James Earl Jones has signed over Darth Vader's voice to artificial intelligence

James Early Jones has signed over the rights to his Darth Vader voice to artificial intelligence. Respeecher, a Ukraine-based synthetic speech start-up, already used archival recordings and algorithms to create Vader's voice for the "Obi-Wan Kenobiu" series and has since turned over the rights to his Vader voice. From Vanity Fair:

What Respeecher could do better than anyone was re-create the unforgettably menacing way that Jones, now 91, sounded half a lifetime ago. [Lucasfilm supervising sound editor Matthew] Wood estimates that he's recorded the actor at least a dozen times over the decades, the last time being a brief line of dialogue in 2019's The Rise of Skywalker. "He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character," says Wood. "So how do we move forward?" When he ultimately presented Jones with Respeecher's work, the actor signed off on using his archival voice recordings to keep Vader alive and vital even by artificial means—appropriate, perhaps, for a character who is half mechanical. Jones is credited for guiding the performance on Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Wood describes his contribution as "a benevolent godfather." They inform the actor about their plans for Vader and heed his advice on how to stay on the right course.