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The Force is stronger with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story than the first trailer made it seem, with confirmation that Darth Vader will appear in Gareth Edwards’ upcoming prequel.
Entertainment Weekly broke the news on the cover of its latest issue, to be released later this week. In an appearance on Good Morning America to promote the issue, writer Anthony Breznican said that, although Vader will show up in the movie, he won’t be the primary threat to the Rebels.
“Darth Vader kind of looms large over the plot even when he’s not necessarily onscreen 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,” Breznican said.
Quite what this means for Mendelsohn’s character — who obviously doesn’t appear in the original 1977 Star Wars movie, where Vader is instead looming in the background while Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin commands the Death Star — remains to be seen. Given that we know that the Rebels will be successful in their mission to steal the plans of the battle station, will Vader end up acting as executioner to the man who failed the Emperor?
It’s currently unknown who will be playing Vader in the new movie. David Prowse provided the presence for the villain in the original trilogy, with Gene Bryant under the mask for the character’s cameo in 2005’s Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. James Earl Jones provided the voice for Vader in all four movies.
Elsewhere in the EW story, the magazine also confirms Mads Mikkelsen’s accidental slip from April: He is indeed playing the father of Felicia Jones’ Jyn Erso, a scientist sought by both the Empire and Rebellion.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released Dec. 16.
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