It’s the end of an era with the news that James Earl Jones is retiring his voice as Darth Vader.
Vanity Fair shared a beautiful story of the brave Ukrainians working on an A.I. algorithm that would preserve Jones’ voice and create new technology so the Sith Lord could continue on in future projects. It’s really a fantastic read documenting their bravery in the face of an ongoing war. Lucasfilm has always been at the forefront of making new strides in the industry. This is just another example of it.
I got to thinking about another scenario. What if Lucasfilm wanted to have someone officially take up the mantle of Darth Vader? An actor has much more flexibility than an A.I. does.
Here are four actors who I think could officially take over for Darth Vader.
Scott is by far my first choice for taking up the voice of Darth Vader. He wouldn’t need to have his voice mixed with technology because he has already voiced the character in several projects. At Celebration during the Star Wars Resistance panel, he just drops into Vader’s voice with no warm-ups, no sound booth, and it’s terrifying. You can see his castmates react instantly. It’s cued up for you to see here:
As I mentioned, he has voiced Darth Vader already as he seems to be the official Vader voice for most of the Star Wars video games. His first credit as Vader is 1994’s Star Wars: TIE Fighter. More recently he’s voiced Vader in the Dark Forces, Vader Immortal, and Jedi: Fallen Order. Scott Lawrence has nineteen credits as the Sith Lord on his IMDB page. And as long as the games keep coming out with Vader in them, I can bet you he will keep on voicing the villain.
Matt Sloan has just as much voice in this debate (pun intended).
Matt has also portrayed the Dark Lord in many of the games as well including the 2015 and 2017 Battlefront and Battlefront II. While more recently he’s taken a more comedic route by voicing Vader in the majority of the LEGO specials and in The Freemaker Adventures, I wouldn’t count Matt out just yet. He’s just as terrifying in the Battlefront games as anyone else on this list. He could very easily pick up the role and be stellar in it.
Hayden Christensen and Matt Lanter
While Hayden and Matt wouldn’t be my first choice, they do have precedence and history with the character being Anakin Skywalker’s actors. Both Hayden and Matt have had their voices mixed with James Earl Jones in Obi-Wan Kenobi and Star Wars Rebels. It’s a process the smart people at Lucasfilm are familiar with to make them both sound like Vader. In this scenario, Hayden would be for live-action series while Matt would be for animation projects.
While I think it should go to Scott or Matt Sloan first, Hayden and Matt Lanter do have dibs on the character too. Though to be fair, Scott Lawrence was voicing Vader before either of these two portrayed the character. Dibs rules can be thrown out the window for that. Still, Hayden and Matt Lanter should at least be in the running for the character.
Who do you think should become the next voice of Darth Vader? Sound off in the comments below.