ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Note: potential SPOILERS for Episode VII below...

So, Star Wars.

We've watched the trailer (thirty times). We've played the video games to death. We've gone as our favorite characters for Halloween, and we've frantically followed everything J.J. Abrams has even sneezed in the direction of on Twitter.

And yet, somehow, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is still ten months away from release...

Which, quite frankly, just isn't fair. Thankfully, though, it seems that the good people behind the Star Wars franchise are well aware of our pained impatience, and are beginning to throw us a lifeline or two.

Like, for instance, the fact that...

We Just Saw One of Episode VII's New a Comic-Book

Or, at least, it sure seems like we did.

Moviepilot's own Catrina Dennis just happened to be reading the first issue of the (awesome) brand new Marvel Star Wars comic Darth Vader #1, when she noticed something...a little odd.

Something...strangely familiar.

Specifically, this...

A mysterious, unnamed character, just hanging around with Emperor Palpatine like that isn't a big deal.

Which, in and of itself, might not be all that much of a big deal (unless, of course, you're reading the new Darth Vader series). Except, of course, for that nagging sense of complete and utter familiarity...

Which, as it turns out, isn't all that surprising, seeing as...

We've Totally Seen That Guy Before

Or, rather, we've seen a whole lot of concept art of a character an awful lot like him (above).

Now, that particular, cyborg-part-augmented character has been heavily rumored to be who Max von Sydow is set to play, and added together with the fact that the guy in the comic-book panel looks a whole lot like a young von Sydow...

Only less Jesus-y
Only less Jesus-y

...that opens up a whole lot of intriguing questions.

Like, for instance...

Does This Mean Max von Sydow's Character is a Villain?

After all, the fact that the character is hanging out with the Emperor would - if it turns out to be the same person that von Sydow is playing - suggest that he may well be far more of a villainous presence in Episode VII than previous rumors, which implied he'd be something of a mentor to Daisy Ridley's Rey, suggested.

Alternatively, though...

Does This Mean Max von Sydow's Character is More Than Meets the Eye?

After all, it wasn't too long ago that we saw a rumor flying around that:

"While Sydow’s identity is a surprise, it’s not necessarily earth-shattering. It’s the sort of thing that hardcore fans would be excited about, but overly casual fans likely won’t realize the significance of. Sydow’s identity does have meaning, but you need to know the context."

Which, it seems to me, might just be suggesting we're set to see him play a character with long-standing involvement in the Star Wars universe. Could he have some history involving the Clone Wars, for instance, as has also been rumored?

And, if so...

Will We See the Comic-Books Establish His Character?

After all, with the elimination of the Expanded Universe from Star Wars canon, there's not a whole lot of back-story for the filmmakers to play with in the movies - back-story which would simultaneously allow hardcore fans to explore the story's finer details independently before (and after) watching the movie itself.

Now, seeing as that's one heck of a profitable business - no-one ever said the Expanded Universe wasn't a good way of making money - could we now see an increasing number of tie-in products, particularly comic-books, that offer us a closer look at what's on its way in December?

It sure seems like it...

What do you reckon, though? Is that character on the page Max von Sydow's from Episode VII? Will he be a villain, or something else entirely? Are there any nods towards Episode VII in comic-books or TV shows that we've so far missed?


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