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Voice dubbing in the first film

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I was just thinking about who performed the voice overdubs in the first SW. A lot of the incidental British cast were redubbed by Americans, as well as the Stormtroopers. Not many people talk about this, but a few famous voice actors can be heard.

Some of the Stormtrooper voices were done by Terry McGovern, who was also in THX 1138, and voiced Launchpad on DuckTales and Darkwing Duck. He was the Stormtrooper who gets mind-tricked by Ben. "These aren't the droids we're looking for."

McGovern also says "The Death Star plans are not in the main computer", "All right, check this side of the street. The door's locked, move onto the next one." (That's what he says he said; the "It's secure" version in the mono mix is not the same person) and "Stop that ship! Blast him!"

According to McGovern, other Stormtrooper voices were Scott Beach, Morgan Upton and Jerry Walters, but they may not have done *all* the trooper voices; Colin Michael Kitchens says that he performed the line "Look sir, droids!"

John and Tom Sylla did Cantina background chatter; Tom Sylla is the voice saying "All pilots to your stations" in the Rebel base.

Here's where it gets interesting. All of the people I just listed were working out of the San Francisco/Marin County area where Lucasfilm and American Zoetrope were based. However, I spotted several voices of people who worked in Los Angeles; some of them are famous or well-known in voice circles.

The Death Star officer who tells Vader "There's no one on board, sir. According to the log, the crew abandoned ship right after takeoff" is dubbed by none other than Harry Shearer, of "The Simpsons" fame. Only a couple places online mention this, but I spotted this one myself first. The voice he uses sounds kind of like Kent Brockman (the news anchor on The Simpsons).

Shearer may also be the voice of "There goes another one" and the Rebel pilot (Gold Two?) who says "Computer's locked. Getting a signal" and "The guns...they've stopped." The site that said this doesn't seem to exist anymore, but the voices for both those characters do sound like Shearer to me.

According to the old Starwars.com Homing Beacon newsletter, Michael Bell dubbed the voice of Commander Willard - the guy who says "You're safe. When we heard about Alderaan, we feared the worst." Michael Bell is a well-known cartoon voiceover, he did Duke on the original G.I. Joe, Prowl on Transformers, Zan of the Wonder Twins on the Superfriends cartoons, Lance and Sven on Voltron, and too many other voices to name here. Listening to Willard's voice, it definitely is him, though he's doing a very subdued performance.

Now here's one I'm not sure of, and I can't find any info anywhere to back me up. The Cantina owner sounds like he was dubbed by Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime on Transformers. Listen to "We don't serve their kind here" and "We don't want them here." The way the guy doing the voice drags out the "eer" sound in "here," it always makes me think of Cullen's gruff Optimus Prime voice. Anybody else think it might be him?

You'll notice I didn't mention Aunt Beru. That's because I believe it's actually Shelagh Fraser dubbing herself using an American accent, in both the stereo and mono mixes. Last year, Moth3r started a thread called "Beru's voice" where this was discussed.

Anybody got any other info on the voice dubbing in SW?

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The voice of the Imperial officer who says "Lord Vader, The battle plans are not aboard this ship..." Sounds also like the voice of General Dodonna.

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Interesting. When I read this I thought it would be nice to really listen to some of the voices, so I took the center channel from the blu-ray and enhanced the voices a bit in Adobe audition.

Anyone interested can pm me for a lossless file. It sure is interesting because you even clearly hear how they switch between dubbing sources here and there.

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Great and interesting info TServo, had no idea about Harry Shearer's involvement.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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The Death Star officer who tells Vader "There's no one on board, sir. According to the log, the crew abandoned ship right after takeoff" is dubbed by none other than Harry Shearer, of "The Simpsons" fame. Only a couple places online mention this, but I spotted this one myself first.


[citation needed]! - not saying you're wrong, but it could just be a guy who sounds enough like Harry Shearer to be mistaken for him. A quick Google only turned up one other reference, and that's just a comment on a blog.

DE

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I think my inner geek just exploded. ;)

As most of these guys are still working in the industry, perhaps they can be contacted and politely asked if they worked on the film?


Where were you in '77?

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Darth Editous said:

The Death Star officer who tells Vader "There's no one on board, sir. According to the log, the crew abandoned ship right after takeoff" is dubbed by none other than Harry Shearer, of "The Simpsons" fame. Only a couple places online mention this, but I spotted this one myself first.

[citation needed]! - not saying you're wrong, but it could just be a guy who sounds enough like Harry Shearer to be mistaken for him. A quick Google only turned up one other reference, and that's just a comment on a blog.

DE
I messaged him on Twitter, let's see if it works.

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doubleofive said:

I LOVE THE INTERNET:

http://twitter.com/#!/theharryshearer/status/183263530261286913

 

That's pretty cool.  I had never heard mention before of Shearer being in Star Wars.

This post has been edited.

 

"In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be "replaced" by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten." - George Lucas

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That's awesome! :D

Does this make me a 2 if we were playing Six Degrees of Harry Shearer?

DE

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doubleofive said:

Of course! Does that mean I'm a 1?!


That's not for me to say!

Oh, wait, in the Harry Shearer game - yes.

DE

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doubleofive said:

 

Darth Editous said:


That's awesome! :D

Does this make me a 2 if we were playing Six Degrees of Harry Shearer?

DE
Of course! Does that mean I'm a 1?!

 

Wouldn't you be #5 ?

;)

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TServo2049 said:

The Shearer tweet made my day. Now if someone could just tweet Peter Cullen and ask if he voiced the Cantina bartender...

I know he's on Facebook.  I really don't think that's him, though.

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Great to hear confirmation of this. As a big Harry Shearer fan and some one with more than a little exposure to SW (from my childhood obsession from '77 to the early '80s to my work on dozens of SW books and comics in the late 90s) I began to suspect this in the late 1990s. I confirmed it a few years later directly from Mr Shearer via email.

As there wasn't any mention of it online at the time I created a Wookieepedia page detailing all the information about 5 or 6 years ago, including the dialogue and characters, but it was flagged for original content. Despite this it stayed up until a year or two ago. Nice to see the information finally get out there.

Glen Mullaly 

 

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