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James Earl Jones Officially Retires As The Voice Of Darth Vader

James Earl Jones Officially Retires As The Voice Of Darth Vader

James Earl Jones may have retired from the role of Darth Vader, but the actor isn't being replaced.

There are plenty of Star Wars icons. Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels … the list goes on. One name that I’m sure springs to mind is James Earl Jones. The actor has never ‘appeared’ in Star Wars per se, but he provided the iconic voice of Darth Vader beginning with the release of A New Hope back in 1977. The bad news is that Jones has officially decided to retire from voicing Vader, but that doesn’t mean he’s being replaced.

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James Earl Jones may be retiring, but he’s granted permission for his voice to live on via artificial intelligence. Ukrainian start-up Respeecher will now use archival recordings and an AI algorithm to recreate Jones’ voice for future Star Wars projects.

It’s not the first time that Lucasfilm have used Respeecher. The company was also responsible for recreating Mark Hamill’s young Luke Skywalker voice in The Book of Boba Fett. Jones may have signed the rights over for his voice but as reported by Movie Web, Skywalker Sound supervising sound editor Matthew Wood said that Jones was a “benevolent godfather” who would still receive updates and provide advice where necessary.

Jones’ most recent portrayal of Vader was in this year’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. It may be strange thinking of Vader's voice being synthesised going forwards, but it’s even stranger to think of anyone but James Earl Jones in the role.

Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox, Stuart Crawford

Topics: Star Wars, TV And Film