Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been in the news a lot lately. Most of the news hasn’t been stellar–rumors that Disney has demanded weeks of re-shoots to fix the film hit Star Wars fans hard. But this should cheer them up.
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James Earl Jones is reprising his role. He’s made a couple of cameos in the animated Star Wars Rebels–which is pretty damn good, itself. And now he’s back in the sound booth one more time to voice the most recognizable bad guy ever.
Fans had assumed Vader would make an appearance in the film, considering the timeline, but they didn’t know who would voice him. Jones is 85, and hasn’t been as prolific in the last few years. Yet this is an important opportunity, and Disney knows how to provide fan service.
Rogue One takes place shortly before Episode IV–A New Hope. It details how the small band of rebels steal the plans of the Death Star.
This is a major film in the Star Wars saga. It is the first of a new line of gap-filling films that will stray from the long-form story in the trilogy of trilogies. If it succeeds, we’ll have numerous follow-ups that should keep Star Wars fans in theaters forever.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told EW that Vader will only be in the film for a limited amount of time.
“He will be in the movie sparingly,” Kennedy noted, “but at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. His role in each of the films was limited. While his role isn’t as limited as that of the shark in Jaws, Lucas and his team understood that the mystery helps define Vader’s evil mystique.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016. No word yet if the mountain of a man inside the Vader suit will again be David Prowse. That would be too much to ask for.
If you haven’t already watched the Vader Sessions video below, I’d highly recommend that you do. It is good fun, though there’s a bit of language–so not totally kid friendly.