James Earl Jones Is Retiring Darth Vader

James Earl Jones has officially signed over the rights to voice Darth Vader.

By James Brizuela | Published

After nearly 45 years of providing the voice for Darth Vader in Star Wars, James Earl Jones has officially signed over the rights to the character. This indicates that Jones is now likely retiring from having to do the voice any longer, which makes sense considering the man is 91 years old. However, though Jones has retired the rights to the character, he has indicated it goes to the engineers that have used AI technology to keep the voice of Vader going, with Jones stating he, “wished to keep Vader alive.”

It had already been revealed that AI technology was used to allow the younger voice of James Earl Jones to be used in current Star Wars entries. One of those instances was during the scenes where Darth Vader was brought back in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. As people get older, their voices tend to have more of a raspier quality to them, and since Vader was meant to be far younger during the events of Obi-Wan, the AI technology was used to replicate the same tone of Vader’s voice used in the 1970s.

Darth Vader

James Earl Jones has become synonymous with Darth Vader since his iconic voice became a mainstream success back in 1977. Since then, Vader has become a mainstay villain for the majority of the entries in the Star Wars universe. Considering that Jones was willing to retire the voice, means that we are likely to see Vader return in many more entries in the coming years. To be honest, we are more than happy that Vader evolved in such a way that he is constantly being thrown back into storylines.

Some of the best Darth Vader moments have occurred in later entries, such as Rogue One and the recently completed Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Vader was always meant to be portrayed as this monster of a villain who was hellbent on eradicating the Jedi from the universe. Only recently have those villainous ploys been shown to us in live action in brutal fashion, and behind it, all was always James Earl Jones.

Although this might sound like the end of an era, James Earl Jones requested that the voice of Darth Vader be kept alive through means of the same technology that has been used in keeping Vader’s voice sounding menacing and young. Jones will forever be a Star Wars legend, and he is more than deserving of his retirement. Without Jones’s distinct voice, we could have had a villain that faded into obscurity, instead, we have a villain that remains one of the most important of any entertainment medium.

Darth Vader is one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, and he has one of the most iconic lines in cinema history, “Luke, I am your father.” The revelation that Luke Skywalker is Darth Vader’s son made a mark on film that will never be forgotten. James Earl Jones had expert delivery in everything that he said as Darth Vader, and we are forever grateful for him bringing to life one of the best villains ever created, and we hope that he enjoys his well-deserved retirement.