Darth Vader Confirmed as ‘Rogue One’ Villain, James Earl Jones to Return

{Insert heavy breathing meme here}

[dropcap size=small]D[/dropcap]arth Vader will well and truly be back in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and what’s more, James Earl Jones’ iconic voice will be delivering Vader’s lines on the big screens for the first time since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed the return of the heavy breathing Sith Lord in an interview with EW, during which it was also revealed that 85 year-old Jones will be back to lend his rich voice to the classic bad guy. Jones has recently voiced Vader in Disney DX’s Star Wars: Rebels, but Darth has been largely absent from the big screens since the prequel trilogy came out over a decade ago. 

Given that Rogue One follows a group of Rebels who seek to obtain the Death Star plans Princess Leia has at the beginning of A New Hope, Vader has to be involved somehow. So just how much Darth Vader can we expect to see in the Rogue One off-shoot movie? 

Well, the answer is ‘just a little bit,’ which may seem quite disappointing to hardcore Vader fans, but in actual fact his cameo appearance looks set to play a part in a big event in the movie – as Kennedy explains:

“He will be in the movie sparingly…But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”

Looming large sounds pretty promising and Kennedy has got us intrigued about this ‘key strategic moment’ that’s going to take place. Using Vader sparingly may also be a very good thing, since his presence will carry more weight when we do see him get in on the action. 

The interview also uncovered where in the timeline of events in the Star Wars cinematic ‘verse we see Vader’s return. Rogue One is said to take place 19 years after the occurrences of Revenge of the Sith – in which Anakin got badly burnt during his famous lava debate with Obi-Wan Kenobi, leading him to don his famous black suit.

When we see Vader he’s apparently only ‘a background player in galactic politics,’ who’s still climbing the ranks to get to where we see him in A New Hope. The Rebels don’t really know him as the dark figure we all know in Episodes IV, V and VI, and although they’ve heard tales of the fallen Jedi, he’s more of a legend than an influential figure.

Whilst his role may be a small one in the larger scheme of things, Darth Vader’s return – along with Jones’ reprisal of Vader’s voice – is such a treat for fans of the big bad guy, and from the sounds of it, his brief cameo will play a key part in the events of Rogue One. 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release 16 December, 2016.



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