Decades after the original Star Wars films, it’s nearly impossible to separate the terrifying image of Darth Vader from the voice of James Earl Jones — but the two weren’t always tied together.
Vader’s body actor, David Prowse, originally recorded Vader’s dialogue and was surprised when his lines were replaced by Jones. Discussing this tidbit with Carrie Fisher recently, Jonathan Ross pointed out that the replacement was probably inevitable because of Prowse’s West Country British accent.
“We called him ‘Darth Farmer,'” Fisher said.
Star Wars clips with Prowse’s voice occasionally pop up online, but since Ross had British actor Russell Howard on as well, he decided to do a live reenactment. He gave Russell a semi-complete Vader mask and had them read lines from the series’ very first scene between Vader and Leia, when the Sith Lord captures the princess and her ship in pursuit of stolen Death Star schematics. It’s weirdly unsettling to hear Vader speak with such an accent, even after Ross’ producers added a synthesizer effect to Howard’s voice.
Watch the clip below.