After being the voice of Darth Vader since the first Star Wars films, James Earl Jones has now agreed to AI allowing Respeecher and Disney to recreate the character’s voice. This will allow the company to use Jones’ archival voice work to recreate the character’s voice for new movies.
Respeecher’s artificially recreated voices for other characters
Respeecher uses sound bites from old films to recreate actors’ voices, allowing studios to record new lines without the actor being present. Just as Jones was winding down his role as Darth Vader. After hearing Respeecher’s work, Jones gave the studio his blessing.
Respeecher’s AI technology can mimic the voices of actors who have passed on. The Ukrainian start-up is already using archival recordings to recast iconic roles. The resampled voices will be used in movies and television shows as well as video games.
The artificially recreated voices for Darth Vader and other characters were recorded from a variety of sources. Voice work for Luke Skywalker was recreated using dozens of clips. Including recordings of Hamill’s voice. This process also enables the company to create a new voice for a character whose original voice is lost.
Darth Vader’s artificially recreated voice was first used for the new movie, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Respeecher had previously partnered with Lucasfilm to recreate the young Luke Skywalker’s speech in the film The Book of Boba Fett. It is unclear how much of the new Darth Vader’s dialogue was generated by AI.
Respeecher has also used the technology to generate artificial speech for several projects. Other projects include helping Aloe Blacc pay tribute to Avicii, and translating messages of support for Ukraine in a way that retained the voice of the celebrity.
Disney’s artificially recreated voices for other characters
Actor James Earl Jones has signed off on the use of artificially recreated voices for other characters in Disney animated movies and television shows. He has also provided the voice of Darth Vader for the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett. The actor was younger than Mark Hamill when he portrayed the role of Luke Skywalker in the original series. He is now 91 years old.
The company Respeecher uses sound bites to recreate an actor’s voice, which allows studios to record new lines without the actor present. Skywalker Sound’s supervising sound editor Matthew Wood presented the option to Jones when he was winding down his role as Darth Vader. Jones’ permission was granted and Respeecher began creating new voices of other characters.
James Earl Jones also lent his voice to several animated films, including the popular “Sleepy Hollow” series. The actor’s voice made him one of the most recognizable characters in cinema. He also lent his voice to various characters in the Star Wars franchise. However, James is best known for his role as Darth Vader. But he has also voiced many other characters in films.
Disney has worked with Respeecher before to create new voices for other characters but most notably Darth Vader.
Spoofing caller ID
While spoofing caller ID has long been possible, the potential for abuse with AI voice recreation is even greater. For example, in Episode 6 of the Star Wars TV series, the character of Luke Skywalker was played by actor Graham Hamilton, but his voice was a digital creation. A tool called Respeecher was used to patch together his old recordings and create an artificial voice.
Respeecher works by using a voice-modeling system to reproduce a specific voice. It can be trained on existing recordings by actors and sound engineers. It records pitch, inflection, and proximity to the microphone. It uses this information to train artificial intelligence models, which then recreate the voice’s pitch and timbre. Neural networks are widely used in audio software, including noise reduction and voice manipulation programs.
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