Entertainment Weekly‘s Rogue One continues to be the source for news that everyone pretty much assumed already. Yesterday, it was confirmed that villain Darth Vader was going to be in the spinoff film
And now today, we learn that actor James Earl Jones will be back to supply the voice of the Dark Lord of the Sith.
But, as Lucasfilm honcho Kathleen Kennedy points out, don’t expect to see too much of the villain.
He will be in the movie sparingly, But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.
Jones has returned to the franchise previously to provide Darth Vader’s voice in the Star Wars: Rebels cartoon series. EW states that the David Prowse, the actor inside Vader’s imposing suit will not be back but replaced by “a variety of large-framed performers.” Not entirely surprising, really, when you realize that Prowse is 80.
Rogue One director Gareth Edwards does give us a bit more background into Vader’s role in the film as it relates to his overall position in the Galactic Empire.
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.
Producer John Knoll explains that “[t]here is a lot of palace intrigue going on in the Empire,” with Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s chief of story development, elaborating on Darth Vader’s role and how it plays into that intrigue.
Vader doesn’t really play by the rules. He’s present in the military structure, but he’s not beholden to it. He’s not accountable to anybody, really, except Palpatine.
When Tarkin says to Vader to ‘release him’ when he’s choking that guy, Vader does it, but not because he has to. He’s just willing to give Tarkin one in that moment. That’s part of what makes the reveal of the Emperor, even in a hologram in Episode V, so cool because you’re like, ‘Oh, wow. Here is the guy that Vader literally bends his knee to. What’s that all about?’
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December