Earlier this week, Entertainment Weekly’s massive “Star Wars: Rogue One” exclusive revealed that Darth Vader was indeed returning to the iconic franchise for its first anthology installment, and now diehard “Star Wars” can rest easy knowing the man who brought the villain’s iconic voice to life will also be returning as well. James Earl Jones is set to voice Vader once more in the highly anticipated “Rogue One,” though just how much he’ll be involved in the story remains to be seen.
“He will be in the movie sparingly,” producer Kathleen Kennedy confirmed. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”
“Rogue One” may take place 19 years after the events of “Revenge of the Sith,” but don’t expect Vader to be the villainous threat we first meet in “A New Hope.” According to director Gareth Edwards, the Vader that will appear in the upcoming standalone film will be more of a mythical threat than an all-powerful leader.
“Within the Rebellion, it’s not commonly spoken about,” Edwards says about Vader’s presence. “Within the Empire, there is the culture of knowing of the existence of Darth Vader. There’s definitely an underlying feeling that there is a power – a dark power – available to the Empire and that if you overstep your mark, you will suffer the consequences.”
Regardless of how much screen time the legendary evil doer gets, the chance to hear Jones’ voice coming out of that black helmut once again will truly be one of those special movie moments that make “Star Wars” the global phenomenon it is. “Star Wars: Rogue One” opens December 16.