a "happy birthday" on (X) Twitter earlier this year and included an image of the two that, according to USA Today, was from 1987. It’s not clear if this was their first meeting, but if it wasn’t then the two actors met even earlier than that.

It’s nice that James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher did meet at some point, even if it took The Big Bang Theory cameos to get there. They are both parts of the Skywalker family tree and of cinema history.