(Warning – the following contains mild potential SPOILERS for the forthcoming Star Wars: Rogue One, a.k.a. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a.k.a. the one that we get to see this coming Christmas-time. Proceed with mild potential caution, and all that...)
Now, Darth Vader may not have made it into Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, as was heavily rumored in advance of the film's release - his iconic death at the end of Return of the Jedi proving as permanent as you might imagine - but that doesn't mean there's no hope of seeing the legendary force-traitor on screen one last time.
It Seems Darth Vader Might Show Up in 'Star Wars: Rogue One'
That, at least, is what the latest rumor to make its way out of MakingStarWars is suggesting, with editor-in-chief Jason Ward reporting that not only has...
"the Darth Vader costume as seen in Star Wars: A New Hope... been meticulously recreated to match A New Hope perfectly"
"James Earl Jones, the voice, the heart and soul of Darth Vader will return to speak Darth Vader’s lines in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."
Beyond that, the exact nature of Vader's role isn't discussed at length, but it seems that he may well be set to appear in a handful of scenes, acting as a 'big bad' of sorts for our rebel heroes.
The big question now, though?
Could it Actually Happen?
Well, short answer? Yes, absolutely.
Star Wars: Rogue One, after all, is set immediately before the events of A New Hope, and will focus on the theft of the Death Star plans by a ragtag team of rebels. With A New Hope opening with - you guessed it - Darth Vader chasing down a set of stolen Death Star plans, it would seem to make perfect sense to feature the legendary Jedi/Sith/Jedi as a background menace in any movie specifically focused on the theft of those same plans.
If nothing else, a final - post-credits? - scene, featuring the Emperor tasking Vader with tracking the plans down, while name-checking Princess Leia, would tie the two movies together perfectly. A few scenes of Vader force-choking his way through his enemies would just be a bonus...
Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed that it's true, and hope for a James Earl Jones-filled Christmas...
What do you think, though?