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As James Earl Jones steps back from Darth Vader role, his voice lives on thanks to AI

Cecilia Hart, James Earl Jones
Posted at 11:00 AM, Sep 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-26 14:00:28-04

For almost 50 years, James Earl Jones has voiced one of the greatest cinematic villains of our time.

Although the time for the 91-year-old to step away from the role of Darth Vader, the central antagonist in the "Star Wars" franchise, has come, his iconic voice will still live on thanks to artificial intelligence.

In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, Star Wars sound supervising editor Matthew Wood said Jones signed off on using his archival voice recordings for many years to come for future Lucasfilm projects.

Vanity Fair reported that the Ukrainian start-up at Respeecher was tasked to make the character sound like Jones did 45 years ago in the recent Disney+ miniseries “Obi-Wan Kenobi."

Using artificial intelligence synthetic speech technology, and with the help of Jones, they were able to accomplish just that, the media outlet reported.

CNN reported that Jones' voice was first heard in "A New Hope," although he wasn't credited for the role.

Wood said Jones' family was pleased with the work result, the media outlet reported.