We've heard the rumor quite a bit over the last year and a half, ever since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story started shooting in 2015. Now we have verification that yes, Darth Vader is in this first spinoff movie. And his appearance should make fans quite happy, as he has been recreated to perfectly match the Sith Lord we saw in the original 1977 classic A New Hope. This standalone adventure will also answer one big question that has plagued some fans ever since Darth Vader made his return in Empire Strikes Back.
The folks over at Making Star Wars have a pretty good track record when it comes to delivering Star Wars scoops and spoilers that actually turn out to be true. This time, they have seen photos of Darth Vader from Rogue One. These images show the former Jedi posing in his iconic black armor and mask. They were accompanied by photos of Felicity Jones as Jyn in the same location. She is dressed in her black Imperial disguise first revealed in the trailer. Here, she is seen holding a helmet. At first, it was believed that she was posing as an Imperial Gunner, but a first look at the helmet actually indicates that she may be disguising herself as an AT-DP driver.
It was previously reported that original Darth Vader costume sculptor Brian Muir had returned to recreate the Sith Lord's look from A New Hope, and these sneak peek images prove that he's nailed it. It is also rumored that James Earl Jones will return to reprise the character, after having voiced Darth in recent episodes of Star Wars Rebels.
The Rogue One Darth Vader costume is almost an exact New Hope replica down to the very fine details. It is reported that the upper armor has the tunic going over the top of the shoulders, as it was first seen in Episode IV. Even the belt buckle is the same, with the inside of the cape having the same shiny material as the original. The gloves are an identical match, and not like the upgraded ones seen in the sequels. And the belt still has its lights, with the chest piece lights in the same position. Gone is the Revenge of the Sith symmetrical look for the mask. And the eye lens retain their amber hue.
It is rumored that Spencer Wilding is playing Darth Vader this time out. And judging from the photos, he's a perfect match for original actor David Prowse. Possibly the most interesting thing about this new rumor is that it answers one big question fans had after seeing the teaser trailer for the first time. Just who is in that blue tank we see flanked by two Imperial Royal Guards? Apparently, it's the former Anakin Skywalker. Though, we still don't get an answer as to who the mysterious hooded figure is.
A source close to LucasFilm claims that there is a scene in Rogue One where Darth Vader has his limbs interchanged and repaired. The moment is meant to clear up some confusion as to why Darth isn't very good at swinging a lightsaber in his climactic duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of A New Hope. Especially since the Sith Lord is a master swordsman in Star Wars Rebels, which takes place only a short time before Rogue One.
As Star Wars lore has it, David Prowse lied about his sword skills when auditioning for the role of Darth. This left George Lucas with a former Jedi who couldn't do much with a lightsaber. This was of course changed when Empire Strikes Back came around, and the Sith was forced to face off against Luke Skywalker. The speculation is that Darth's new robotic limbs in Rogue One have not been worn in, and are still tight and cumbersome when he goes to fight Old Ben just a short time after the events depicted in the spinoff. There is also speculation that Darth gets his old robotic limbs chopped off by either Jyn or one of the other Rebel spies, which puts him in that blue tank in the first place.
It is also being reported that Darth Vader's mediation chamber from Empire Strikes Back has been recreated for this new adventure. There is some speculation that we may see Hayden Christensen in one of these scenes, without the mask. It has also long been rumored that the actor was called back to set for this new movie, but that has never been confirmed by Disney nor LucasFilm.