James Earl Jones Signs Over Darth Vader Voice Rights


James Earl Jones has signed the voice rights of Darth Vader to Disney, and this signals the end of an era. This is the end Jones doing the iconic villain’s voice, and I find this to be really, really sad. He’s played the role for nearly 40 years, and he’s a living legend, but it sounds like Darth Vader’s voice in the future is going to be done by an A.I. This news was revealed by Vanity Fair.

According to their report, the actor, who is now aged 91, has signed over the rights to his voice to filmmakers using new A.I. technology. This was actually revealed to Vanity Fair by Matthew Wood of Lucasfilm, and he also revealed that the actor “wished to keep Vader alive”. He continued: “He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character. So how do we move forward?”

James Earl Jones signs over Darth Vader voice rights to Disney


Credit: Lucasfilm

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James Earl Jones first voiced the character in very first Star Wars film which was released in 1977. He then followed this up by voicing the legendary movie villain, Darth Vader, throughout the franchise up to this point on both the big and small screen. Jones most recently starred as the character for the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney Plus. However, it has been rumoured that Disney and Lucasfilm actually used some of the A.I. technology in the series to voice the iconic Star Wars villain.

David Prowse was the man in the Darth Vader suit in the first Star Wars movies, and funnily enough, Prowse believed he was also going to voice the character. But, that gig ended up going to James Earl Jones. The last actor to actually get into the suit was Hayden Christensen who played the character in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney Plus.

This is the end of an era

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We’re going to have to wait and see what Disney and Lucasfilm’s plans are for the future of Darth Vader. Christensen has already revealed that he would love to play the character again after returning for the Kenobi series. He’s actually expressed an interest in starring in his own Darth Vader standalone series, and that is something that I would love to see.

However, whatever ends up happening with Darth Vader, there’s one thing we’ll know for certain – it won’t be Jones voicing the character. It’ll be an artificial intelligence. But, I think we could all agree that Jones has given us one of the very best movie and now-TV villains of all time. And for that, we thank him.

What do you make of this news? Are you sad to hear that James Earl Jones will no longer be the voice of Darth Vader? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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