For the past week fans from all over the world have been sifting through the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer for clues that may allude to deeper specifics about the film that will make its debut in December of 2015. Thus far the most speculated part of the trailer has been the monologue at the beginning voiced by Mark Hamill, which states:
"The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too,"
My father has it. Not had, has. Fans went wild when they heard about the possibility of Darth Vader being reintroduced and maybe even brought back from the dead, especially after Mark Hamill made his recent statement at this year's CinemaCon about how he had to record multiple takes of the monologue because he kept saying "My father had it," when the line is specifically "My father has it."
After all of this information was released, there was one thought that continues to linger in every fans mind: Will Vader be back in the flesh? As exciting as this would be, unfortunately the answer is no.
We all know that Darth Vader dies in the arms of Luke Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi, and his body is cremated at the conclusion of the film. Because of this, there is no way that the Force projection of Anakin Skywalker could reanimate his corpse because it has been reduced to ashes. This is the most obvious answer to the question of Vader's role in The Force Awakens.
The other problem we see with this question resides with the life and death of Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gon died and remained dead. Despite being a product of the dreaded prequels, Qui-Gon was perhaps one of the greatest Jedi Knights in the history of the galaxy, and was the trainer of Obi-Wan Kenobi. We all know that he fell at the hand of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, but he was not miraculously brought back to life for Attack of the Clones! Such a phenomenon stretches far beyond the suspension of disbelief that fans are willing to entertain.
As far as we know, there isn't a technology in the Star Wars universe that can bring someone back to life. Not to mention, the ability to revive the dead is dark and extremely taboo. In the prequels, Anakin is tormented with dreams about Padmé's death and is tempted to the Dark Side because Palpatine (Darth Sidious) tells him he will be able to keep the ones he cares about from dying, in reference to the legend of Darth Plagueis. We all know this was mostly a trick to get Anakin to cross over, but the idea of the ability to keep people alive in the way Plagueis supposedly could was thought dark and unnatural by the Jedi Order.
To clarify, this evidence only shows that Vader cannot return in the flesh. The trailer undoubtedly confirms that he will have some part in the film. As we know, when a Jedi dies he or she lives on through the Force. This is how Vader will appear in the seventh film, whether it be as an apparition of Darth Vader, or more likely, Anakin Skywalker. What exactly his role will be is unclear at this time, but we know that Darth Vader will not only be in The Force Awakens, but will be working through the Force just as Obi-Wan did.