Tag Archives: Lucasfilm

Did James Earl Jones Sign Over Rights To His Voice?!

Did James Earl Jones Sign Over Rights To His Voice?!

James Earl Jones did NOT sign over the Darth Vader voice rights to Lucasfilm, or a Ukrainian AI company!

Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : James Earl Jones Signed Over Darth Vader Voice Rights!

Many media outlets breathlessly reported that James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, had apparently signed over the rights to his own voice!

They claimed that he was retiring from voicing Darth Vader, and signed over the rights to his voice to Respeecher, a Ukrainian AI technology company.

Gizmodo : James Earl Jones is Retiring from Darth Vader, But an AI Firm Owns His Voice

New York Post : James Earl Jones gives rights to Darth Vader voice to Ukrainian AI company

Mashable : James Earl Jones signs over rights to voice of Darth Vader to be replaced by AI

Deadline : James Earl Jones Signs Over Rights To Voice Of Darth Vader, Signalling Retirement From Legendary Role

Verge : James Earl Jones lets AI take over the voice of Darth Vader

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Truth : James Earl Jones Did NOT Sign Over Darth Vader Voice Rights!

It is peculiar that so many mainstream media FALSELY reported that James Earl Jones signed over the rights to his own voice.

That is categorically FALSE, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Vanity Fair Never Said He Signed Over Rights To Darth Vader Voice

The claims that James Earl Jones signed over the rights to his voice were based on a Vanity Fair article, called “Darth Vader’s Voice Emanated From War-Torn Ukraine“.

The story was about Respeecher, a Ukrainian voice cloning company that uses artificial intelligence to create new dialogue from archival recordings.

Respeecher had earlier helped Lucasfilm generate the voice of a young Luke Skywalker for The Book of Boba Fett, as well as making Darth Vader sound 45 years younger in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

Anthony Breznican of Vanity Fair never said, in his article, that Jones signed over the rights to the Darth Vader voice, to Respeecher.

In fact, the word “rights” was never mentioned in the entire article!

Fact #2 : JEJ Approved Of The AI-Generated Dialogue

What Anthony wrote was that when James Earl Jones heard the new dialogue created by Respeecher, he approved (signed off) of the work. (my emphasis in bold)

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.

The term “signed off” in this context meant “to approve or acknowledge something”.

It does not mean Jones “signed away” his rights – “to give (something, such as rights or property) to someone”.

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Fact #3 : Respeecher Does Not Own Rights To Darth Vader’s Voice

Respeecher was contracted by Lucasfilm to generate new Darth Vader dialogue based on James Earl Jones’ archival voice recordings.

James Earl Jones never signed over the rights to his voice to Respeecher, and Respeecher certainly does NOT own the rights to his voice.

Ukrainian start-up Respeecher … uses archival recordings and a proprietary A.I. algorithm to create new dialogue with the voices of performers from long ago.

The company worked with Lucasfilm to generate the voice of a young Luke Skywalker for Disney+’s The Book of Boba Fett, and the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi series tasked them with making Darth Vader sound like James Earl Jones’s dark side villain from 45 years ago.

Fact #4 : Lucasfilms Owns The Rights To Darth Vader

The Darth Vader character, including his voice, is owned by LucasFilms.

James Earl Jones does not actually own the Darth Vader voice, and is unable to legally “sign away” those rights to anyone, even if he wanted to.

It’s like how he doesn’t own the rights to his famous CNN announcements – “This is CNN” and “This is CNN International”, which belong to… you guessed it – CNN.

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Fact #5 : James Earl Jones Did Not Officially Retire

Many media outlets also falsely claimed that Jones had retired. Not once was it mentioned in the Vanity Fair article that he retired.

In fact, the Vanity Fair article pointed out that Jones helped Lucasfilm and the Respeecher team with the Darth Vader speech in Obi-Wan Kenobi :

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.

Now, Jones is 91 years old, and has not appeared in public in a long time. However, he still appears to be working in some fashion, and has not officially retired, as alleged.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Porsche Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter Revealed!

Porsche and Lucasfilm just unveiled the Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter that will be showcased in the premiere of Star Wars : The Rise of Skywalker in Los Angeles!

Take a look at the Porsche Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter, and how Porsche and Lucasfilm came to create it!

 

Porsche Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter : A Design Partnership

The Porsche Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter is a design DNA blend of Porsche and Lucasfilm.

Over a period of two months, the Porsche Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter project team worked at their respective design studios in Weissach and San Francisco to create initial ideas and drafts, before finally coming up with a concrete concept.

The final design, named Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter, will be presented as a detailed model measuring 1.5 metres (5 feet) in length at the film premiere of Star Wars : The Rise of Skywalker in Los Angeles.

“The design of the spaceship is harmoniously integrated into the Star Wars film world while at the same time demonstrating clear analogies with the characteristic Porsche styling and proportions,” says Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche at Porsche AG.

“The basic shape of the cabin, which tapers towards the rear, and a highly distinctive topography from the cockpit flyline to the turbines establish visual parallels with the iconic design of the 911 and the Taycan. The very compact layout conveys dynamism and agility, lending emphasis to the Porsche design features mentioned.”

“This collaboration is an amazing opportunity to merge the design aesthetics of Porsche and Star Wars. I found it to be creatively challenging and extremely inspiring,” says Doug Chiang, Vice President and Executive Creative Director for Lucasfilm. “It is thrilling to infuse Star Wars with Porsche styling to create an iconic new spaceship that could exist both on Earth or in the cinematic universe.”

While legal requirements impose certain restrictions on creativity in the classic design process for a series-production vehicle, this project opens up a whole new dimension of freedom.

At the same time, the Style Porsche team faced fresh challenges, since creating a purely virtual design is demanding, too. On the screen, the starship is only seen in two dimensions, while classic series-production vehicles appear physically in three dimensions.

In addition, starships usually only appear dynamically in the film and are only visible for a brief moment – so the design has to create an impression and be recognisable within a matter of seconds.

 

Porsche Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter : The Final Design

A glance at the details reveals a number of features familiar from the Porsche design style.

The front is reminiscent of the so-called “air curtains” (air inlets) that go together with the headlights to create a single formal entity in the Taycan. In addition to the four-point daytime running light typical of Porsche, the so-called “blasters” – long gun barrels at the front – are located at the tip.

The rear grid with the louvres and integrated third brake light was inspired by the current 911 generation, and the rear section of the starship bears the brand’s hallmark light bar.

Porsche design criteria have been applied to the interior, too: the instruments in the cockpit are clearly aligned with the driver’s axis, while the low seating position is reminiscent of the sporty ergonomics in the Porsche 918 Spyder.

All in all, the design follows a basic principle that is characteristic of the brand – all the elements on the exterior have a clear function, and purely visual features have largely been dispensed with.

“Our collaborative project with Star Wars goes perfectly with the launch of the Taycan. The design teams have brought the differing worlds of Porsche and Star Wars together to make a very special gift for the fans of the two brands,” says Kjell Gruner, Head of Marketing at Porsche.

Porsche will also be showcasing the all-new Taycan at the premiere event in Los Angeles.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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