Star Wars

Darth Vader's voice retires from the role but will return thanks to technology

The legendary James Earl Jones says goodbye to the character at age 91, after four decades of playing the Sith Lord in the movies and other products.

In Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of Disney+'s most recent series of the saga, Darth Vader returned to sound as usual: James Earl Jones is credited in several episodes, but the villain's distinctive voice was rendered by artificial intelligence. Vanity Fair has revealed that the actor will not reprise his role in the future, although he has signed an agreement so that Lucasfilm can continue to use it in other products thanks to the technology.

"He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character," Skywalker Sound's Matthew Wood has said. So how do we move forward?" he wondered. They have been working with Ukrainian company Respeecher, which has been responsible for translating the voice to the screen. The veteran actor has signed an agreement that will allow Lucasfilm to use the voice files to revive the character in upcoming products of the saga. It is not yet official, but leaks indicate that the Vader team has been present in Ahsoka, the second spin-off of The Mandalorian.

He did not record the voices in Obi-Wan Kenobi

According to the Vanity Fair article, James Earl Jones did not dub Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he did actively participate in the production by guiding the performance. "For a character such as Darth Vader, who might have 50 lines on a show," they may have used "almost over 10,000 files."

Respeecher was also the company in charge of helping Lucasfilm resurrect young Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett. Mark Hamill, the original actor, played his role, but the dialogue was recorded with artificial intelligence, nourished by all the sound archive Hamill left in his stint as Luke from A New Hope to Return of the Jedi.

Disney+ has just released the first three episodes of Star Wars: Andor, the prequel to Rogue One.

Source | Vanity Fair