James Earl Jones, the iconic voice behind Star Wars’ Darth Vader, has signed over the rights to his archival voice work so that AI technology can be used to recreate his voice, according to a report from Vanity Fair Friday.

Jones, who is 91, is actively working with Lucasfilm and the Ukrainian company Respeecher on using AI to take his Darth Vader voice and keep it alive through machine learning, according to the Vanity Fair report. Respeecher’s technology is used in Disney Plus show Obi-Wan Kenobi to help recreate the voice of Jones’ Darth Vader and c The Boba Fett Book to recreate a young voice like Skywalker. The report’s interview with Matthew Wood, supervising sound editor at Skywalker Sound, also revealed that Jones provided important guidance in Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Disney, which owns Lucasfilm, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Disney acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in 2012. Since then, the movie maker and theme park developer has released three main feature films and two spinoffs. Each of these projects, with the exception of Solo: A Star Wars Story, brought in over $1 billion. The first film in the Skywalker saga, The Force Awakens, brought in over $2 billion. By 2018, Disney had restored its Star Wars investment.

The company has also created numerous television and animated shows, including the recently released ones Andor, as well as theme park attractions. As Disney continues to expand its Star Wars entertainment portfolio, it is turning to technology to keep the characters alive for a new generation of audiences as actors age or die.


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