Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly shared the news that everyone’s favorite complicated space dad Darth Vader would return to the forthcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Now, the magazine has released more details about Rogue One’s Vader, including that the 85-year-old James Earl Jones will again provide his booming, badass voice to the villain.
In addition, EW managed to Force-pull some details out of the film’s creators about just what Lord Vader is up to in Rogue One.
(Note: Consider the following few paragraphs the Dark Side if you’re attempting to avoid spoilers.)
Rogue One is set 19 years after the events of Revenge the Sith. In that time, Vader has not yet taken his place as the all-powerful overlord that we see in A New Hope.
Rather, Vader is apparently more of a shadowy, mythical presence. The Rebels speak of him as a myth, while only a select few in the Empire can confirm his existence. “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,” said Rogue One director Gareth Edwards.
Vader is attempting to be more than just a “fixer,” though, and will apparently be locked in a bit of a power struggle with Ben Mendelsohn’s white-cloaked character, Director Orson Krennic.
Krennic is a high-ranking imperial officer who’s looking to advance his position. However, he feels threatened by Vader’s presence, especially his mysterious bond with the Emperor. “There is a lot of palace intrigue going on in the Empire, with people conspiring to move up the ranks and sabotaging each other,” said producer John Knoll. “There’s not a lot of loyalty there.”
Begrudgingly, Vader and Krennic will be fighting on the same side against the not-quite-unified Rebel alliance. One of the most volatile oppositions they face comes from Forest Whitaker’s character, the battle-scarred extremist Saw Gerrera. Loyal fans of the animated Clone Wars series will know Saw as a soldier who fought and trained with Anakin and Obi-Wan.
While not much else was revealed about Vader, the film’s creators say it’s for good reason. “He will be in the movie sparingly,” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out Dec. 16.