StarCraft 2 – Jim Raynor, Blizzard and the Ugly
Jim Raynor is a character from the Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War expansion who inspired many good feelings in the Single Player Campaigns. From Marshal of a backwater outpost in Mar Sara to leader of the Rebels against the Confederates, and later the Dominion and Mengsk, Jim Raynor continued his quest for a better tomorrow for humanity. No matter the odds facing him and his team. Or the challenges.
Jim Raynor, however, lost one odd that couldn’t be beaten: Blizzard. A year ago, at BlizzCon 2007, the Starcraft 2 team panels revealed that a new voice actor was given a casting to perform as Jim Raynor. This however is not the Jim Raynor’s voice that we know and love for the past ten years. No. The reasoning behind this change was that the original concept of Jim Raynor was designed from a TV series titled Texas Ranger. With Starcraft 2, the opportunity to hire someone meeting this and other requirements presented itself.
Is this what fans want? I really doubt that. Would you enjoy upcoming Harry Potter films without Daniel Radcliffe? Would you enjoy the X-files without Scully and Mulder? Would you enjoy The Simpsons if Homer and Bart’s voice actors were replaced? In the case of the original Starcraft, the voice of an actor is what gives texture and life to a character. We have heard Jim Raynor’s voice in the single player, and the User-Map Settings games over and over for ten years. We aren’t tired of his voice. We listen to his voice, and we know immediately, that’s Jim Raynor. That’s the man who has gone through bitter and krap, and continues his fight with no rest. Like a man in real life should. Jim Raynor and his voice have become as iconic and symbolic as any other character’s of any TV show, Comic Book, Cartoon, or film franchise.
A change of a character’s voice or in the case of TV series or films, the actor, can be justified if the original actor has passed away. The show must go on. However, when the actor is willing to continue his role from the bottom of his heart, and the administration decides to change the actor to stick to the original plan for a character … something is really, really bad. It is not a smart decision to tick off the fanbase. The voice actor was hired for the roll in Starcraft, and its expansion pack. Starcraft 2 should have the same voice actor performing Jim Raynor as we know and love.
Glynnis Talken reprised her role as Sarah Kerrigan the Queen of Blades in Starcraft 2. The same should have been done with Robert Clotworthy for his role as Jim Raynor. I will play Starcraft 2 regardless with the new voice actor. But there will be a stake buried deep in my mind permanently … that is no longer Jim Raynor. That’s someone else. Every time I play the Starcraft 2 Single Player campaign … it will echo within my mind: “That is not the Jim Raynor I have known for ten years.”
Robert Clotworthy informed Blizzplanet the following:
“I just found out today that I will not be returning as the voice of Jim Raynor. The casting director of Starcraft 2 contacted Blizzard and was told that they appreciated my work, but were going in another direction. I am obviously disappointed by their decision. I was looking forward to returning as Raynor and was hoping that Blizzard would at the very least have given me the opportunity of auditioning.
It has been my privilege to have been the voice of Jim Raynor. I am disappointed by Blizzard’s decision, but I must respect it. I wish Blizzard only the best with StarCraft 2, and I am certain the game will live up to everyone’s expectations. Thank you to all the fans who have given me their support and enthusiasm, it means a lot to me.
A year ago, Blizzplanet interviewed Robert Clotworthy shortly after Starcraft 2 was officially announced at the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals in South Korea. He expressed his feelings toward his role as Jim Raynor.
Robert Clotworthy has been actor or voice over actor of over a hundred film, TV episode, cartoon and game projects in the past thirty years of his career. Among them: Batman (Game), Tekken 5, Everquest II, The Young and the Restless, The Davinci Code (Game), Matlock, Melrose Place, Remington Steele, Three’s Company, Dynasty, The Rockford Files (1978), Columbo, M*A*S*H* and many others. Read his entire career background at imdb.com.