LOS ANGELES: Darth Vader, the much-feared Star Wars Sith Lord and one of the most notable villains in film, will be back on the big screen for December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, franchise producer Kathleen Kennedy said.
Kennedy said Vader will appear in the film sparingly, and will once again be voiced by James Earl Jones. “At a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large,” Kennedy added.
Vader was the villain fought by the Rebel Alliance in 1977’s A New Hope and 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, before being defeated in 1983’s Return of the Jedi. The character’s origin story was at the centre of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, released between 1999 and 2005. Vader was mentioned briefly in last year’s blockbuster reboot, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as an inspiration for new franchise bad guy, Kylo Ren.
Fans have been speculating about the connection between Rogue One, billed as a standalone story from the greater Star Wars universe, and The Force Awakens, but Kennedy hinted that there may not be one.
Rogue One will be helmed by director Gareth Edwards, starring Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna Riz Ahmed and Donnie Yen in lead roles. The expected release date is December 16, 2016.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2016.