Home Movies Reality Check: James Earl Jones Did Not Give the Rights to Darth...

I don’t know where people got the strange idea that James Earl Jones gave the rights to Darth Vader’s voice to anyone.

Darth Vader is owned by LucasFilms. So is Jones’s memorable performance as the character.

In a Vanity Fair article posted by the excellent Star Wars expert Anthony Breznican, the word “rights” does not appear once. Yet, this erroneous idea has replicated like Star Trek Tribbles all over the internet.

Breznican’s story is about how a Ukrainian AI company takes pieces of Jones’s old speeches from “Star Wars” movies and remixes them to make new dialogue for Star Wars spin offs set a the time.

Jones, Breznican says, “signed off” this idea, meaning he gave his blessing. He bequeathed no rights. He didn’t own any to begin with.

The story is actually about how the Ukrainian firm, Respeecher, is able to operate during wartime and still fulfill its work for Skywalker Sound and Lucas Films. It’s pretty interesting.

Jones is 91, and not really appearing in public anymore. He didn’t attend the renaming of a Broadway theater recently in his name. He remains one of the greats of all time, even if he never owned the rights to Darth Vader. He also doesn’t own the rights to his CNN announcements. If he did, he might considered retrieving them.

Also, Woody Allen did not announce his retirement last week. Are there any fact checkers left out there?

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