Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is one of the movies I've been most intrigued by. A spin-off set in the margins of the Star Wars universe? Previously this was the kind of stuff that was handled in toss-off tie-in books and comics, but will now be as much a part of the canon as any other filmed story. It's neat, and it begins to expand the Star Wars Universe in exciting ways.
And this story itself is pretty cool - a ragtag group of heroes and scoundrels united in an effort to steal the plans of the Death Star. It's the kind of off-screen action that has sparked our imaginations for decades, and done right it could be an exciting addition to the mythology. Done wrong and it'll be a total bummer. And by the way - it has nothing to do with Bothans. That's Return of the Jedi you're thinking of.
Hopefully this weekend at Comic-Con we will get some more information about the film, but in the meantime I have a tiny tidbit to share. I ran into a good source this past weekend and, over drinks, was told a nugget that should make people pretty intrigued: Darth Vader will be in Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. He will not be the main antagonist but he will be working behind the scenes, pulling strings and will appear onscreen. Literally, I'm told - he'll be showing up via viewscreen or holo projection or something. Will our heroes actually run into the Dark Lord of the Sith in person? My source wouldn't say. My source was also mum about Grand Moff Tarkin, who was of course the commander of the fully operational Death Star.
It makes sense that Vader would be a presence in this movie, but it's still exciting. This will be the first time we have seen real Darth Vader (no, I am not counting the "DO NOT WANT!" Vader from Revenge of the Sith) in live action since 1983. This will be Vader at the critical moment in his history, working for Tarkin but still a legendary menace whose appearance strikes fear into the hearts of all who encounter him. This is the Vader who walks in and fucks shit up personally, the guy who Tarkin points at a problem to make it disappear. This is classic Darth Vader.
James Earl Jones recently revoiced Vader for Star Wars Rebels, but I have to say that I noticed a difference. How could there not be - Jones is an old dude at this point! I wonder if they'll go back to Jones for this or if Lucasfilm is going to find themselves a new voice of Vader, someone they can use reliably for the next few decades. This would be a strong way to introduce that new voice.