Was Darth Vader British?

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by Vermithrax 4, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if this has been covered here before but I ALWAYS heard Vader speak with an English inflection in the OT, just as all the other people in the Empire did. His Rs are definitely British in all three movies, without question, and Sebastian Shaw was British and spoke his dialogue accordingly. So WHY did Lucas ignore this fact and cast an American as Anakin Skywalker??? Vader even loses his English inflection at the end of "Sith"! This is one of the MANY things that has always bothered me about the PT, so anyone care to speculate on this?
     
  2. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I don't hear a British inflection in Vader. James Earl Jones is American.
     
  3. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  4. Watson

    Watson Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Dont think I have heard this accent from Vader either all american :)
     
  5. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Seriously???

    "Don't act so surprised, Your Highness, you weren't on any muhcy mission this time."

    "You ah paht of the Rebel Alliance and a traituh. TAKE HER AWAY!"

    "The Force is with you young Skywalkuh...but you are not a Jedi yet."

    "No...I am your fathuh."

    "You DON'T know the powuhhh of the Dahk Side. I MUST obey my mastuh."
     
  6. epilepticsquirl

    epilepticsquirl Sr Member

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    Sounds like a minor southern drawl to me.
     
  7. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Yeah, southern drawl is closely related to the British accent. I remember seeing something on TV about film making with dialect coach, she said the two accents are very similar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  8. Supa troop

    Supa troop Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Actually if we are going to get technical about this, Darth Vader spoke with a Bristonian Accent thats someone from Bristol UK by the way :)
     
  9. terryr

    terryr Sr Member

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    Acadians from Canada moved south and became Cajuns.

    I don't hear any British. But he moves like an English bodybuilder.
     
  10. Fishbowl

    Fishbowl Well-Known Member

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    Hearing David Prowse saying some of the Vader lines with that accent IS pretty funny...

    ...would have made the film TOTALLY different :p
     
  11. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, all good viewpoints, even though I've always heard his dialogue as British, assuming that Jones had perhaps been instructed to speak with that inflection or was doing it to differentiate Vader's voice from his own a bit. But it still doesn't negate the fact that Sebastian Shaw was British and spoke with a British inflection once the mask came off, otherwise why cast a Brit in the part?
     
  12. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Because you were filming in England? ;)

    Always fun to speculate on these types of things but I seriously don't think they really thought about it when they were filming.

    Of course if Uncle George wanted to he could have Luke in a cockney accent in the next releases
    so don't give him any ideas!

     
  13. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised Lucas didn't replace Shaw entirely with a CGI-aged Hayden Christensen! Oh, wait, maybe I shouldn't have suggested that... :lol
     
  14. Jannix Quinn

    Jannix Quinn Sr Member

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    Wasn't it Tatooinian?
     
  15. the_batdemon

    the_batdemon Sr Member

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    Jones is classically trained and did perform Othello, so maybe he did add a British inflection to his voice.
     
  16. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I hear a deep voice, that's about it. It's pretty generic. It sounds to me more like JEJ trying to remove his American accent when he speaks. There's less drawl and hightened annunciation.
     
  17. rodneyfaile

    rodneyfaile Sr Member

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    Why no cockney accents in the empire?
     
  18. JoeG

    JoeG Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I always imagined some of the Stormtroopers and lower ranking Imperial crew members talking with that sort of accent.
     
  19. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    I hear it slightly as well. It may come from his (Jones) Shakespeare training where each word (written in Early Modern English) has punch, presence and is very articulated. More likely, he used the slight affectation merely as a performance choice.

    Btw, I also hear the British affectation in Princess Leia when she is gabbin' with Vader and especially with Tarkin. I'm betting this has more to do with the back and forth with a British actor.


    Doug
     
  20. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Oooh, Wannab, you're right! Leia DOES speak with that same inflection in ANH, which she loses in "Empire". The voice inflection that Jones uses as Vader is very similar to his performance as Thulsa Doom, which is a very refined, classical English. Since Obi-Wan was British I always felt that he and Vader would have come from similar backgrounds, then when Sebastian Shaw spoke with a British accent that cemented it for me. Which is why it made no sense to me that Lucas cast an American in the dreadful PT. But of course, the majority of his decisions for the PT make no sense to me. :lol

    I really do like seeing everyone's thoughts on this subject, this is really neat. :thumbsup
     
  21. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah very good picking up Carrie's "senatorial" accent in ANH. Always loved that. :)

    She loses the accent for most of the chasing around the Death Star scenes... then gets it back in time to meet General Dodonna and the crew at Yavin 4.

    And of course she just sounds like a commoner in Empire and Jedi...
     
  22. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Listen to those lines again. The R's are there.
     
  23. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    What Doug said...

    Or, in my own words:

    I beleive Jones (along with Fisher) was not so much trying to sound British, but simply making an effort to infuse drama into their dialogue.

    Clearly Jones is...

    Want to compare/contrast what Jones normally sounds like, opposed to when playing Vader?

    Watch Vader Sessions on YouTube.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  24. DuneMuadDib

    DuneMuadDib Sr Member

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    Possible theory so far as the casting is concerned. What we refer to as received pronunciation, or BBC English accents, are Coruscant accents in SW (the Expanded Universe at least). At the very least most Imperials are probably from core worlds that actually have money, so they could pick up the accent over time if not coming by it naturally.

    Same with Anakin, he was born on a Rim world as a slave, so he wouldn't have a the upper class accent hailing from Tatooine. 13 years as a Jedi could have exposed him to that accent quite a bit, but not quite enough to change his. Take on another 23 years as Vader surrounded by Imperials with that accent and possibly consciously affecting it to distance himself from anything that tied him to being Anakin and it's possible that his accent did fully switch by the time he died and we saw him played by Shaw.

    Or Lucas just wasn't bothered with matching Anakin's accent. Surely the EU writers have pulled some answer out of somewhere, they do for everything else.

    Semi-related, but I believe Carrie was trying for a British accent in early shooting, then they gave up on it but didn't have time to reshoot which is why her accent changes through the first movie. It just works out that she could be affecting a Coruscant/Senatorial accent most of the times she's not speaking in her normal accent.
     
  25. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Sir, your explanation should be added to "The Collected Sayings of Muad'dib", that was extremely well put.

    No doubt Anakin would have picked up that accent simply from being Obi-Wan's apprentice. Not surprisingly, Lucas didn't pick up on this subtley. At the very least the actor portraying Anakin should have spoken with a similar inflection and have had a marginally deeper and more powerful voice so we could have at least believed he could have been Vader under that costume. He should also have been a similar build to Dave Prowse. At least more muscular and beefy than Christensen. But this is just me sounding my frustrations over the lost opportunities concerning this wonderful character.
     
  26. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :lol Now you've done it! :lol

     
  27. chris1748

    chris1748 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I watched a special with Carrie Fisher on stage and she explained why she had an English accent. She was going to acting school in England when she was cast in the part. Sent there by her mother. She did it by accident.

    Chris
     
  28. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Fixed that for ya. ;)
     
  29. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    :lol:lol
    I didn't know he was Canadian. At least you left the word "dreadful". :lol
     
  30. defstartrooper

    defstartrooper Sr Member

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    ........
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  31. allosaur176

    allosaur176 Sr Member

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    in a galaxy far far away they spoke the exact same language as Americans?? makes ya think
     
  32. darth_myeek

    darth_myeek Sr Member

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    Not Greedo, Jawas, Tusken Raiders, Jabba, Bib Fortuna, ewoks, Salacious Crumb...
     
  33. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I always felt that Jabba spoke Huttese with a British accent as well. He was a villain, after all. :lol
     

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