‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’: Original Trilogy Characters To Return? [Spoilers]

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is just over nine months away from release, and details regarding the film are still light on the ground. While cast members for the first Star Wars spinoff have been announced, their characters still remain secret. Thanks to the unique position the film holds in the chronology of the series, however, it appears that fans may get to see some familiar faces when it opens this December.

[Potential Spoilers Follow]

Perhaps the worst-kept secret of Rogue One‘s production is that Darth Vader will be returning to the screen. As Moviepilot notes, Vader’s original suit from A New Hope is being recreated, and none other than James Earl Jones has reportedly signed on to once again voice the character. The outlet also notes that Vader will apparently be taking up arms on the battlefield, engaging with the Rebels in a way previously unseen on screen. While it was revealed last year that Vader would be appearing in Rogue One, it was originally thought that his role would be somewhat limited, as The Inquisitr previously reported.

While one of the most popular characters in the saga, Vader isn’t the only holdover from the original trilogy likely to appear. Rogue One takes place directly preceding the events of A New Hope, detailing the mission to steal the Death Star plans, and thanks to this fact, characters who otherwise wouldn’t fit into the story can be utilized. In pursuing this goal, it appears that Disney will go so far as to even attempt to cheat death in their desire to create the proper Star Wars experience.

Peter Cushing, who portrayed Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars, passed away in 1994. According to a report from the Daily Mail released last fall, however, Disney doesn’t intend to let this unfortunate fact stand in the way of their plans, and are instead working on a groundbreaking digital performance of the late actor, in an effort to bring his character back to the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm didn’t comment on the report, yet the timeline placement of Rogue One leaves it a distinct likelihood that Tarkin could have a role to play.

More recently, photos released from the set of Rogue One have revealed other details of the production which have led fans to infer the presence of some of their favorite characters. Several of these images depict scenery that is reminiscent of the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, garnering speculation that the species would be seen as slaves in the film, subjugated by the Empire. The Tech Times notes that the actor who will be cast as a young Han Solo in the upcoming eponymous film may make a quick appearance in Rogue One, and a scene on Kashyyyk may be the perfect excuse to bring him on-screen.

A recent Lego conference, meanwhile, yielded potential spoilers when a photo of Slave I, Boba Fett’s iconic ship, was used to denote Rogue One. Prior to the release of The Force Awakens this winter, fans had speculated that the Mandalorian-clad bounty hunter would return to the screen in that film as an aged man. That idea proved to be baseless, yet reports suggest that Fett’s return may not only be true for Rogue One, but also expanded upon. As Moviepilot points out, there are rumors that Vader will regroup the same bounty hunters that appeared in The Empire Strikes Back in an effort to track down the rebels in Rogue One.

All of these reports must be taken with a grain of salt, of course, as little has been confirmed by Lucasfilm at this time. With a trailer for the film likely imminent, however, it is only a matter of time before fans get their first taste of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]