With so many voice actors lending their talents, it shouldn’t be too surprising to occasionally find yourself going, “Now where have I heard that person before? He or she sounds so familiar.” I’ve done that so often that I wanted to make a list of some of the bigger celebrities and actors who are behind the characters that the SWTOR community’s interacted with since 2012.
Here are just 10 of the many great talents that helped to create this game experience — and I didn’t even have room to include Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Armin Shimerman, which I feel is a darn shame.
1. Jennifer Hale: Female Trooper and Satele Shan
Jennifer Hale is probably best-known in video game circles for being the voice behind FemShep in all three Mass Effect games, although she’s certainly made her mark in other games and animated TV series. More than one SWTOR player has remarked that playing the female Trooper is much like getting a fourth outing for FemShep, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Hale’s also popped up in several places to be Jedi Master Satele Shan, which has got to be weird when a Trooper is talking to her.
2. Nolan North: Male Jedi Consular
Everyone seems to know who Nolan North is. The guy’s been in more video games than I’ve ever played, including Uncharted, EverQuest II, Saint’s Row, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy XIV, Marvel Heroes, Destiny and World of Warcraft. You know, the little games.
I feel he’s a little wasted in the role of the Jedi Consular, however, as this class is one of the weakest and least exciting of the whole bunch. Still, cool to have him as part of the crew!
3. Lacey Chabert: Mako
Party of Five alum Lacey Chabert takes up the role as the Bounty Hunter’s first companion, the sweet-yet-complicated Mako. Every class seems to have at least one companion who gets the lion’s share of the side stories, and Mako definitely hogs the narrative in her search for her past. Chabert’s done some voice acting in addition to her live roles, including a stint in the sadly shuttered Infinite Crisis.
4. David Hayter: Male Jedi Knight
David Hayter is a common name on many-a-geek’s lips for his streak of voicing Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid games. Yet he’s also an accomplished screenwriter, having worked on X-Men, X2, and Watchmen. So Jedi Knight players are pretty fortunate to get his voice talents, which is as close to a starring role as SWTOR gets. I will say that shouting “JEDIIIIII” is no substitute for a good old-fashioned “SNAAAAAAAAKE!” freak-out.
5. Kari Wahlgren: Female Jedi Knight
Like many of the names on this list, Wahlgren has mountains of credits under her belt, including live-action, animated, anime, and video game projects. Players might know her as the voice of Caithe in Guild Wars 2, Vex in Skyrim, Emma Frost in Marvel Heroes, or freakin’ Kirsten Geary in The Secret World. She’s earned her place at the Jedi Knight table and then some.
6. Rachael Leigh Cook: Jaesa Willsaam
Anyone remember Cook’s early stint doing that awesome anti-drug commercial? So many people fell in love with her after that. Me? Oh, I plead the fifth. It’s ironic, then, that she’s a romance option for the Sith Warrior as well as a Jedi Padawan who can be corrupted to the Dark Side of the Force. Cook isn’t as known for being a voice-over artist (although she’s been Tifa Lockhart in Kingdom Hearts II), but she’s a good catch for the game’s companion line-up.
7. Tara Strong: Risha and Holiday
Speaking of personal heroes, I am in perpetual awe of Tara Strong’s portfolio. She’s been working since the ’80s and is best known for doing the voice of Bubbles in Powerpuff Girls, Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony, Dil and Timmy in Rugrats, Harley Quinn in various Batman games and shows, and Rikku in Final Fantasy X — and that’s just scratching the surface. In SWTOR she does double-duty in the companion circuit as both Risha (a Smuggler companion) and Holiday, a holographic assistant of a Jedi Consular companion. Dang it, now I’m going to have to roll a Consular, aren’t I?
8. Maurice LaMarche: General Var Suthra, Lox, and The Wheezer
I’ve been a fan of LaMarche ever since watching Futurama, where he takes on various roles including Kif and Morbo. He’s also fairly well-known for being the voice of Brain (as in Pinky and the Brain), Chief Quimby on the old Inspector Gadget, various soldiers in G.I. Joe, Scuttle from The Little Mermaid, and tons of other people in The Simpsons, Powerpuff Girls, Transformers, and Rick and Morty. Seriously, the man is a legend, and you’ve heard his voice whether or not you realized it at the time.
9. Phil LaMarr: Master Syo Bakarn and Sanju Pyne
Phil LaMarr is another one of those people who has been all over the place. He was a principal on MADtv, been the voice of Hermes in Futurama, and had roles in scads of animated shows and movies over the past few decades. It shouldn’t be too surprising, then, that LaMarr was involved with both Knights of the Old Republic games, the Mass Effect series, Diablo III, and Marvel Super Hero Squad Online. The only question I have with his involvement with SWTOR is this: Where did he find the time?
10. Thomas F. Wilson: Various characters
This name gave me whiplash when I was scanning down the cast list for SWTOR. It’s Biff from Back to the Future! Who probably desperately wants people to stop seeing him only as Biff from Back to the Future!
Wilson is mostly a stand-up comedian, musician, and television actor these days, although he does have a few video game voiceover credits that include the Wing Commander series. I can’t recall ever identifying his voice in SWTOR, mostly because no NPC has ever said to me, “What are you looking at, butthead?”