Three trilogies, a good handful of video games and a few series later – not to mention books, comics and other transmedia material -, we already know a thousand and one stories and ins and outs about the creation processes of the different works of ‘Star Wars’; being one of the most famous and controversial the replacement of the voice of the interpreter who gave life to the mythical Darth Vader.
A golden voice valued at $7,000
The fact that James Earl Jones dubbed David Prowse’s lines unbeknownst to the latter, it is not only widely known, but has also been featured in documentaries such as ‘I am your Father’. What has not been discussed so much is how jones got the partbut we can scrutinize the origin of the story thanks to this conversation that the interpreter had with the American Film Institute.
“George wanted, pardon the expression, a dark voice. So he hired a guy born in Mississippi, raised in Michigan, who stutters. And that’s the voice. That’s me. I was lucky, with all those supposed handicaps, I got a job that paid me $7,000. I thought it was a good sum, and I was going to be the voice in a movie.”
In that same interview, the actor explained that his return in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ prompted him to improve your work and to look for new nuances and inflections for his character. Unfortunately, George Lucas was not very for the work and he preferred to opt for that maxim that says “if something works, don’t change it”.
“He told me, ‘We don’t know what we did right, so we’re going to try to do the same thing.’ Obviously, he wanted to make Darth Vader more interesting, more subtle, more psychologically focused. And he said, ‘No, no. What we’re seeing is that you have to keep your voice in a very narrow inflection range, because it’s not really human.'”
Although it may be that, above any anecdote, the one that reigns turns James Earl Jones into a skeptic that he did not believe Vader when he revealed to Luke that he was his father.
“I thought, ‘He’s lying. I wonder how they’re going to develop that lie.’