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Star Wars: Vader Yourself: The Force is weak with this one

It's a great idea--turn your voice into Darth Vader's--but this app simply can't make you sound like James Earl Jones. Still, for 99 cents, kids will have fun.

Ever wonder about those controls on the front of Vader's outfit? Now you know: they're for making voice recordings.
Ever wonder about those controls on the front of Vader's outfit? Now you know: they're for making voice recordings. Lucasfilm

Admit it: you've always wanted to talk like Darth Vader. Alas, your voice has all the deep, menacing bass of Justin Bieber's.

Enter Star Wars: Vader Yourself, a Lucasfilm-licensed app that makes your spoken words sound like the big man's--in theory, at least.

I like the app from a style standpoint: it's modeled after the control panel on Vader's chest. To make a recording, you tap the Record switch, provide a filename, then start speaking. You're instructed to use a loud, menacing voice--meaning you should probably find a very secluded area, unless you're fond of bemused stares.

When you're done, you'll hear Vader's trademark heavy breathing, followed by a slowed, deepened version of your voice. The expectation: that you'll sound like James Earl Jones. The reality: you don't. There's no metallic undertone, no computer-generated Dark Sidey-ness.

Granted, you can fiddle with pitch, speed, and tempo sliders to get your sound bite just how you want it--but it'll never sound like Darth Vader. Once you get past that inevitable disappointment, the app is at least fun to play with. And you can share recordings via e-mail or Facebook.

I do have to register a complaint with the name. Vader Yourself? Sounds like an insult. "Ay, buddy, go Vader yourself, alright?" I wonder if whoever came up with this moniker was the same marketing genius who liked "The Phantom Menace." (I know, I know, that was Lucas. I'm down on Star Wars right now because I rewatched "Revenge of the Sith" over the weekend and was appalled by how bad it was. Just terrible moviemaking.)

For 99 cents, Vader Yourself is probably something kids would enjoy. But as Star Wars apps go, disappointed in this one, I am. (A much better bet: the still-fun Star Wars Trench Run, which was recently updated with some new levels.)