James Earl Jones hangs up his Darth Vader cape

By Scottie Andrew, CNN

James Earl Jones, who for decades provided the iconic and menacing voice of Darth Vader, will not be recording new lines for new “Star Wars” projects.

Instead, Jones’ voice will live artificially through an AI program capable of recreating his voice, so Vader can deliver new lines of dialogue and maintain the commanding bass sound that made him a widely feared villain. , reported Vanity Fair.

Keep scrolling for photos of James Earl Jones over the years

Ukrainian startup Respeecher was tasked with creating a version of Jones’ voice as it sounded in the original trilogy of the recent Disney+ miniseries “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which is set several years after Anakin Skywalker became a Sith Lord.

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James Earl Jones’ signature bass helped make Darth Vader an iconic villain.


Lucasfilm/Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock


Jones, 91, last recorded a vocal cameo by Vader for the 2019 sequel “The Rise of Skywalker,” sound editor Matthew Wood told Vanity Fair. The actor has approved Lucasfilm’s plans to continue using his voice for Vader in years to come through archival recordings and new AI-created dialogue, the outlet reported.

“He had mentioned that he was looking to eliminate this particular character,” Wood told Vanity Fair. “So how can we move forward? »

Jones was involved throughout the process of perfecting Vader’s voice for “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Wood said, helping guide the teams involved in recreating his sound and keeping abreast of Lucasfilm’s plans. for Vader in the future.

Lucasfilm has already brought some characters’ voices to life using AI – the younger voice of Luke Skywalker in Disney+’s “The Book of Boba Fett” was also refined by Respeecher. In 2016, Lucasfilm used CGI to recreate the face of the late Peter Cushing’s villainous Grand Moff Tarkin for the prequel film “Rogue One”, although the character’s voice was provided by actor Guy Henry and not by a program. ‘IA.

Jones, an EGOT-winning actor, has voiced Vader since “A New Hope” in 1977, though his role was uncredited for that project. Since then, he’s provided the voice of Vader in every project the character appears in, from the original trilogy to the “Star Wars Rebels” animated series. He is also credited as Vader in “Obi-Wan Kenobi”, although he recorded no new dialogue for the role.

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