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James Earl Jones returns to voice Darth Vader as "Star Wars Rebels" begins its second season on Disney XD

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James Earl Jones returns to voice Darth Vader as "Star Wars Rebels" begins its second season on Disney XD

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Do you remember how big, strong & scary Darth Vader was in "Star Wars IV: A New Hope" ? Well, that version of this Dark Lord of the Sith -- back when Vader was at the very height of his powers -- will be front & center as "Star Wars Rebels" begins its second season on Disney XD this Saturday, June 20th at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

Copyright Lucasfilm / Disney. All rights reserved

Better yet, to make sure Darth sounds exactly he did in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, Lucasfilm Animation persuaded James Earl Jones to come back and voice Vader.

Given that it had been a decade or more since James had last done any voice work for a "Star Wars" -related project, Jones reportedly expressed some concerns as he stepped up the mic to once again voice this classic screen villain.

Dave Filoni is the head guy when it comes to Lucasfilm Animation's "Star Wars
Rebels." Copyright Lucasfilm / Disney. All rights reserved 

"It was actually kind of funny," Dave Filoni -- the executive producer and supervising director of "Star Wars Rebels" -- recalled during a recent interview at this past April's Star Wars Celebration. "Just before he goes into the booth, James turns to me and says 'David, I haven't done Vader in ten years. Can you remind me how?' And he's telling me this in his big deep James Earl Jones voice. So I just laugh and 'James, you're doing it already.'"

Bringing Jones in to voice Vader isn't the only change that Filoni and the "Star Wars Rebels" production team will be making in Season Two. As you can see by the video below, there'll be more characters joining the story (Among them Ahsoka Tano, the female Togruta who was once Padawan to Anakin Skywalker's Jedi Knight), bigger battles, higher stakes.

And it all begin this Saturday night with "The Siege of Lothal," a one-hour movie event that airs this Saturday night, June 20th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD.

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post's Entertainment page on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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  • The odd change in Darth Vader from "Star Wars" IV, where he is essentially the Emperor's goon going around the universe cracking heads and choking impertinent executives, to the "chosen one" from the "prophecy" in Episode I is one of the stupidest things in the prequels.  As one reviewer put it, when you watch the original trilogy, Darth Vader isn't "Space Jesus".

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