"Vader is back."
That's the quote from the Entertainment Weekly article that confirms what we've all been expecting and hoping for ever since we heard what time period Rogue One would be set in. The article covers a few more details, but the only big news is that our favorite Sith Lord will indeed be making a comeback. More details of his role will apparently be revealed when the full issue of EW's magazine is released on Friday the 24th of June.
While this is hardly surprising, considering how marketable and beloved a character he is, it's still nice to get official confirmation that he's back like the Terminator, baby. That said, there are still a few unanswered questions left, which we might as well go through right now:
How Big A Role Will He Have?
The lack of his presence in promotional material up to this point would imply that his role is minor, although there are a couple of reasons why this could be misleading. First of all, they might be his role hidden before release in order to build hype, and make things that bit more exciting. Secondly, extensive re-shoots are currently taking place, so while his original presence might have been small, there's a good chance he's getting more scenes in these re-shoots, especially if the rumours of Disney being unhappy with the product are true. After all, it's definitely one way to appease fans. Personally, I believe he'll have a significant yet minor role. His shadow will be cast over the whole Rebel operation, but if he were to show up too much and not immediately destroy our heroes, it would undermine his character's established power.
What Will His Purpose Be?
It wouldn't be like Vader to associate himself with the riff-raff of the Empire's operations, so he may well have some kind of goal that is separate from the main story of Rogue One. Perhaps he's looking for a specific surviving Jedi, or maybe he has a score to settle with one of the Rebel crew, or if we're very lucky, maybe he's training a secret apprentice; a certain Star killer maybe? In case you don't understand that reference, Starkiller is the protagonist of the video game The Force Unleashed, which happens to be something I really, really like. Essentially Vader trains him to hunt down rebels with the idea being to overthrow the Emperor, but then there's betrayal and mystery and I really don't want to spoil it. I love the hell out of the game's story, although I admit it might not be the best time for introducing that plot-line.
At the end of the day, the news to take away is that Darth Vader is 100% completely definitely going to be in Rogue One. So even though Revenge of the Sith proved that Vader's presence doesn't guarantee brilliance, there's a good chance that he'll make this movie that little bit better.