We are less than six months out from the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and all has been quiet on the news front. A little too quiet. Other than some of the actors dodging questions during interviews like it’s their job — except Mads Mikkelsen who just throws caution to the wind — we’re as in the dark as we were when the trailer dropped.


This morning EW released a round-up of what to expect from their Rogue One issue this week. They tease everything from the names of the new Imperial vehicles to more information about Jyn Erso’s father, but there’s one important character that is finally confirmed to be appearing: Darth Vader.

Finally, confirmation of what fans have hoped ever since the project was announced: Vader is back. We have a run-down of the Sith lord’s first day on set, and what his return means for the larger Star Wars storytelling universe.

The news isn’t shocking. Rogue One takes place immediately before A New Hope, meaning Vader was fully in the thick of the Empire’s galactic takeover. Both Star Wars Rebels, Darth Vader comic, and Paul S. Kemp’s novel Lords of the Sith have established Vader was no figurehead. He was an enforcer. So it’s only logical he would show up. Especially since it was Vader who chased down Princess Leia to retrieve the plans.

For me, the real questions are the logistics. We can assume James Earl Jones will be repeating his voice work for the Sith Lord, but who will be under the mask? The original man in the metal suit was David Prowse, but at 80 years old he probably isn’t going to return to the role. Hayden Christensen has said he’d return if asked, but would there be a place for him in a non-Jedi-ghost capacity?

No matter, though. In the end, the important thing is the Rebels will have to contend with the greatest weapon in the Emperor’s arsenal. And I’m not talking about the Death Star.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters on December 16, 2016

Mom. Wife. Geek. Gamer. Feminist. Writer. Sarcastic. Succinct. Donna has been writing snark for the Internet in one form or another for almost a decade. She has a lot of opinions, mostly on science-fiction, fantasy, feminism, and Sailor Moon. Follow her on Twitter (@MildlyAmused) for more of all these things.