The droids you’re looking for: how Ukrainian AI recreated Darth Vader’s voice

DarthVaders voice
DarthVaders voice

Artificial intelligence developed in Kyiv is taking over one of the most treasured roles in film, as James Earl Jones steps back as the voice of Darth Vader.

The Star Wars actor, 91, was helped to reach the chilling heights of his performance 45 years ago by the Ukrainian startup Respeecher in the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi series as the company worked with Jones and clips of his past performances.

The AI “clone” of his voice could then be layered over lines read by another actor to create a Darth Vader who sounds more real than the real thing.

“Lucasfilm came to us, essentially through word of mouth,”, said Dmytro Bielievtsov, Respeecher’s chief technical officer. “Someone posted about our tech in an internal sound engineering chat, and it got picked up.” Once the ball started rolling, it took just a few months to prepare audio that was ready for screen, he added.

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