He may be dead and gone, merely ashes blowing in the winds of Endor's moon, but Darth Vader's presence will be very much felt in The Last Jedi. Not only is Vader's legacy continued by his clueless grandson (doesn't Kylo know Vader was redeemed in Return Of The Jedi?), it seems his ghost will be hanging about Resistance HQ and causing some pretty irreparable problems.
No, we're not talking about Anakin's actual Force ghost, as much as we hope to see him in translucent blue form before the sequel trilogy's end. It seems the mere mention of the Sith lord is enough to bring the Resistance to its knees, as renowned rumor-mill-churner Mike Zeroh has revealed in a recent YouTube video that Leia's rival will drop Vader's name to ensure she gets exactly what she wants — and that might just mean the end of the Resistance as we know it.
Of course, you should take this with about as much salt as you deem worthy for the #StarWars rumors that have been our bread and butter in the last two years, sustaining us while we wait for the release of #TheLastJedi. So, about a cup of blue milk's worth of salt? Yeah that sounds about right. Still, spoilers ho! (Maybe.)
A Rift In The Resistance
According to Zeroh's enigmatic "sources," #DarthVader will be referenced at least three times in the new movie. Two of these name-drop scenes will be accompanied with revelations (we'll get to those later), and one will contribute to a schism that forces the Resistance to split in two. This is thanks to new character Holdo, played by Laura Dern.
"Holdo reminds Leia who her father really was and how he destroyed her son indirectly. Holdo mocks Leia countless times leading to them separating and splitting the Resistance into two teams with Poe Dameron following Leia."
The pink-haired Resistance leader looks to have some serious ambitions, questioning Leia's leadership and eventually forming a splinter group, taking half the Resistance with her — according to this new report at least. Although it's as-yet unverified, this is a fascinating development that would severely weaken the Resistance as they face the First Order. Not only that, but this plot would definitely set The Last Jedi apart from The Empire Strikes Back, something which some pre-emptive naysayers are unsure director Rian Johnson will be able to achieve.
This also ties into recent revelations from Entertainment Weekly about Poe Dameron's relationship with Leia, as she mentors him into someday taking up the role of Resistance leader.
"She sees in him the potential for a truly great leader of the Resistance and beyond. Poe’s arc is one of evolving from a heroic soldier to a seasoned leader. [...] I think Leia knows she won’t be around forever and she, with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot, to temper his heroic impulses with wisdom and clarity."
So it's no surprise, if the Resistance does splinter, that Poe chooses to go with Leia. We may well be seeing a new Resistance in #StarWars9, a divided and ultimately weaker one.
We're left wondering what the two sides of the Resistance disagreed upon, and Zeroh's claims certainly line up with the Star Wars novel Bloodline, which revealed that Leia's position of authority in the galaxy was threatened by her familial connection to Darth Vader. If this rumor is true, it seems that Holdo is using this mistrust of Leia to her own advantage.
Another reference to Darth Vader also cites Leia's struggle to accept her relationship to the villain she opposed for years. Here's what Zeroh had to say about another Vader name-drop scene:
"Rey asks Luke who he was. Luke explains how Vader was his father and how it destroyed his sister."
The comment that learning Vader was her father "destroyed" Leia is very, very pertinent. We never really got to see Leia's reaction to this revelation in Return Of The Jedi — Luke tells her that he is her brother, but they don't talk about the fact that Vader is their father. The privilege of reacting to this shocking and world-changing revelation is given solely to Luke, which fans have long lamented.
After all, Leia spent far more years struggling with Vader in her role as a Rebel leader, not to mention he tortured her for information in A New Hope — and learning that your torturer is your father must be pretty gosh darn traumatic. Thankfully, it seems The Last Jedi will finally show some consequences to Vader being Leia's father, not just Luke's.
And of course, the third time Vader is mentioned is in a scene between Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke, as Zeroh relates:
"Snoke will reference Vader while he is instructing Kylo Ren. Some revelations are made."
Some revelations? There's no limit to what this vague comment could mean, but it seems certain that we'll finally get some background info on who Snoke is, why he hates the Jedi so much, and whether he has history with the Empire.
Fans might take this as proof of the much-theorized idea that Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis — but personally I find it more likely that Snoke is just invoking Dath Vader's name to spur his young apprentice on, as Kylo's obsession with his grandfather is very obviously his main motivation. And like any villainous manipulator, I'm sure Snoke knows just how to use Vader's name to his advantage.
Tell us in the comments: What do you think Snoke's Vader "revelations" will be?