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When last we saw Darth Vader (on the proper timeline), he was a ghost. It was the end of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, and Anakin Skywalker had made peace with his son, Luke, after years of trying to kill him. So how will Lord Vader factor in to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII -- and what might he look like? Read on.
This image was shared by MillenniumFalcon as part of a massive batch of Star Wars: Episode VII concept art images. Do not click the link to that site if you do not want to comb through images that could be spoilers from J.J. Abrams’ movie. In fact, some of the following conversation will delve into potential reveals from Abrams’ sequel, so tread lightly. I’ll put the rest of the conversation after this stirring farewell between father and son. Get your tissues ready.
Before you go thinking that through the magic of time travel (or bad screenwriting), J.J. Abrams will bring Darth Vader back, let me ease your concerns. From what we can tell in the concept art, only Darth Vader’s mask will be evident in Star Wars: Episode VII. That mask, which we saw Luke taking off (and later burning) now sits in the hands of this dude… who is a mystery at the moment.
The web sites refer to him as "Grave Robber," and if he’s holding the mask of Lord Vader, you can understand why. In the image above, you can see a number of important details about this character, who – in the past – has been rumored to be everything from a Sith Inquisitor to Luke Skywalker, himself. He does have the mechanical hand of Skywalker, something that J.J. Abrams hinted at in a cryptic Tweet a while back. But he facial features are deformed, covered in robotic technology, and the way that he lovingly looks at the Vader helmet in the above image (and in this one) suggests a bit of hero worship. As if he were a student, trying to continue his master’s work.
So there you have it. Darth Vader likely won’t be in Star Wars: Episode VII. But his legacy may continue to cast a large shadow over the main characters in the movie, possibly influencing a villain known, for now, as the "Grave Robber." Thoughts?