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Star Wars Prequels AI

BeauHD posted from the living-on-forever department.

James Earl Jones is stepping away from the role of Darth Vader after nearly 40 years. According to Vanity Fair, he has signed off on using archival voice recordings to recreate the iconic voice with artificial intelligence. From a report: "He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character," Matthew Wood, a Lucasfilm veteran of 32 years, told the outlet. "So how do we move forward?" The company has enlisted the assistance of Respeecher, a Ukrainian startup that uses AI technology to craft new conversations from revitalized old voice recordings. Respeecher's relationship with Lucasfilm began with the Disney+ series "The Book of Boba Fett," for which they recreated the voice of young Luke Skywalker. The two also teamed for the voice performance of Darth Vader on the series "Obi-Wan Kenobi," which debuted on Disney's streamer this summer.

Bogdan Belyaev, the 29-year-old speech artist, was tasked with delivering the new recordings to Lucasfilm, but tragedy struck on Feb. 24 when Russia invaded the country. As air raid sirens powered through the city of Lviv, Belyaev hurried to finish the project and send his work back to Skywalker Sound in Northern California. "If everything went bad, we would never make these conversions delivered to Skywalker Sound," he says. Following the debut of "Obi-Wan Kenobi," Jones' family informed Wood that they were pleased with the result of the synthesis between the actor's voice and Respeecher's technical work. Jones is credited for "guiding the performance" of Darth Vader in the Disney+ series, with Wood describing the actor as a "benevolent godfather."

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