In a world where pointless sequels and endless spin-offs have left us more jaded than a thousand Mara Skywalkers, Rogue One proved that the idea of creating stand-alone films within the Star Wars franchise holds genuine merit, extending the universe in new and potentially limitless ways.
While talk of a direct sequel to Rogue One seems unlikely — we do already have Episode IV: A New Hope after all — anticipation for the upcoming Han Solo movie proves that studios and audiences alike are hungry for more #StarWars films.
As a result of this, the internet has been abuzz with ideas for potential spin-offs that focus on more fan favorite characters, including Boba Fett and Lando Calrissian. Inevitably, such talk always comes back to the franchise's most iconic figure of all, Darth Vader himself.
From emo pod racer to emo cyborg and all-round emo Sith Lord, Darth Vader has left an indelible mark on both the Star Wars series and pop culture as a whole, freaking children out for decades from a galaxy far, far away.
However, the Star Wars prequels undeniably damaged the Sith Lord's reputation, delving into a backstory that portrayed the formerly scary Anakin as a lovelorn and rather whiny protagonist. Fortunately, Rogue One somehow did the unthinkable and managed to successfully return #DarthVader to his rightful place as the galaxy's most feared menace.
From the moment that Darth Vader switched on his lightsaber in that climatic action sequence, bathing the corridor with an insidious, red light, every Anakin scene from the dire prequel movies was instantly forgiven. This is the Darth Vader who first captured the public's imagination over four decades ago, the one who terrified children with heavy breathing and hand-chopping tendencies.
As the Sith Lord pushed forward, throwing the Rebel soldiers around like mere rag dolls, the already-excellent Rogue One somehow became even better, rewarding audiences with arguably the most memorable Darth Vader scene of all time. By the time that the final soldier reached Princess Leia, barely escaping with his life, it quickly became clear that Anakin's return to the Star Wars universe had already become one of the defining moments of the entire film, and 2016 as a whole.
Naturally then, talk has returned to the idea of a potential Darth Vader solo project, one that could evoke the dark horror of the villain's appearance in Rogue One while further exploring the chilling legacy left by his numerous novel and comic book appearances.
What's not to love about the prospect of seeing the world's most iconic villain take centre stage? In theory, a Darth Vader prequel of sorts could work brilliantly; few characters are more popular than Anakin Skywalker, even today, and Rogue One proved that Star Wars spin-offs can be both profitable and engrossing to watch.
However, such an approach would miss the entire point of Darth Vader. The reason that the Sith Lord's appearance in Rogue One worked so well is because of the way that the film slowly hinted at his presence, providing glimpses of his machinations behind the scenes. By focusing on Anakin Skywalker in the prequels, the character lost his enigmatic appeal. When it comes to Vader, less is most definitely more, so the idea of creating a solo Darth Vader film could once again dilute what makes the character great.
Check out Darth Vader's rise to power in the clip below:
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While there has been no official confirmation that Darth Vader is set to star in his own solo movie, the Sith Lord's resurgence in popularity suggests that it's only a matter of time before an Anakin Skywalker spin-off develops. Just be careful what you wish for, guys. To paraphrase the Sith Lord himself;
"Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Disney."