Confirmed: Darth Vader Will Appear in ‘Rogue One’

Given the close proximity in the timeline between  “Star Wars: A New Hope” and the forthcoming “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” many have predicted that Darth Vader would be appearing in the latter film. In its latest issue, Entertainment Weekly confirms that the famous villain will be returning to the big screen in “Rogue One.”

EW writer Anthony Breznican appeared on Good Morning America to promote the issue and discuss the news. On the show, he explained, “Darth Vader kind of looms large over the plot even when he’s not necessarily on screen because the new villain played by Ben Mendelsohn, Director Krennic, [is] trying to fulfill the wishes of the Emperor and he’s got kinda Vader looming in the background over his shoulder, making sure that he gets the job done.”

One mystery still remains: who will play Vader in the film? In the original trilogy, David Prowse wore the suit, with James Earl Jones providing the voice.

The Gareth Edwards film has also been plagued with reshoot rumors of late, with reports confirming that the cast and crew, which includes stars Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”), Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker and Edwards, will be reshooting in order to “lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story and restore a sense of fun to the adventure.”

According to a source at The Hollywood Reporter, execs screened the film and found that it didn’t match the tone of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” Although the film is being touted as a spinoff and not a prequel, the source says the film is “the closest thing to a prequel ever” and “leads up to the 10 minutes before [A New Hope] begins.” Instead of the fun, action/sci-fi adventure feel of the original films, “Rogue One” reportedly felt more like a somber war movie.

The plot of the film revolves around resistance fighters who embark on a daring mission to steal the Empire’s plans for the Death Star. In the original trilogy, Princess Leia winds up with the plans and gives them to R2-D2.

There are also rumors that in addition to changing the tone of the film, a cameo will be added to include the newly cast Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. This has not been confirmed, however.

Original reports of a reshoot came by way of the New York Post, who reported that the film was not testing well. THR later clarified that “Rogue One” has not been screened for audiences yet, just studio execs. The outlet also points out that reshoots are not uncommon, especially for large movies such as this. The actors even have it built into their contracts when they first board a film. In addition, J.J. Abrams reportedly tinkered quite a bit with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the last minute prior to that film’s release.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is due for release on December 16 of this year.