Several of the voice actors from Obi-Wan Kenobis had a digital help, but Lucasfilm will not say who the actor is

Several of the voice actors from Obi-Wan Kenobis had a digital help, but Lucasfilm will not say who  ...

You may see a Star Wars show on Disney Plus, but there''s a good chance you''ve fully discovered Respeecher''s expertise, whether it be done or not. The Ukrainian company''s AI-powered voice cloning platform provided Mark Hamills with an as-yet-unidentified character in Obi-Wan Kenobi. With so many franchise veterans returning for the series, there''s certainly no shortage of potential candidates.

Polygon talked with Respeecher CEO Alex Serdiuk to understand a process that to many viewers no doubt borders on sacrilege. Serdiuk emphasized the human element behind the platform itself, from the start. We allow [studios] to scale voices, to alter voices, and even resurrect voices for certain projects.

So far from the mental illusion of artificial intelligence and voice cloning that of a sound engineer running lines of dialogue through a computer algorithm that then spits out audio files Respeechers work on Star Wars is surprisingly performance driven. While Darth Vader himself might be more machine now than man, if the Ukrainian company is supplying his voice (and remember, if) the character''s essence is still very much flesh and blood.

There is no artificial intelligence available yet, and I would doubt it, and it would allow us to use it on a turnkey basis to achieve the performance we want to create. [] It takes all the performance, all the acting from what we call a source voice, and then we do the conversion.

Aside from the Respeechers pipeline, actors like Hamill may record different takes 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.

We might need to convert all of those [in to the younger voice], and maybe send different versions, because we used to train different models with different setups, according to the author. Can you even make [a line reading] sound a bit more like they ask? and we''d try to make it a bit easier than you expected.

So, is it the ultimate intention to recreate a traditional performance in the case of The Mandalorianor The Book of Boba Fett, as if the Hamills lines were somehow copied from the set of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1983? The aim is to make it sound as though it was recorded yesterday in the studio by the target voice themselves, according to Serdiuk.

Although many fans complained about the visual effects used for the Luke Skywalker in the film, Serdiuk added that the synthesized performance in The Book of Boba Fett sounds much better than in The Mandalorian. Moreover, the CEO is quick to explain that even though the filmmakers were reluctant to pay attention to the fact that Lucasfilm removed the beans in a Disney Gallery making of the film several months later.

Serdiuk claims that Hamills'' de-aged vocals from Lucasfilm were much more impressive considering the value of the legacy assets Respeecher. That [data] was quite old, so we had some old ADR recording, something from a video game. This isn''t the main problem in many projects that involve aging or resurrecting [performers voices], but this may be the reason why the lack of data and the quality of data have a significant effect on making them sound good.

The CEO of Respeecher maintains that overturning these data-related challenges has been worth it, given that industry heavyweights like Lucasfilm have embraced the work they do. [We] started with the idea of putting 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, when they say something good about the sound we were able to produce, and that''s a complicated and technical issue, it really encourages us

Serdiuk believes that the increase in acceptance of voice cloning technology might mean that studios will no longer use 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 that Respeechers voice cloning technology is one of the most

There are always different views of how things should be done in the industry, and the fans have different opinions. I wouldnt say that [Respeecher] is very well-suited to be in charge or judge [which approach is best, he says). Although Serdiuk believes that if Lucasfilm ever asked for the actor to re-create the voice of a dead actor, the company would do so only with the permission of the actors estate. However, the fact that Lucasfilm is a repeat customer suggests that the

Serdiuk acknowledges that his vision for Respeechers'' future extends beyond de-aging actors voices, although he remains optimistic that what the company has planned will broaden filmmakers'' creative horizons, rather than shrink them. He also notes that the company is collaborating with a voice actor who has lost their voice to allow them to perform again.

Serdiuk has lost sight of what it means for Respeecher to perform a certain space opera set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It''s something special. From a technical perspective, they have been disrupting the industry, from the very beginning, and the way they do their films is exceptional. So, it''s a great pleasure to work with those people and learn from them.