Confirmed: Darth Vader Returns In STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE

Reminder: we told you this almost a year ago!

Yesterday we learned that Entertainment Weekly was sitting on a pile of Star Wars: Rogue One exclusives. To hear EW tell it, they had all kinds of stuff: a look at some new vehicles, character breakdowns for the bulk of the cast, "a look at the skullduggery inside the Imperial ranks". 

Good stuff, to be sure, but one of their promised scoops was more exciting than the rest: the return of Darth Vader. I mean, Devin broke this news almost a year ago, sure. But let's not get hung up on the details. The point is: Darth Vader's back, EW knows some stuff about it, and you should maybe read this site more often.

Anyway, today EW opened up the floodgates on what they know, and the details are pretty cool. For instance:

  • James Earl Jones is returning to voice Vader. 
  • "A variety of large-framed performers" will actually rock Vader's suit.
  • The film takes place roughly 19 years after Revenge Of The Sith
  • Rogue One Vader is still a "background player" in Galactic politics
  • As such, Darth Vader is not the main villain in Rogue One

That last bit is worth singling out for a few reasons. For one thing, it speaks to something Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy also tells EW: Vader's screentime is going to be limited. How limited, we don't know, but the fact that they're being so upfront about it now is probably an indication that it'll be very limited, indeed.

And for another, it brings us to the actual villain of Rogue One: Ben Mendelsohn's Director Orson Krennic. From the EW post:

The main antagonist of the story is Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic, an ambitious Imperial officer with Machiavellian tendencies who is eager to secure a place at the Emperor’s side. “There is a lot of palace intrigue going on in the Empire, with people conspiring to move up the ranks and sabotaging each other,” producer John Knoll says. “There’s not a lot of loyalty there.”

In other words, Krennic and Vader aren’t friends. They’re barely allies, and Krennic is understandably threatened by the Sith Lord. “Vader doesn’t really play by the rules,” says Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s chief of story development. “He’s present in the military structure, but he’s not beholden to it. He’s not accountable to anybody, really, except Palpatine.”

Unless I'm mistaken, this is the most information we've been given yet about Mendelsohn's character! As a card-carrying Mendelsohn enthusiast, this stuff is really exciting. I mean, we can assume that all this plotting and scheming does not turn out well for ol' Orson Krennic, but whatever: it's going to be fun seeing Ben Mendelsohn try and one-up Darth Vader. While wearing a luxuriant cape, no less!

Anyway, all of this sounds good to me. How about you guys? Make of it what you will in the comments below.