Warning: Spoilers for Rogue One!
There’s no shortage of exciting rumours surrounding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Since Disney and Lucasfilm dropped the first teaser for the upcoming spinoff movie, the forums and Reddit threads have been abuzz with speculation and theories about a variety of story elements, with a focus being on villains.
One of those villains has indeed been Darth Vader. It was first suggested months ago that the Sith Lord would be making a particularly brutal appearance in the film, set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope – and it now looks that his presence is a 100% guarantee.
Vader Cameo ‘Verified’…
The ever-dependable folks over at Making Star Wars have met with their sources and discussed Vader in their latest podcast episode, describing ‘amazing’ photos of Vader posing, while they also mentioned a new look at Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) in the black suit we saw at the end of the teaser, which they note is like a ‘new version of an AT-DP driver helmet.’
MSW write: “After meeting with sources we have been able to verify that the Darth Vader we saw from the photo shoot is from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I wanted to make sure this wasn’t Darth Vader for a television ad or some kind of promotion. We have been covering rumours of Darth Vader in this film for some time, but I try not to jump too far into things until I see proof, which we now have. We first heard Brian Muir (original Darth Vader costume sculptor) was working on Rogue One back in November.”
We must stress that MSW describe it as a ‘cameo,’ so Vader’s involvement in the film may not be as central as Ben Mendelsohn’s villain. Regardless, it’s probable that Vader will steal any scene he’s in and it’s particularly exciting that we’ve also heard rumours about his ‘Death Squad.’ It’s also believed that James Earl Jones is locked into returning as the Sith’s voice and that the costume is an exact match to the one we see in A New Hope, down to the finest details like the belt buckle and shoulder tunic.
MSW also comment on the actor, Spencer Wilding, being a ‘slam dunk’ in the suit, commenting that they have definitely found the right person and that it’s difficult to distinguish the Rogue One Vader from the one in A New Hope.
“I find it to be virtually indistinguishable from the original. They nailed it. In the photos you cannot tell the difference between this guy and the Bob Anderson/David Prowse Darth Vader from the Original Trilogy,” MSW’s Editor-in-Chief Jason Ward writes.
The Bacta Tank Mystery Solved?
But wait, it gets EVEN more exciting. They have also heard from a source close to production that Darth Vader is the one inside the Bacta Tank we see in the teaser trailer.
“One source is certain that the blue tank we see in the teaser has Darth Vader inside it. This person has a lot of material associated with the production. They believe a sequence was filmed in which Darth Vader gets his limbs interchanged and repaired in the movie. If accurate, it would explain some in-universe discrepancies around Darth Vader’s abilities in the 1977 film compared to the rest of the stories we’ve seen from Vader’s appearances in Star Wars Rebels to the work Bob Anderson did to make Vader a swordsmen.
Originally David Prowse (who played Vader in the 1977 film) lied about being able to sword fight, leaving George Lucas with a Darth Vader that couldn’t really do much with a lightsaber. So the limb loss and subsequent new limbs he supposedly suffers in Rogue One makes me ponder if that’s why Darth Vader is so tight when fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi a short time later. Was he not used to the new limbs? Does he lose them because of Jyn and her band of rebels or is that the reason Jyn and her rebels are able to succeed?
Wow – this is some mega scooping right there. The guys at MSW have established a reputation as the most reputable source for information on upcoming Star Wars movies and this is another doozy. Of course, it leaves several burning questions. Will we see Anakin Skywalker’s face at some point during Rogue One? The rumours of Hayden Christensen persist, but his involvement in Rogue One (or indeed Episode VIII) remain far from verified.
What we do know for sure is that Darth Vader will be appearing in Rogue One and we can’t wait to see him back on the big screen, especially considering that the film is set when he’s at the height of his villainous powers. For the first time since the original trilogy, we’ll see the Sith killing rebels for fun and battling our new heroes, looking to ruthlessly crush the rebellion that’s built on hope.
Of course it’s important that Vader is handled in the right way and by that I mean he doesn’t steal too much of the spotlight from Jyn Erso and the rest of an intriguing ensemble of new characters. Perhaps a violence-filled cameo is the perfect way to re-introduce the villain to the Star Wars universe. Vader may not be the only villain we see, too, as Alden Ehrenreich’s young Han Solo is rumoured to be making an appearance, giving us a glimpse of our new Nerf herder before his own spinoff movie, to be released in May 2018.
As always, make sure to let us know your thoughts on Vader, the Bacta Tank and Rogue One as a whole! Our excitement for this movie is reaching The Force Awakens levels.