***Spoiler Warning: If indeed this rumor is true, big Spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story follow. Proceed at your own risk of succumbing to the Dark Side…***
Gareth Edwards’ first of the Star Wars anthology films is reportedly moviegoers’ most anticipated movie this year, and with good reason. The cast is female led (Felicity Jones), brimming with brilliant actors (Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, and its plot harkens back to the original trilogy (rebel spies aim to steal the plans for the the Death Star). Set right before A New Hope’s events, there’ve of course been rumblings and rumors about a certain villain’s appearance, which have been all but directly confirmed. This latest report seems to lock in his inclusion. According to Making Star Wars,, the iconic actor who voiced Darth Vader is returned.
“We have it on good authority that the Darth Vader costume as seen in Star Wars: A New Hope has been meticulously recreated to match A New Hope perfectly. By all accounts the costume is so close to the original everyone is very happy and very impressed with the work done by Brian Muir and his team.
The coolest part is we’ve learned that James Earl Jones, the voice, the heart and soul of Darth Vader will return to speak Darth Vader’s lines in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Darth Vader we all know from the original Star Wars film is effectively back in look, voice, and spirit. There is still no word on if he has already recorded his lines, or will in the post-production phase.”
As MSW notes, the only difference about Vader this time around will be the actor underneath the costume, expected to be an who’s “never played him before.” The villain is expected to be prominent, if not Rogue One’s main antagonist. That may fall to Mikkelsen or Mendelsohn; as yet, both actors’ roles are being kept under wraps.
Additionally, in an interview with MTV, Neal Scanlan (who’s worked on creatures for both The Force Awakens and Rogue One), Gareth Edwards plans to integrate aliens much more into the “grittier, more realistic” human world than they have been with other Star Wars films.
“Working with Gareth now on Rogue One, he sees these aliens as being much more part of the human [world]. They co-habitate, they work together and so it’s pushed us very much to create characters that are more realistic.
They move more realistically, they’re able to emote more than maybe the characters that we did for The Force Awakens. So they’re a closer part of the storytelling. They’re less of the world, and they’re more of this group who have a mission, and play a part in that.”
I’m so curious to see Edwards’ slant on the universe; the idea of anthologies having a connection, but being completely alternative angles on events in a particular timeline is particularly intriguing. It’s easy to see, even from the few photos (both released and on set) what a different look this film is going to have.
In related news, James Earl Jones also returns in the new Star Wars Rebels tease:
It’s good to hear old
friends enemies. Star Wars Rebels airs tonight on Disney XD; Rogue One hits theaters December 16th.