‘Star Wars’: Darth Vader Will Appear In ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Rumors that Darth Vader, the original dark Sith Lord himself, would appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are confirmed while other questions are raised after an exclusive appeared in Entertainment Weekly this morning. While Darth Vader will play a role in the prequel to the Star Wars saga, he won’t be the main villain, leaving many questions about the plot unanswered.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is meant to be a standalone addition to the Star Wars mythology, although the plot lines and, in at least one case, characters intersect. The storyline of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fills in some of the gaps that arise from the beginning of Star Wars IV: A New Hope, the original film in the series that debuted in 1977. The plot of A New Hope hinges on the idea that Princess Leia is in possession of plans that reveal a weakness in the design of Darth Vader’s Death Star, a weapon that can destroy planets. Rogue One backs up the action 34 years earlier to put together the motley crew of freedom fighters who stole those plans to the original Death Star. Even if Darth Vader does not play the role of the central villain in Rogue One, he is at least part of that story.

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Essentially, Rogue One is the story of a heist from the battlefield, continuing the kind of daring adventure story the Star Wars franchise has always epitomized. While the stories overlap, there is much that will look new about the Star Wars universe in Rogue One, including new weaponry and a multi-ethnic cast that includes Diego Luna, Jiang Wen, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker, and Alan Tudyk as an Imperial droid captured and re-purposed by the Rebel Alliance (via motion capture). Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones, is the leader of the band of freedom fighters that are forming the fledgling Rebel Alliance that is eventually led by Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode IV. Movie Pilot reports on speculation that the storyline of Rogue One will end at some point just before the events of A New Hope begin.

Movie Pilot also reports that James Earl Jones will be back to voice the deep, menacing Darth Vader. On the villain’s side, audiences will get a closer glimpse of what goes on within the ranks of the Imperial soldiers through the role of an officer played by Ben Mendelsohn. Will his character, an ambitious officer who has to walk the tightrope between pleasing the Emperor and keeping Darth Vader at bay, emerge as the main villain for the emerging Rebel Alliance?

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Rogue One — an even darker Darth Vader?

While the Dark Side will be in full force in the movie, as Verge reports, there will be no Jedi presence in Rogue One. An article by Verge notes that the time period would represent Darth Vader at the height of his powers as the ruthless enforcer of the Emperor.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is rumored to be focused on the battlefield action, and the film is said to have a dark tone – perhaps too dark. As reported by Movie Pilot, rumors on Reddit are swirling over ultra-violent battle scenes, some reportedly featuring Darth Vader. Many scenes from Rogue One are being re-shot, and the gossip mill has it that an overly dark and bloodthirsty tone to the film is one of the reasons.

Rogue One is directed by Gareth Edwards, best known for the 2014 remake of Godzilla. With the release of Star Wars Episode 8 pushed back another seven months, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is highly anticipated. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is scheduled for release this December

[Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images]