It is amazing what CGI and other technology can do to recreate iconic characters as they appeared in films in our past. That is the case of Star Wars’ very own Luke Skywalker (portrayed by Mark Hamill) who made a shocking return to the finale of The Mandalorian Season 2 and also appeared again in The Book of Boba Fett.
Fans were wowed by how the live-action Luke resembled and sounded like his post-Return of the Jedi appearance.
And a part of that was made possible by ReSpeecher, a Ukraine-based company that worked on both Disney + shows. And the amazing thing? They did it without Hamill providing any dialogue or voice acting.
ReSpeecher’s co-CEO and founder Alex Serdiuk spoke to Variety about how his company pulled off recreating the Jedi Knight with his likeness and voice to sound youthful.
“We heard recordings from 30 to 40 years ago, and those recordings were not good,” said Sediuk during the interview.
ReSpeecher took on the task of digging through archival audio files from ADR sessions, audiobook records, and video games that had Hamil’s voice. With all that audio, ReSpeecher was able to use their app to utilize cleaner audio to create the younger voice of Hamill for the post-Return of the Jedi Luke.
“Our technology applies a digital voice skin, digital vocal apparatus of that particular performance, and that gives content creators and moviemakers that full content over how it should sound and even inflections,” Serdiuk told Variety.
The Variety article explained that the process involved two weeks of “training a model” which involved two steps by gathering voice data to be put into the system and converting that data. The two steps were used to create a new identical voice for the Jedi Knight. Furthermore, the article elaborated that Respeecher utilizes “different techniques” to create content that meets “creative expectations” for studios.
The Variety article notes ReSpeecher has worked with Skywalker Sound where the company collaborated with its sound engineers. Seriduk has also worked with Marvel since 2019. The CEO told Variety that ReSpeecher’s “technology is very disruptive.”
Who knows what they’ll use this technology for next?
The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett are now streaming on Disney +.