The legendary actor James Earl Jones’ voice will forever live on with the use of AI technology. In a new report published Friday (Sept. 23), Vanity Fair says Jones agreed to have his voice archived for future use in Star Wars projects.
He has voiced Darth Vader for nearly four decades. However, actor David Prowse played the Sith Lord in the original films. Jones first lent his voice to the franchise in 1977. Since then, his smooth vocals have been heard in several of the franchise’s other films and series. But now, he may finally be tipping his hat and preparing for retirement.
Matthew Wood of Lucasfilm told the publication that Jones, 91, wanted to “keep Vader alive.” Wood continued, “He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character. So how do we move forward?” The use of AI was most recently used to recreate Jones’ voice in the Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
Throughout the years, he narrated commercials and documentaries. He also famously voiced Mufasa in 1997’s The Lion King and the live-action remake in 2019. The film also starred Beyoncé as Nala, and Donald Glover as Simba.
Jones has enjoyed a storied career of success in film and on the theater stage. In 2011, the Coming to America actor was awarded an honorary Oscar. The gold statuette thrust him into the elite group of entertainers known as EGOT winners.
The newest addition to the club is Jennifer Hudson. At this year’s Tony Awards ceremony, she completed her collection of coveted trophies when the stage play “A Strange Loop” won Best Musical. “I’m still processing it. To be able to know fully what that means, the company that I’m in … because it came as a surprise. I did not fully see it coming,” she told “CBS Morning” co-anchor Gayle King on Sept. 9. Hudson is the second Black female EGOT. Of the 17 EGOT winners, only five are Black.