James Earl Jones, the stentorian tones behind Mufasa in The Lion King (1994) and Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian (1982), has decided to stand down from his role as the voice of Darth Vader.
The 91-year-old actor has reportedly signed off on Disney using artificial intelligence for future appearances by the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Respeecher, a Ukrainian startup powered by artificial intelligence, was used to produce Vader’s voice in the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries, as well as the young Luke Skywalker for The Book of Boba Fett.
Jones consulted on the Respeecher performance for Obi-Wan Kenobi and is expected to continue doing so. His last vocal performance as Darth Vader was in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of the Skywalker (2019).
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