James Earl Jones officially retires from his legendary role as Darth Vader by signing up his rights to the character’s voice.

James Earl Jones, who has one of the most recognizable voices in cinema history, has reportedly begun to transition out of his job as the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise after almost four decades.

According to Vanity Fair, the 91-year-old actor has turned up the rights to his voice to filmmakers employing cutting-edge AI technology. When asked why Matthew Wood of Lucasfilm told the magazine that the actor “wished to keep Vader alive.”

He stated he was thinking of retiring from this role, Wood told Vanity Fair. To what end therefore must we proceed?

Star Wars: James Earl Jones received just $7,000 for voicing Darth Vader

James Earl Jones first voiced the iconic Star Wars villain in the first film in 1977 and has continued to do so in every subsequent film and television adaptation. Recently, he played the title role in Disney+’s new Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

James Earl Jones

While David Prowse wore the dark costume of the Sith Lord in the movie, Earl Jones delivered the unmistakable deep tones of the complicated Darth Vader.

Earl Jones is a well-known EGOT in addition to his work on the science fiction epic. After being nominated for Best Actor in 1970s The Great White Hope, he won a posthumous Oscar in 2011.

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In recent years, the series has welcomed back a number of its original cast members. Fan favorites including Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, and Mark Hamill have returned to play their previous roles. One of the most memorable performers, though, seems to be leaving the stage for good.