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In the Star Wars: Rebels season 2 finale,

Darth Vader's helmet is damaged and he switches from his deep James Earl Jones voice to his higher Anakin voice.

This got me thinking, was Vader's voice purposely modified for intimidation, disguise, or other purposes, or is his deep voice merely a side-effect of his extensive cybernetic alterations and/or highly damaged throat?

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It Was A Side Effect Of His Suit

Legends

His voice wasn't his own as shown by the Darth Vader's Armor article on Wookieepedia:

The med droids that had made the suit had inserted the redundant breathing tubes low enough so that, with the aid of an enunciator, his scorched vocal cords could still form sounds and words through a voice synthesizer in the mask. Absent from the enunciator in Vader's mouth grill, which imparted a synthetic bass tone, his own voice was little more than a whisper. Though limited by what the respirator could do, Vader could still make his respirator approximate a laugh or a sigh.

He himself could barely talk, but assisted by the voice synthesizer and the enunciator he could speak, shout, laugh, and hum.

Canon

The Wookieepedia page about his armor in canon is definitely lacking in detail but both canon and Legends agree that the voice change is caused by the suit:

The helmet created Vader's menacing growl due to his natural voice being very weak from vocal-cord damage.

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    You should add that this only applies to Legends.
    – Rogue Jedi
    May 4, 2016 at 16:45
  • Have the basic functions of Star Wars tech been made non-cannon? If so it would be nice to know. As far as I know the function of Vader's suit is the same now as it was before but I could be wrong. May 5, 2016 at 5:13
  • @themandolorianYou shouldn't make any assumptions on what is and isn't canon.
    – Rogue Jedi
    May 5, 2016 at 10:31
  • At least Vader could still laugh. Nov 10, 2016 at 0:52

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