When news broke yesterday that this Friday’s Comic-Con panel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t reveal a new trailer or any new footage at all, fans for the most part took it in stride. I argued that we don’t need to see any new footage—we’re all gonna see the movie regardless anyway, so a focus on the behind-the-scenes details of J.J. Abrams’ secretive production offers a potentially more revealing substitute. But the panel won’t be without its surprises, and if I were to guess, I’d say that producer/Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Co. might bring out Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One director Gareth Edwards and possibly reveal the cast for this first “spinoff” film.
We know the story of Rogue One follows a ragtag group of heroes working to steal the plans for the Death Star, in events that directly influence the plot of A New Hope, but we don’t exactly know if we’ll be seeing any familiar characters in the pic or if the film will simply focus on new faces. A possible answer arises today, as Devin at Birth.Movies.Death reports that the one and only Darth Vader is a character in Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, and he’ll appear onscreen.
According to BMD’s sources, Vader won’t be the film’s primary antagonist but he’ll be “the man behind the curtain,” the one pulling the strings for the Empire as the rebels work to pull off their heist. Vader will reportedly show up via holoprojection or some similar device, but sources were reportedly tight-lipped about whether any of the Rogue One characters will actually come across Vader in the flesh.
This won’t be the first time that Vader has reappeared in the new Kathleen Kennedy-run Lucasfilm universe, however. The character popped up in the Season 1 finale of the swell Disney XD animated series Star Wars Rebels and has a crucial role in Season 2, so the new creative braintrust has already been toying with the formidable foe.
This is, obviously, unconfirmed, but it’s possible Vader’s presence could be revealed during the Lucasfilm Comic-Con panel later this week. Or it’s possible that there will be no Rogue One revelations and the panel will instead keep the focus on Force Awakens. Either way, we’ll have a full recap up here on Collider shortly after it ends, so check back here Friday evening.
Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is slated to hit theaters on December 16, 2016.