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What Did Darth Vader Sound Like Before the James Earl Jones Voiceover?

Twentieth Century Fox

Imagine a world where Darth Vader of ‘Star Wars‘ was never voiced by James Earl Jones. You can’t do it, right? Well we’re here to help you with this behind the scenes footage featuring Darth Vader as voiced by the guy behind the mask — David Prowse.

In this video clip, you can hear David Prowse — the actor who played Darth Vader in costume — reciting some of Vader’s most famous lines. Obviously, it sounds a little silly, hearing this British actor’s voice echoing through the helmet. It doesn’t sound commanding or sinister or intimidating at all. That’s what George Lucas and the guys behind the scenes on ‘Star Wars’ thought, too, which is why they hired James Earl Jones to bring his big, booming voice in to make Darth Vader into the villain we know today.

We can hardly imagine a ‘Star Wars’ without Jones’ iconic voice-over work. Audiences might have laughed off this uppity, proper-voiced Vader — how could this guy be evil when he sounds like he’d rather invite you in for a spot of tea and some muffins? Listen to the way he says, “You are a part of the rebel alliance and a traitor. Take her away!” He sounds so well-mannered!

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