‘Rogue One’, Darth Vader, and ‘Star Wars’ Film Slate

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a Star Wars Anthology film that will feature Darth Vader in a large role. The Gareth Edwards film is considered a prequel of sorts, taking place in the middle of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The film is an action/heist film with a group of rebels in charge of a mission to steal the architect plans for the first Death Star. The film’s all-star cast was announced at the D23 expo in August 2015. The cast includes Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Elysium), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal), Forest Whitaker (Last King of Scotland), Riz Ahmed (NightCrawler), and Ben Mendelsohn (Killing Them Softly). The film is set to hit theaters December 16, 2016, which is exactly one year from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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[Photo by Jesse Grant / Getty Images]
It is unclear if these rebels are pilots in the rebellion, Jedi Knights, bounty hunters, or a mix of the three. With Rogue One being described as a war film, it’s hard to tell. Disney has been pretty tight lipped about what we will see, but it is for certain that Darth Vader will be appearing, and he will take up a lot of screen time.

Darth Vader is the main antagonist of Rogue One, but it is not clear if he will appear via hologram – similar to the appearance of Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens – or if he will appear physically in original form. Recently providing his voicing talents in Disney’s Star Wars: Rebels, James Earl Jones is rumored to return as the voice of Darth Vader for Rogue One. However, it has also been rumored that actor Forest Whitaker may be taking up the Vader mantle. His role is listed as unspecified, so it’s not out of the ordinary to assume he may be James Earl Jones replacement. CinemaBlend has questioned whether or not featuring Vader in any new Star Wars films is a good idea. The question is whether or not Darth Vader will take the attention away from the central story by focusing too much on him, but whether or not fans think he will take away from the story. Some wonder if Darth Vader has to be included in Rogue One due to where the film takes place in the Star Wars Timeline.

Grand Moff Tarkin is another character many are wondering if they will return. Grand Moff Tarkin is the commander of the Death Star and played by actor Peter Cushing. Unfortunately, there is no confirmation if the character will return.

Rogue One, Star Wars, Darth Vader, Wars, Star, Star Wars Episode
[Photo by Jesse Grant / Getty Images]
According to Den of Geek Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is just the first of many Star Wars and Star Wars spin off films to be released. Disney’s film slate extends all the way to 2019. Director Rian Johnson (Looper), will direct Star Wars Episode VIII, which has been pushed back from its original release of May 26, 2017, to December 2017. The film will be a continuation of Episode VII, where fans may finally find out more about Rey and Finn. Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) will direct Star Wars Episode IX, which is reported to release in 2019. Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (Lego Movie) will direct a standalone Han Solo prequel film. The release date for that is May 2018. There is no word on whether or not all other film dates have been moved due to the Episode VIII being moved back seven months.

Do you think the inclusion of Darth Vader in the Rogue One spin off series is a good idea? Who would you like to see return to the series?

[Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty Images]

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