Darth Vader Tells You Where To Go

05.05.2010

I didn’t realize that “May the Fourth Be With You” had become a pop culture fixture in celebration of all things Star Wars until after May the 4th was over, or I would’ve posted this sooner.

GPS guru TomTom released the following video via YouTube (appropriately on May the Fourth) to announce their line of downloadable Star Wars media for TomTom navigational devices, with Darth Vader in the recording studio:

And here’s a video demo of TomTom’s Darth Vader GPS in action:

You can download Darth Vader as your TomTom navigational guide for 8 pounds British (that’s about $13 US) at TomTom.com/StarWars. And according to TomTom’s site, they will release voices for C-3PO in June, Yoda in July, and Han Solo in August.

I’ll add that Vader is not voiced by James Earl Jones. It’s probably Chad Vaderaka Matt Sloan — who has voiced Vader in the LucasArts games Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars: Forces of Corruption.

I would not expect Frank Oz and Harrison Ford to be reprising their roles for TomTom (as Yoda and Han Solo, respectively), but I think there’s a chance you might hear Anthony Daniels reprising his signature role as C-3PO.

Update: 6.30.2010Tom Kane (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Powerpuff Girls) is the voice of Yoda.

Update: 8.04.2010Anthony Daniels does indeed reprise his role as the voice of C-3PO. Here’s a video demo of the C-3PO GPS in action:

Thanks to Jeffrey Kafer for posting this video to the VO-BB.


The What I’m Pondering Weakly III

02.16.2010

Continuing my series of random thoughts on random Tuesdays…

WhoseVoice.org blogs about the original voice of Darth Vader, as performed by David Prowse, presented via a video clip from the 2004 documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.

In turn, HuffingtonPost.com covers WhoseVoice.org’s post with the headline: “Darth Vader’s Original Wimpy Voice Revealed.”

“Revealed”? Hellooooo, McHuffington! That’s from 2004! It’s only “news” if you haven’t seen it yet.


StarWars.com Interviews Corey Burton

03.24.2009

StarWars.com has published a very entertaining interview with Corey Burton (who should win an award for being “The Nicest Guy in Hollywood”) where he talks about his background in radio theater, offers detailed insight into the craft of character development in voice acting. Corey also discusses the villian voices he’s performed in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and speaks briefly of his work on Transformers.

Says Corey, “Good voice acting has been compared to channeling. I tell people who are interested in studying voice acting to lose yourself and don’t think about your own voice, let the character inhabit you and the character will know what to do; they take over.”

When asked to name his favorite Star Wars film character, Corey responds, “When I first saw A New Hope I identified with Luke Skywalker. I even did some looping for The Empire Strikes Back and met Mark Hamill. At the time I had been cast as a sound-alike for Mark for the Disney Storyteller Read-Along records. Mark always impressed me with his absolute, real-guy, genuine openness. He has none of that pretension. He had me autograph the record. (laughs) I also love James Earl Jones’ voice for Darth Vader. And I admire the elegance and sinister voice quality of Peter Cushing as Tarkin.”

And speaking of Vader and Tarkin, Corey says that he much prefers to voice villians more than any other characters: “Unless forced to, I will usually turn down a happy, all-American, accent-less role.”

And on the subject of playing pranks as a voice actor: “I actually feel uncomfortable doing prank calls. I’m a child of the ’50s and raised to be polite. It’s hard for me to be mean. Once I was egged on by friends to order at a fast food restaurant drive-through as Bullwinkle the Moose. I did it and then guy who took the order was not amused.”

Continue reading: Corey Burton: Voicing Villains [StarWars.com].

Corey’s official website — CoreyBurton.com — has recently received a long-overdue update where he highlights comments from his message board on the homepage in a blog format.

In related Star Wars news, a series of radio interviews from 1978 with the cast of A New Hope have been recently recovered from the vaults and restored, and are now available for download at StarWars.com, including one with a very young Mark Hamill and an extremely rare interview with Sir Alec Guinness.

Previous Clone Wars report: 3/16.2009 — Star Wars: The Clone Wars Cast Interview Round-Up (updated 3.23.2009 with 9 more interviews)