The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly takes a deep dive into this December's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fleshing out the story, the new characters and that one massive villain who'll be returning to a live-action Star Wars movie for the first time since we witnessed his birth in 2005's Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith: Darth Vader.
EW now has a breakdown of Vader's role in the film, including further confirmation that he'll once again be voiced by James Earl Jones, who provided the voice of Vader in all of the live-action Star Wars movies, in addition to his recent reprisal of the role on the animated series Star Wars Rebels.
According to Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, Vader will be used very little in the film, so much so that there's not even an image of him they can release at this time. “He will be in the movie sparingly,” she told the magazine. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”
It would appear as if, like The Force Awakens and Luke Skywalker, Vader's presence will be felt throughout, except we may not see him until late in the game, and maybe only in a scene or two.
Director Gareth Edwards explained to EW that Vader is still a bit of a shadowy figure with his own agenda at this point in the Star Wars story — like a fixer or the Emperor's muscle — and so members of both the Rebellion and the Empire don't really have a read on what he's all about.
“Within the Rebellion, it’s not commonly spoken about. Within the Empire, there is the culture of knowing of the existence of Darth Vader. There’s definitely an underlying feeling that there is a power – a dark power – available to the Empire and that if you overstep your mark, you will suffer the consequences.”
Surprisingly, Vader's main enemy in Rogue One may not even be the rebels, but one of his own, Director Orson Krennic, played by Ben Mendelsohn (pictured above). With Krennic looking to win favor with Emperor Palpatine, there will be a bit of power struggle between the decorated director and the Sith lord. (And gee, we wonder who will win that one.)
On what it was like the first day Vader was on set in costume, Edwards said, "I just got massive goose bumps. I was so nervous to turn the corner and see him. You have to pinch yourself. Everyone became children again, so easy. You just go straight back to being a four year old, like, in a heartbeat.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16.