James Earl Jones has reportedly agreed to allow LucasFilm and Disney to use artificial intelligence to create the voice of Darth Vader as he’s decided to step back from the role.
According to Vanity Fair, Ukrainian technology company Respeecher has been working with LucasFilm for a number of years to recreate Vader’s original voice from Star Wars: A New Hope. The decision was taken to use AI because the actor’s voice has changed as he’s aged.
“He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character,” Skywalker Sound’s Matthew Wood told the magazine.
Wood said he recorded Jones’ voice at least a dozen times over the decades, the last time being a brief line of dialogue in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The team presented Jones with Respeecher’s work, and he agreed to the use of his archival voice for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Wood added that up to 10,000 audio files made their way between Northern California and Ukraine for the two projects.