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‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ & ‘Rogue One’ Spoilers: Darth Vader, Han Solo Returns Rumored, Hayden Christensen To Begin Training

We’re still over two years away from the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII. But that hasn’t stopped speculation and hearsay regarding who might pop up in the hugely anticipated sequel from emerging, with the latest suggesting that the original trilogy’s main villain might be inline for a comeback.

Obviously, there might be some spoilers ahead. So if you want to try and see Star Wars: Episode VIII with a clear view that hasn’t been ruined by possible spoilers, don’t read ahead.

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[Image via Lucasfilm]
OK, so the latest rumors regarding future Star Wars films are that Darth Vader himself will be returning. But it’s been alleged that the legendary villain, who was last seen dying in the arms of his son, Luke Skywalker, at the end of Return Of The Jedi won’t just be appearing in Star Wars: Episode VIII. It’s also been speculated that he’ll feature prominently in Rogue One, too.

This speculation comes from Making Star Wars. But the website insists that all of these rumors need to be taking with a pinch of salt, and they’re not promising that they’ll come to fruition. Still, it’s always fun to speculate about these kind of rumors. Especially when they feature one of the most beloved characters in the history of cinema returning.

OK, let’s start off with the Rogue One rumors first. The first Star Wars anthology film is set in between the antics of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and it revolves around a group of Rebel fighters than come together to try and steal the plans for the Death Star before it can actually be used.

Because of its story, there have long been rumors that Darth Vader could make an appearance in Rogue One. In fact, it was even speculated earlier this year that concept art of the character already existed that included Darth Vader.

Filming on Rogue One actually began back in the summer, and this led people to assume that Darth Vader’s participation might be confirmed by now. Obviously that’s not happened yet, while it’s also likely that Lucasfilm and Disney would probably decide to keep that news secret until it was actually released.

It’s also been rumored that a fully operational Darth Vader chest piece and helmet was spotted on set, which only helped to increase speculation.

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[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]
While it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see Darth Vader in Rogue One, recent rumors over the villain’s involvement in Star Wars: Episode VIII are a surprise. Making Star Wars even had a quote that suggested Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones and Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, is already in training for the role.

The rumored insider explained, “A team in the U.K. are soon heading to the U.S. to begin training Hayden Christensen for a Star Wars: Episode VIII appearance of some sort.”

This would suggest that Darth Vader wouldn’t just be a ghost, but would may be resurrected and involved as part of the story — maybe even in a flashback.

But the cameo rumors didn’t stop there though. That’s because it’s also been suggested that Han Solo will also have a cameo in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with the latest rumors, via Collider, suggesting that the list of 8 actors that have been shortlisted to replace Harrison Ford in the untitled Han Solo Anthology Film will actually debut in Rogue One.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released on December 15, 2016, while Star Wars Episode VIII will follow on May 16, 2017.

[Image via Lucasfilm]

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