No lack of faith in Darth Vader: He'll return for 'Rogue One'

Darth Vader will reportedly be back for the upcoming 'Star Wars' film 'Rogue One.' He's previously been portrayed by actors including James Earl Jones, Sebastian Shaw, and Hayden Christensen.

Lucasfilm, Ltd. & TM/AP
Actor David Prowse appears in 'Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.'

A certain deep-voiced villain will be back for the upcoming story about that technological terror the Death Star.

It has been confirmed that Darth Vader, the main villain in the 1970s “Star Wars” trilogy and likely one of the most famous movie characters of all time, will appear in the upcoming “Star Wars” film “Rogue One,” which is set before the original 1977 “Star Wars” film and tells the story of a group who try to obtain the plans for the Death Star. 

Darth Vader was voiced by actor James Earl Jones in the original movies and portrayed onscreen by first David Prowse and then actor Sebastian Shaw, who played the character in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” when son Luke removes Darth Vader’s helmet. 

“Rogue One” also stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, and Genevieve O’Reilly and is set to be released this December. 

Is bringing back or offering a new take on an iconic character a good idea? 

When it comes to Lord Vader, the results can be mixed. What is known as the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy – the movies that were released between 1999 and 2005, which are “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” – is the story of the life of Darth Vader when he was still Anakin Skywalker. While the movies were financial successes, they were panned by critics and most fans.

In other series, some films that have brought back or offered a new spin on memorable characters, such as the 2006 James Bond movie “Casino Royale,” which explored how Bond became a secret agent, and the 2005 film “Batman Begins,” which looked at the backstory of Batman, have succeeded. But others, like the 2007 “Silence of the Lambs” prequel “Hannibal Rising,” have not been well-received. 

However, it may be that there is less pressure on portraying Darth Vader in this film than in bringing some characters back to the screen because it sounds like Darth Vader may be more of a supporting character than the star of the show in "Rogue."

Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican discussed what he knew about the character’s new appearance on “Good Morning America” and said, “Darth Vader kind of looms large over the plot even when he's not necessarily on screen because the new villain [Director Krennic], played by Ben Mendelsohn  ... He's trying to fulfill the wishes of the emperor and he's got ... Vader looming in the background over his shoulder, making sure that he gets the job done,” Mr. Breznican said. 

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