Darth Vader is easily one of the greatest, if not the single greatest movie villain in the history of cinema. A lot of that has to do with the brilliant voice work by James Earl Jones in the original Star Wars trilogy. Not only just his iconic voice itself, but the lines and the way in which they were delivered. But what if instead of James Earl Jones, Darth Vader was voiced by action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger using lines from his own movies? You need no longer wonder.
YouTuber Jason Einert decided to take it upon himself to take some of the most famous scenes featuring Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy and swap out James Earl Jones' dialogue for Schwarzenegger's. The video has been on YouTube since 2012, but it has recently been making the rounds again. So if you've never seen it, now would be a great time to check it out. If you have seen it, probably wouldn't hurt to check it out again, because it is very well done and absolutely hilarious.
It all works shockingly well. One great example is when Darth Vader is getting ready to shoot down the Y-Wings during the trench run on the Death Star and, just as he is getting one in his sights the Arnold line from Last Action Hero kicks in where he says "To be or not to be? Not to be." That is not to say that we would have necessarily wanted to hear James Earl Jones say something that utterly cheesy as Darth Vader in Star Wars, but it does work in a way that is quite different, but effective.
This does serve as a reminder that things can go any number of ways in the development process. Not that George Lucas would have cast Arnold Schwarzenegger in the part of Darth Vader, but it wasn't always going to be James Earl Jones. And the scripts went through various drafts. What if George Lucas had decided to turn him into a cheesy catchphrase machine instead of the chilling, brooding, mysterious villain that we cherish and love today? Or what if Darth Vader loved puns? That is something we got a small taste of in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. James Earl Jones came back to voice the character again, but the line, "Be careful not to choke on your aspirations," has been the subject of a bit of criticism due to its cheesiness. Some fans love it, some fans, not so much. Can you imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger saying it, though? After you watch the video, I'm sure you can.
The lines that Jason Einert used to create the video are mostly from when Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the biggest movie stars on the planet throughout the 80s and 90s. And he had more than enough to work with. Fair warning, this video is most definitely NSFW, so you may want to throw on some headphones if you're not in the comfort of your own home. Be sure to check out the video for yourself below.