The actor has never ‘appeared’ in Star Wars per se, but he provided the iconic voice of Darth Vader beginning with the release of A New Hope back in 1977. The bad news is that Jones has officially decided to retire from voicing Vader, but that doesn’t mean he’s being replaced.
Not The End Yet
The voice of Darth Vader was provided by the actor beginning with the 1977 release of A New Hope, despite the fact that he never “appeared” in Star Wars. Sadly, Jones has decided to formally end his role as Vader, but that doesn’t mean he will be replaced.
The Same Process
Respeecher has been utilized by Lucasfilm before. The voice of Mark Hamill’s young Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett was likewise recreated by the studio. Jones may have signed away the rights to his voice, but Skywalker Sound’s chief sound editor Matthew Wood told Movie Web that Jones was still a “benevolent godfather” who would get updates and offer guidance as needed.
This year’s Obi-Wan Kenobi included Jones’ most current rendition of Vader. Though it may be strange to imagine Vader’s voice being synthesized in the future, it is more stranger to imagine someone other than James Earl Jones playing the part.