James Earl Jones quits voicing Darth Vader, Disney and Lucasfilm turn to AI for future ‘Star Wars’ projects

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Actor James Earl Jones is retiring from voicing iconic Star Wars villain Darth Vader after 45 years.

The 91-year-old actor has given his approval for archived voice recordings to be used and processed through artificial intelligence for future Star Wars projects, reported Vanity Fair.

“He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character,” veteran Lucasfilm sound editor Matthew Wood.

Jones’s last recording as the Sith Lord was in 2019 for a small part in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, where he expressed to Wood on wanting to step down.

For upcoming Vader projects, Wood has enlisted the help of Ukrainian voice cloning software, Respeecher, to bring back Jones’s menacing voice.

Jones previously ‘guided the performance’ of Vader in the recent Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi where his voice was recreated digitally.

‘A benevolent godfather’, as described by Woods, Lucasfilm informed Jones about future plans for Vader and listened to his advice.

“For a character such as Darth Vader, who might have 50 lines on a show, I might have a back-and-forth of almost over 10,000 files.”, Wood revealed.

Respeecher was also used by Lucasfilm to bring back the voice of a younger Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett.

Jones first provided the voice of Darth Vader in 1977’s Star Wars, with British actor and bodybuilder, David Prowse, donning the infamous black helmet and mask.