Vader will be back in the new standalone film, according to Entertainment Weekly, which broke the story this morning.
But whether he’ll be a main character, a cameo or just an off-screen presence remains to be seen. The magazine was vague on the details.
You may recall, Vader dies in “Return of the Jedi,” the last film in the movie series before last year’s reboot, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Vader throws Palpatine down the Death Star’s reactor shaft to his death, fulfilling the prophecy he would be the one to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the force.
But Vader is mortally wounded. He asks Luke to take off his mask so he can see his son with his own eyes before dying in Luke’s arms.
Luke returns to Endor and cremates his father’s armor on a funeral pyre, but not his father’s body,leaving an opening for his return.
The movie villain has been part of the scuttlebutt about “Star Wars” movies ever since.
IM reported back in 2014 that speculation was rife Vader would return in some fashion in “Force Awakens.” He didn’t, although his presence was acknowledged.
But that film was set after “Return of the Jedi,” some 30 years in the future.
“Rogue One,” on the other hand, is set before events in the initial “Star Wars” film, so the timeline works for Vader’s return to the big screen.
Forrest Whitaker, is expected to be the focuses of the film as Saw Gerrera, the leader of a group of rebel fighters. They unite to steal the Death Star’s plans, so they can figure out how to destroy it.
“Consider him kind of a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told EW. “He’s on the fringe of the Rebel Alliance. Even [they] are a little concerned about him.”
The film will also star Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk and Jonathan Aris.
So far there’s been no mention of James Earl Jones, 85, who originally voiced Vader.
Lucasfilm produced the film and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures will handle distribution. “Rogue One” will hit theaters during the holiday season, Dec. 16.
Let us know your thoughts. How big of a role should Darth Vader get? Be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest movie news insights.