‘Star Wars’ Voice Actor Tom Kane Has Retired Due to Complications From Stroke
In a post by his family, Tom Kane, best known by Star Wars fans for voicing Yoda in The Clone Wars and narrating the opening for every episode, is no longer be able to voice act and is retiring, as he continues to recover from a stroke he suffered last year. The most important news is that Kane is still with us and has a great support system behind him in his family.
Tom Kane’s medical emergency was first reported on at the very end of a very chaotic year in 2020, with his family confirming that he was working studiously with physical therapists and speech therapists in the hope that he could resume his work. Unfortunately, a more recent update from his family has outright stated that due to continued difficulty speaking from the medical condition Apraxia, he will not be able to do any more voice acting. You can read a full statement from Kane’s son Sam below:
This marks a significant loss for the voice acting industry, given that Kane has been responsible for bringing voices to beloved characters such as Professor Utonium from The Powerpuff Girls, Darwin in The Wild Thornberrys, and supervillains like Magneto and Ultron in various Marvel Comics adaptations in his long career. In terms of Star Wars, Tom Kane has a number of credits to his name. He has been the go-to voice for Yoda for smaller Star Wars projects since 2000 – a whole 20 years of voicing our little green friend – and voiced the character through the entirety of The Clone Wars, in addition to providing the opening narration for every episode and also lending his talents to Wullf Yularen. He’s been involved with all of the Disney-produced Star Wars movies, with his most prominent role being to voice Admiral Gial Ackbar for The Last Jedi (after late Erik Bauersfeld reprised his Return of the Jedi role in The Force Awakens). Kane also provided additional voicework for The Force Awakens, Rogue One, Solo, and The Rise of Skywalker.
Recently, Tom Kane was heard in the very first scene of The Bad Batch, narrating the opening sequence of the premiere like a typical episode of The Clone Wars before things took a darker turn with Order 66. His final work for the Star Wars franchise will appear in next year’s LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which he completed recording for well before the game was delayed multiple times. Nonetheless, as sad as we are that we won’t be hearing his take on Yoda or various other Star Wars characters again, we’re happy that Kane is recovering after his stroke and is being cared for by his family, and we wish him the best going forward. The Force is with him.
Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.