Rumor: Darth Vader to return for 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

There's been more grist for the Star Wars rumor mill than actual fact over the last couple of weeks, with the only real solid piece of info that Michael Arndt will be writing it. Everything else is mostly speculation and opinion. Fun speculation and opinion, though. Anyway, what's likely to be the juiciest rumor of all has just emerged, from a highly suspect source, and it involves everyone's favorite bucket-headed Dark Lord of the Sith.

The U.K.'s Daily Express hears from those always sketchy "industry insiders" that Disney may be keen on bringing Darth Vader back from the grave for the new trilogy. Cue unholy outrage....

“He’s an integral part of the franchise. Replacing him is virtually impossible. The plan is for him to return and play a significant role in the new films. This is science fiction remember, Darth Vader will rise from the ashes.”

I thought I'd be more upset about this, but strangely enough I kind of expect it to happen. While we can all point to Luke Skywalker as the unquestioned hero of the series, the truth of the matter is that Vader's story arc is the most important and the one that carries the most dramatic weight. We've seen him go from innocent to misguided hero to outright villain and we've seen his redemption. Now the next logical step would be to see what he does with it. Of course, there's that whole issue with him burning on a funeral pyre at the end of Return of the Jedi, followed by his ghost showing up. But this is Star Wars we're talking about here, and it could've been a trick of the Force or something.

Plus, you know damn well Disney wants their most marketable character out there to sell more toys. So what do you think? Would you want to see Darth Vader return from the grave?