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Potential spoilers from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story below.
On a recent episode of “Now, This is Podcasting!” we discussed having seen Darth Vader from a future Star Wars film. The photos were amazing and showed Darth Vader posing. We also glimpsed Jyn posing in what appears to be the same location with her helmet that goes with her black suit we see in the new teaser. The helmet was first thought to be an Imperial Gunner helmet but it is more like a new version of an AT-DP driver helmet.
This week, after meeting with sources we have been able to verify that the Darth Vader we saw from the photo shoot is from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I wanted to make sure this wasn’t Darth Vader for a television ad or some kind of promotion. We have been covering rumors of Darth Vader in this film for some time, but I try not to jump too far into things until I see proof, which we now have. We first heard Brian Muir (original Darth Vader costume sculptor) was working on Rogue One back in November. Just after Christmas we heard a “dream team” had been assembled for Darth Vader in Rogue One with James Earl Jones being a lock for the voice. It was all sounding very possible but without seeing him and being able to verify that other people have seen these photos working on things associated with Star Wars, it was still open to other possibilities. We had it confirmed via three sources the we had indeed seen the Darth Vader from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The costume is the A New Hope costume down to the fine details. The upper armor has the tunic going over the top of the shoulders, just as it did in Episode IV. The belt buckle is the same. The inside of the cape is that shiny type of material. The gloves are identical and not like the ones in the following films. The lights on the belt are the same. The chest piece’s lights match perfectly. The mask is not like the symmetrical Revenge of the Sith mask; it appears to look just like the original did. The neck of the mask and the widow’s peak are all there. The lenses have that amber look to them.
The actor in the suit is a slam dunk too. The rumor is that it is Spencer Wilding in the suit. Whoever is in the suit, they found the right person. If it weren’t for the materials I saw looking so new, I would have believed it was a photo from A New Hope. I find it to be virtually indistinguishable from the original. They nailed it. In the photos you cannot tell the difference between this guy and the Bob Anderson/David Prowse Darth Vader from the Original Trilogy.
One source is certain that the blue tank we see in the teaser has Darth Vader inside it. This person has a lot of material associated with the production. They believe a sequence was filmed in which Darth Vader gets his limbs interchanged and repaired in the movie. If accurate, it would explain some in-universe discrepancies around Darth Vader’s abilities in the 1977 film compared to the rest of the stories we’ve seen from Vader’s appearances in Star Wars Rebels to the work Bob Anderson did to make Vader a swordsmen. Originally David Prowse (who played Vader in the 1977 film) lied about being able to sword fight, leaving George Lucas with a Darth Vader that couldn’t really do much with a lightsaber. So the limb loss and subsequent new limbs he supposedly suffers in Rogue One makes me ponder if that’s why Darth Vader is so tight when fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi a short time later. Was he not used to the new limbs? Does he lose them because of Jyn and her band of rebels or is that the reason Jyn and her rebels are able to succeed?
The rumor is that the Rogue One production also recreated Darth Vader’s meditation chamber from The Empire Strikes Back. The question is do we see the face of Anakin Skywalker in the regenerative tank glimpsed in the teaser or in the mediation chamber? There were rumors that Hayden Christensen was training with Star Wars people but we were never able to place him at the location.
I cannot wait to see Darth Vader back on the big screen. I love the prequels, but the one thing I always dreamed of as a kid when I imagined what they might be was Darth Vader destroying Rebels and Jedi on screen. Now, for the first time since 1980, it looks like we’re going to see Darth Vader killing rebels on screen on a mission to save the Empire from “terrorists.”