James Earl Jones has done a terrific job being the voice of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy that it’s hard to remove the voice from the character.
Apparently though, Vader’s dialogue was originally recorded in the accent of David Prowse, Vader’s body actor. However, it just didn’t work. Production had to replace Prowse’s recordings with Jones’, leaving Prowse surprised.
Carrie Fisher discussed this bit of Star Wars history while on the Jonathan Ross Showrecently, with Ross pointing out that the replacement can’t be helped because of Prowse’s West Country British accent.
Fisher even said: “We called him ‘Darth Farmer.’”
Carrie was accompanied in the interview by British actor Russell Howard, so Ross had the two do a live reenactment of the scene between Leia and Vader following Vader’s capture of Leia in the beginning of A New Hope.
While wearing a semi-complete Vader mask, Howard made a strange, albeit funny Darth Vader with that Western British accent, even after a synthesizer effect.
Check out the live reenactment:
Prowse’s original recordings as Vader have appeared online several times. Below is one of those recordings:
Thankfully, George Lucas found James Earl Jones. Without him, I don’t know what Star Wars would have been like without a villain with such an imposing voice.