James Earl Jones was the one to give Darth Vader his iconic voice ever since the first Star Wars film was released in 1977. Yet, we could still hear his iconic take on their character in the recently released Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. Yet, that wasn’t actually Jones’ voice anymore as after 45 years it has changed with age.
So, Disney and Lucasfilm took a different approach and relied on a synthetic speech recreated from archival footage to create a new dialogue. They worked with the Ukrainian synthetic speech artist Bogdan Belyaev that brought the latest return of Darth Vader to life even during the war that is still ongoing in his home country. Even while there were concerns about his and his team’s well-being, they wanted to power through the situation to highlight they can push through such harsh times.
Jones has signed off that his voice can be used even if he’s no longer directly involved, and Lucasfilm still continues to credit him for it even if he didn’t sit in a recording booth to bring the voice to life. It does also set a rather curious question regarding the future of actor’s being used in projects even if they’ve passed away.
Marvel did recently acquire the rights tod o the same with Stan Lee even if we’ve not seen what exactly that’ll entail quite yet. The co-creator of Marvel has been an avid fan of appearing in the media for years, and it does seem like something he’d love to see continue even after his passing but there’s a bitter question to be asked about using someone’s existence long after they’ve passed. We’ll have to see how these kinds of topics will be handled in the future.
Source: Vanity Fair