*POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW*
Last week, Entertainment Weekly revealed a plethora of information concerning Rogue One which takes place 19 years after Revenge of the Sith and just before the events of A New Hope. Included in their exciting updates was the confirmation of Darth Vader's character appearing in the film.
This time frame obviously ages the man under the helmet a bit making him about 41 years old, but this doesn't mean he isn't one to be feared in combat. Kathleen Kennedy revealed that, "Darth Vader will be in the moving sparingly, but at a key, strategic moment, he's going to loom large." My personal opinion on this comment is that Vader will be involved in an epic battle defeating his opponent/s, but also walking away in bad shape resulting in his rigid state which is apparent in his lightsaber duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
I've desperately wanted to see Darth Vader in his prime to get a better idea of what he is capable of and I am hoping that Rogue One will give us an obviously small but juicy taste of that. In Rebels we see Vader using the force in powerful ways, and in his duel with former Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, his lightsaber skills were aggressive, strategic, and swift. While it's fascinating to see him in action in cartoon form, there would be nothing quite like seeing him this way in a live action film.
As you know, James Earl Jones provided the voice of Vader in Rebels and he will be returning once again in Rogue One while several individuals (unfortunately none of which are Hayden Christensen) will be wearing the suit in the film.
We also learned that although there is a dark power that the Rebels are aware of, they don't exactly know of Darth Vader. The villain they are familiar with is Director Orson Krennic (aka as "the guy with the white cape"), an Imperial Officer who is no friend of Vader. I think it'll be interesting to see how their relationship plays out and if by the end of the film, more individuals are aware of the Sith Lord. I almost expect several of these new characters to be demolished (this could very well be Vader's IT scene, which I would totally be fine with as terrible as that sounds) since none of them appear to be in the later films, but I could also see some of them being used for future projects such as a comic series or a novel where we continue the rest of their journeys.
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Jayson of Yakface.com pointed out that the Death Troopers don a belt that looks almost exactly like Darth Vader's. I wondered if they might be his own personal Troopers, but EW confirms that they are actually under the command of Director Orson Krennic, "He intends to use his squad of Death Troopers to pulverize the Rebel uprising and ascend into the Emperor’s graces – while hopefully avoiding the wrath of his enforcer, Darth Vader." Still, it seems their armor was designed with Vader in mind which leads me to believe their is more backstory to the Death Troopers that has yet to be revealed. And yes, they did in fact mention the Emperor.
You can read the full article concerning Darth Vader in Rogue One on Entertainment Weekly.
What are your personal hopes for Darth Vader in Rogue One? Leave a comment below or Tweet me!
Rogue One hits theaters December 16, 2016.