What if Darth Vader had a high-pitched voice?

A rough cut of the first Star Wars film shows Darth Vader's lines delivered by David Prowse, the Welsh bodybuilder who wore the black helmet and cape on screen. 

Lucasfilm, Ltd./AP
Darth Vader is shown in a scene from Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back.'

In a world where nobody likes a squeaky sounding Sith Lord, fans are hoping that the seventh Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, will carry on the tradition of villains with the same gravitas that James Earl Jones bestowed on Darth Vader.

“Needless to say, the voice is such an incredible tool, and for an actor, it's massive, but even just as a human, there are two things that dictate how the person across from you is going to judge you, and one is obviously how you look, but then of course there's the voice,” actress and director Lake Bell told the Los Angeles Times. “It's the most influential tool when you first make an impression on someone.”

Ms. Bell wrote, directed, and starred in the comedy “In a World…,” portraying a struggling voice coach who finally finds her niche in the world of movie-trailer voice-overs. The film, whose script won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival gets its title from the iconic first line of many movie trailers, invariably delivered in an ominous bass.  

So how will Episode VII's crop of baddies stack up to Darth Vader?

A post by Gizmodo has been making the rounds and whipping fans into a frenzy of voiceover baritone expectation on Twitter. It refers to an uncut video of the first Star Wars film pre-James Earl Jones with lines coming out of Darth Vader’s helmet in a clipped, high-pitched accent more worthy of C3PO than the embodiment of all bad guys – Darth Vader.

The original voice was that of actor David Prowse, the body builder who physically played Vader on screen.  

Star Wars fans are notoriously picky when it comes to villain voiceovers. Even some of the Star Wars video games have come under fire for subpar voice acting, as in “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith PS2” game. 

As Bell’s character repeatedly warned young women in her film, “It’s not just a voice, it’s a choice.”

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.