Today, Lucasfilm and Disney have announced that Darth Vader will indeed be appearing in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This has been something of an open secret. Everyone pretty much knew that the character would be appearing but it was never officially announced. Now that it has been announced, what role will he play in the movie?
The whole plot of the movie revolves around the Rebel Alliance stealing the plans to the Death Star. This movie takes place right before Star Wars IV: A New Hope. The beginning of that movie shows that Darth Vader is looking for the plans. So the protagonists of Rogue One will inevitably succeed, more or less. This is a problem that faces the series Star Wars Rebels as Vader is featured but not too often because since it is a prequel, he can’t really lose and if he is beaten too often, it diminishes his presence in the original trilogy.
This will also be the first instance of Darth Vader being featured in a modern day movie. Watching the original movies, he doesn’t really do much to convey his power and menace. This was probably more to due to the limitations of the time, more than anything else. The aforementioned Star Wars Rebels and various comics and novels since Disney purchased Star Wars have gone out of their way to show that Darth Vader was a presence not to be messed with.
What role will he have to due with the plot? This is pure speculation on my part but something tells me he won’t be in the movie all that much. Enough to justify him in advertisements but not enough to domineer over the film and take away from the new characters. It won’t be hard to imagine he plays a part in the climax. The rumor is that Rogue One ends ten minutes before A New Hope.
Needless to say it is exciting to see Lucasfilm expanding on the lore of Darth Vader in live action. Also since Darth Vader is in the film, it won’t be hard to imagine the Emperor making an appearance as well.