Matt Sloane is the man beneath the mask. The Chad Vader mask.
He is also the voice of Darth Vader in the tremendous new Lucasarts release, The Force Unleashed out September 16. It's an enormous responsibility that requires a special kind of talent, and a special kind of man. Matt Sloane IS that man. We felt it wasn't quite enough to run the full series of Chad Vader to share in the joy - we had to talk to Chad himself.
So here his ladies and gentlemen, the voice of Chad Vader, the voice of Darth Vader, Matt Sloane.
Hi Matt - huge fan of Chad Vader! Most impressive...
Tell us the journey from Chad Vader Day Shift Manager to The Force Unleashed?
The people at Lucasarts saw Chad Vader and liked what they heard, so they asked me to do a game called Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. I guess they liked how it went, so I got to do TFU.
When did you first realise you could 'do' Darth Vader?
We had written the first episode of Chad Vader and realized that we still didn't have a person to do the voice. I had done some voice work and a few impersonations in the past, so I figured I'd try doing the voice. We watched all three movies in the original trilogy, fast forwarding to the Vader scenes and I got a sense of how he talked: the way he said certain words, the cadence of his voice, and then we did the recording session. As soon as we worked some of the bugs out of the processing equipment (the digital processing of the voice was developed by our Sound Engineer, John Lee) we realized we had a pretty good facsimile of the voice.
When did you first realise you could 'do' Darth beyond what other people think they can do?
I guess when people around the world started watching the show and commenting on how good the voice was.
Are there special voice exercises you do?
No. I probably should. I have some mp3s on my ipod of Vader speaking, and I will often listen to those while recording, to keep from "drifting" away from the voice.
Have you met James Earl Jones, or even better, David Prowse? If not, will you pat David Prowse on the back when you meet him and say 'I think he would've sounded much better with an English accent'.?
I haven't met Mr. Jones, it would be a big thrill to get to do that. I actually have met David Prowse at a Sci-fi convention in Toronto, and in fact, my wife and I had breakfast with him a few times during the course of the convention. He's a hell of a nice guy and a great conversationalist. He had lots of cool stories.
When reading the 'serious' dialogue for TFU, were there any moments where it became a little too funny?
There were times it was difficult because the dialogue was so different than the dialogue that is in the movies. Also it's really hard to say the word "General" in the Vader voice.
Does it feel odd to be the hero of the best Star Wars experience currently available?
Well, I think I'm technically the villain, but yeah it's weird. I had to buy the "Battle-damaged Vader" from the new line of Star Wars toys, because that's a Force Unleashed toy, so that's MY action figure. It's kind of cool to have your own action figure.
Has Chad Vader actually made any money for anyone involved, other than yourself with these sweet Star Wars gigs?
Aaron Yonda (the co-creator of Chad Vader) and I have become full time filmmakers as a result of the success of Chad Vader. We've been doing it for about 1 & 1/2 years, and it's been going pretty well so far.
Have you met George Lucas yet?
Not yet, but I've been to the Lucas ranch in San Francisco twice.
If so, did you say something utterly embarrassing and inappropriate? Did you stare at him?
I probably would. I'm terrible at meeting celebrities.
Has anything changed now that you've moved from 'fan' to 'Lucasarts coworker'?
I can finally impress people at parties.
How are preparations for the full length Chad Vader movie coming along?
We've got various new Chad things in development. Stay tuned.
Is there something deep in your heart that Darth Vader has given you?
A strange desire to choke people from across the room.
Can Darth Vader costumes be put in the washing machine, or are they dry clean only?
The best method is probably a garden hose.
What's your best ever Darth dialogue ad-lib in a real world situation?
I don't really bust out the voice in social situations, that's kind of not my style. I've had some good ones in the show, though. Like when Chad got drunk on Chocolatinis and nearly got into a fist fight with his arch rival, Clint. "You want some of this? Well come get it! That's right, it's feeding time and my fists are the meals..."
The Force Unleashed is out now.