Some of the voice actors from Obi-Wan Kenobis provided digital assistance, but Lucasfilm will not reveal who they are

Some of the voice actors from Obi-Wan Kenobis provided digital assistance, but Lucasfilm will not re ...

There''s a good chance you''ve ever seen a Star Wars show on Disney Plus, whether it''s because you realize it or not. Mark Hamills performed in both The Mandalorianand The Book of Boba Fett, as well as for an as-yet-unidentified character in Obi-Wan Kenobi. While Lucasfilm has requested that Respeecher keep the name of the character a secret for the time being, there''s certainly no shortage of potential applicants.

Polygon spoke with Respeecher CEO Alex Serdiuk to clarify a process that many fans no doubt borders on sacrilege. Serdiuk emphasizes the human element behind the platform itself. Through our technology and our services, we can [studios] to scale voices, to alter voices, and even resurrect voices.

So far from the psychological image that''s stuttered up by artificial intelligence and voice cloning that of a sound engineer running lines of dialogue through a computer algorithm that then removes audio files Respeechers work on Star Wars is surprisingly performance driven. While Darth Vader himself may be more machine now than man, if the Ukrainian company is supplying his voice (and remember, we said if) the essence of the characters voice is still very much flesh and blood.

There is no artificial intelligence available yet, and I doubt it would be capable of using it on a turnkey basis to produce the performance we desire. [] The human voice, therefore, gives all of the inflections, the accent, the speech style, and pace that AI isn''t good at developing, according to Serdiuk. [] It takes all the performance, all the acting from what we call a source voice, and then we do the conversion.

Another advantage is that the Respeechers pipeline allows actors like Hamill to record different takes just as they would on an actual set, which the company''s experts may later adjust at their end based on notes from showrunners like Jon Favreau or Deborah Chow.

Often we need to convert all of those [in to the younger voice] and may send different versions, according to the author. Can you try to make [a line reading] sound a bit more like they ask? and we''d try to make it a bit easier than they ask.

So, is it the ultimate aim in nontraditional means to recreate a traditional performance in the case of The Mandalorianor The Book of Boba Fett, as though Hamills lines were somehow transmitted directly from the set of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1983? Serdiuk agrees that the purpose is to make sound as it was recorded yesterday in the studio.

Even if viewers are unaware why, the voice cloning used by Respeechers may seem artificial. Serdiuk even admits that the Hamills de-aged voice is better in The Book of Boba Fett than in The Mandalorian, due to modest but substantial improvements in how Respeechers'' AI model was trained to emulate actors vocals. At the same time, the CEO is also quick to note that although many fans expressed concern about the visual effects used to portray Luke Skywalker in the finale

The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett''s convincing de-aged vocals were particularly impressive given the quality of Respeecher''s legacy assets. This [data] was quite old, and Serdiuk said it is important to have this data trained in your model in order to ensure it yields the highest possible outcome possible. In many projects that involve aging or resurrecting [performers voices], this might be the major obstacle, given the lack of data and the quality of data.

Now that industry heavyweights like Lucasfilm have accepted our sound, it''s time to assemble a synthetic speech on the level where it would go through sound engineers and Hollywood studios and land in large productions. So when they accept our sound, and when they say something good about the sound we were capable of producing, it encourages us and strengthens us.

Serdiuk cautions that expanding the acceptance of voice cloning technology might lead to no longer calling upon talented soundalikes to stand-in for deceased actors. For example, would Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in which Guy Henry imitated the voice of Grand Moff Tarkin as the kind of project that would automatically land on Respeechers desk now? Not necessarily, according to Serdiuk, who believes Respeechers voice cloning technology is one of several viable solutions at filmmaker

The audience has always different perspectives about how things should be done in the industry, and they might not say that [Respeecher] is very well-suited to be in charge or judge, according to Serdiuk. Even if Lucasfilm ever solicits Respeecher to remake the voice of a dead actor, the company would do so without the authorization of the actors estate. However, the fact that Lucasfilm is a repeat customer suggests that the company has made extensive in-roads for voice cloning technology

Serdiuk has already established a vision for the future of Respeechers beyond the de-aging actors voices, although he remains adamant that the company''s vision will expand filmmakers'' creative horizons rather than shrink them. He also talks about democratizing the technology so that smaller film and television studios and video game developers may expand their budgets further. He also talks enthusiastically about the upcoming health care initiatives of Respeechers, citing a case where the company is collaborating

Serdiuk has lost sight of how long it takes for Respeecher to participate in a certain space opera set a long time ago in a galaxy, right? From a technical perspective, they have splintered the industry, and the way they do their films is exceptional. So, it''s a huge pleasure to work with those people and learn from them.