It's been speculated for months that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would feature the return of Darth Vader. How couldn't it? The film takes place just prior to 'A New Hope' when Vader was at the peak of his villainous powers, and why would Disney waste an opportunity to use one of cinema's most iconic bad guys? Well, they aren't, and EW has confirmed Vader's return on the cover of their latest issue in big bold letters, "DARTH VADER IS BACK".
How big of a role will he have? Probably not too much, but a little goes a long way. Keep in mind when this takes place; this is Vader at his most brutal. But it's also a time when the Jedi have mostly been wiped out of existence, so the chances of us seeing him engaged in a lightsaber battle are probably slim. Bummer.
The piece hasn't actually hit yet but a few details have been parceled out, such as the identity of Mads Mikkelsen's character. He's confirmed to be playing Galen Erso, the father to Felicity Jones' rebel soldier, Jyn Erso. Also, the AT-AT walkers seen in the cover image are actually AT-ACTs and aren't designed for combat, but for transporting cargo. We also get solid looks at Diego Luna as the heroically-named Captain Cassian Andor, and the Alan Tudyk-voiced droid K-2SO, a former Imperial droid now part of the Rebel Alliance.
So I guess all of those reshoots won't affect Vader's time on screen? Let's hope not. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16th, directed by Gareth Edwards.