James Earl Jones, the actor who voiced Darth Vader in Star Wars films for nearly half a century, is calling it quits.
While Jones never physically played Darth Vader on the silver screen, the voice actor was behind the iconic line to Luke Skywalker: “I am your father,” according to People. Jones has voiced Darth Vader in Star Wars since the series’ inception back 1977 with the film dubbed “A New Hope.” (RELATED: ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Star Hayden Christensen Does A ‘Force Off’ In Adorable Interview With A Kid)
Farewell to the voice of Darth Vader.. pic.twitter.com/Rhhi3qkDuo
— Chaos (@Chaosxsilencer) September 26, 2022
The rights to recordings of the 91-year-old actor’s iconic voice have been signed over to young filmmakers, who will reportedly use artificial intelligence to recreate the Sith villain from his younger days, according to Variety.
A.I. recreations of the iconic Darth Vader voice from James Earl Jones will continue in future stories, as the 91-year-old legendary actor looks to step back from the iconic role. https://t.co/vAGeuGtoTG pic.twitter.com/jz4pyW54Cv
— IGN (@IGN) September 26, 2022
Lucasfilm, now a subsidiary of Disney, has teamed up with a Ukrainian start-up called Respeecher which uses old recordings to create new word tracks and conversations by way of AI, Variety added.
Contracts between the film company and Respeecher began prior to Russia invading Ukraine back in February, with the start-up initially assisting Disney on the Disney+ series “The Book of Boba Fett.” A Respeecher speech-artist relocated to Northern California to complete the project. Disney was reportedly satisfied with the outcome. (RELATED: Disney Removes Star Wars Movie From Release Schedule)
One award-winning voice actress, Cissy Jones, was unhappy that “robots” will replace Jones’ voice as Vader:
Please don’t replace human beings with robots. Please.
— Cissy Jones (@cissyspeaks) September 25, 2022
In 1994, Jones also started starring in “The Lion King,” providing the original voice to another iconic fictional character, Mufasa, according to Comicbook.com.