NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
James Earl Jones has signed over the rights to his iconic Darth Vader voice to new AI (artificial intelligence) technology.
The 91-year-old has voiced the iconic Star Wars villain since 1977 and most recently took on the role for new Disney+ series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, which also stars Ewan McGregor.
But there have been reports of the actor wanting to retire, with speculation that Lucasfilm was using AI to replace Jones and use his voice for the future now confirmed.
The actor himself seems to have approved the move, with the people behind the advanced technology saying he even offers them advice on it.
‘He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character,’ creator Matthew Wood began.
‘So how do we move forward?’, he told Vanity Fair, sharing that, when he presented Jones with the work done on recreating his famous voice, the actor signed off on using his archival voice recordings to ‘keep Vader alive.’
Wood also said Jones is credited for guiding the performance on the new Disney series, describing his contribution as ‘a benevolent godfather.’
So now, even after his death, Jones has given his blessing for Respeecher to recreate and reuse his voice in all future Star Wars films.
Vader appears in episode three of the new Obi-Wan Kenobi programme, which is set between the events of the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the original trilogy.
TV Line confirmed recently that the voice of the half-robotic villain is that of Jones.
Jones has lent his voice to that of Vader on several occasions over the years, beginning with the original trilogy, which ended in 1983.
He returned for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith in 2005, proceeding to voice Vader in the 2019 film, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker.
While Vader’s voice may be instantly recognisable, the movements of the character have always been performed by a different actor inside the costume.
In the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series, for example, Vader is actually played by three different people.
This includes stuntmen Dmitrious Bistrevsky and Tom O’Connell, and Hayden Christensen.
Bistrevsky unveiled the secret on Instagram telling a fan in the comments: ‘Darth Vader is played by three people. We all worked together to create the best Darth Vader in cinematic history.
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‘It’s me, it’s Hayden, it’s Tom. We are a symbiosis. We all contributed our strengths to create the best representation of the character.’
Obi-Wan Kenobi is available to stream on Disney+.
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Post expires at 8:06pm on Sunday March 26th, 2023