Was Darth Vader British?

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Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
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?
 

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Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
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."
 

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robn1

Master Member
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.
 
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Supa troop

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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 :)
 

terryr

Sr Member
Acadians from Canada moved south and became Cajuns.

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

Fishbowl

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

...would have made the film TOTALLY different :p
 

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Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
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?
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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!

, otherwise why cast a Brit in the part?
 

Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
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
 

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Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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.
 

wannab

Sr Member
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
 

Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
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
 

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