It might seem impossible to understate the contribution James Earl Jones‘ voice played in making Darth Vader the greatest pop culture villain ever, because it’s impossible to imagine anyone else sounding as intimidating. But we know exactly what his voice was like before he got his mask–he sounded like Hayden Christensen. And this hilarious video showing what it would have been like if Vader’s mask malfunctioned proves we still might be underestimating how important James Earl Jones was in making Vader the ultimate bad guy.
This is the latest from the hilarious YouTube channel Auralnauts, who make some of our favorite comedic Star Wars videos, and in it they imagine a Vader whose mask never worked the way it was meant to. So instead of the deep, booming tones of James Earl Jones, we got Mr. “I Hate Sand” Anakin’s normal voice instead. We doubt this version of him would have instilled fear in anyone in the galaxy far, far away.
Believe it or not that was not the real Hayden Christensen lending his voice to this, it was Christopher Wirth doing a spot on impression. But even more amazing is that this isn’t even the least intimidating Darth Vader ever recorded. That title goes to the actual man under the mask, David Prowse. You can see what it sounded like on set when he was playing the part and also doing the voice. We don’t know how everyone wasn’t constantly giggling during filming.
Like we said, despite James Earl Jones as Darth Vader being maybe the greatest, most perfect voice casting in the history of mankind, we still might not fully appreciate just how important he was to making Vader the best villain in the galaxy.
Who sounded less scary as Vader? Who could have maybe played the role besides Jones? Talk Vader voices with us in the comments below.
Featured Image: Lucasfilm