James Earl Jones signs over the rights to Darth Vader’s voice, announcing his retirement from the renowned role.

After over 40 years as Darth Vader’s voice, James Earl Jones, one of the most recognizable voices in movie history, appears to have taken moves to stand down from the job.

According to Vanity Fair, the 91-year-old actor has granted the rights to his voice to producers employing cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Matthew Wood of Lucasfilm said the actor “wished to keep Vader alive.”

James Earl Jones Announces Retirement

“He had mentioned he was looking into winding down this particular character,” Wood reportedly told Vanity Fair. “So, how do we move forward?”

Vanity Fair

In the 1977 movie, Earl Jones made his acting debut as the iconic Star Wars villain. From then on, he continued to play the role on both the big and small screens throughout the rest of the franchise. He recently played the title role in Disney+’s brand-new Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

Earl Jones delivered the unmistakable deep tones of the complicated Vader, even though actor David Prowse donned the famous black outfit of the Sith Lord for the original flicks.

Earl Jones is a well-known EGOT recipient in addition to his work on the sci-fi epic. He was nominated for Best Actor in 1970s The Great White Hope and won an honorary Academy Award in 2011.

In recent years, other original trilogy actors have joined the cast. Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, and Mark Hamill have all returned as their respective characters to the pleasure of fans. But it appears that one of the most recognizable actors is finally saying goodbye.

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