James Earl Jones is an American actor known as one of the most distinguished and versatile actors in Hollywood and worldwide.
James is immensely popular for his performances in film, television, and theater, and people also know him as one of the ‘greatest actors in American history.’
Working in Hollywood for almost six decades, Earl Jones has received several awards, including Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT) for his outstanding work.
He’s also famously recognized and praised as the OG voice-over actor for the iconic characters of Darth Vader (Star Wars), Mufasa (The Lion King), and Ommadon (The Flight of Dragons).
On September 23, the Daily Mail reported, “James Earl Jones has signed over the rights to his iconic Darth Vader voice in Star Wars to new AI technology, sparking speculation that he has retired from the role.”
The 91-year-old actor has voiced the iconic villain Darth Vader since the very beginning of the Star Wars movie series in 1977.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, the sound editor from Star Wars creators Lucasfilm, and Skywalker, Matthew Wood, stated that James wants to keep the villain alive even after stepping down from the role.
“[James] had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character. So how do we move forward?”
“For a character such as Darth Vader, who might have 50 lines on a show, I might have a back-and-forth of almost over 10,000 files,” he added.
According to Vanity Fair, “James gave his blessing for his trademark tone to be used in all the future projects within the Star Wars franchise, including ‘those produced after his own passing.’”
“Work at Respeecher has inevitably been impacted by the Ukraine war situation; with programmers ‘training’ the Artificial Intelligence to reproduce Earl Jones’ voice and editors that pieced together the output all working from corridors in the interior of their apartments.”
“When (Belyaev) ultimately presented Jones with Respeecher’s work, the actor signed off on using his archival voice recordings to keep Vader alive and vital even by artificial means.”
Following the news of his potential retirement from the iconic role, fans have a mixed response to the news, with the majority being sad about James leaving the Star Wars Franchise.
“It’s really sad hearing that James Earl Jones is retiring from voicing Darth Vader. Genuinely the best villain in fiction period. Bro was a fucking monster every time he pulled up,” a Star Wars fan wrote on Twitter.
“I’m going to miss James Earl Jones performing as Vader, he has definitely done way more than anyone could ask for. An absolutely unforgettable acting legend,” said another.
“The Voice of Cinema’s greatest villain, James Earl Jones, has officially retired from voicing Darth Vader For the rest of my life, I will always love James Earl Jones for what he gave to Star Wars and my life. #WeLoveYouJames,” another die-hard fan Tweeted.
“The owner of one of cinema’s most epic and iconic voices of all-time, James Earl Jones, has retired from voicing Darth Vader. Thank you for literally everything. May your retirement be full of love and peace. I’m tearing up right now just writing this. #thankyoujames,” someone else said.
How do you feel about this news of James Earl Jones retiring from voicing the legendary Darth Vader? Let us know in the comments.