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Tags: star wars | darth vader | voice | james earl jones | retires

James Earl Jones Retires From Voicing Darth Vader

James Earl Jones accepts a Tony Award
James Earl Jones accepts the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 26 September 2022 10:18 AM EDT

James Earl Jones is stepping back from portraying one of the most iconic villains, according to reports.

For over 40 years the 91-year-old actor has been the voice of Darth Vader for "Star Wars" but now it has emerged that he has given the go-ahead for the digital recreations of his voice. According to a report by Vanity Fair, Lucasfilm has been working for years with Ukrainian start-up Respeecher to generate the memorable voice Jones used to portray Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" franchise.

Jones is behind memorable lines such as "Luke, I am your father" and various other catchphrases made famous by Darth Vader but as the years wore on, his voice began to change with age and he took a large step back from the role. With this in mind, Respeecher has been working on recreating new dialogue for Darth Vader by using archival recordings and A.I. As Matthew Wood of Skywalker Sound told Vanity Fair, Jones has been recorded "dozens of times," making it easy to recreate his voice.

"He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character," Wood said. "So how do we move forward?"

Although Jones has signed off on the technology, he is still guiding performances used in recent "Star Wars" projects including the Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi." Jones is also set to be honored by having his name grace an iconic Broadway theater in New York City.

In addition to voicing Darth Vader, the actor is known for his work in theater. He kicked started his six-and-a-half decade career in 1957 with a Broadway debut, according to The Shubert Organization. What ensued was 21 Broadway shows, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award wins as well as a Kennedy Center Honor. Now, in celebration of his career, the 11-year-old Cort Theatre in New York City will be renamed after him.

"For me, standing in this very building 64 years ago at the start of my Broadway career, it would have been inconceivable that my name would be on the building today," Jones said in the statement shared by Shubert. "Let my journey from then to now be an inspiration for all aspiring actors."

Zoe Papadakis

Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.

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James Earl Jones is stepping back from portraying one of the most iconic villains, according to reports.
star wars, darth vader, voice, james earl jones, retires
Monday, 26 September 2022 10:18 AM
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