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While the basic premise of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been clear from the beginning, the details have all been clouded in mystery. One thing that we did know was that Darth Vader would be making an appearance in the film, but we still didn't really know what that meant. Now, we finally have at least some answers about how Lord Vader will make his presence known, and even a bit about the early hierarchy of the Empire.
While the primary villain of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is actually played by Ben Mendelsohn, a new report by Entertainment Weekly tells us that Darth Vader will be looming over him. Mendelsohn's character won't be reporting to Vader, but to the Emperor himself. One gets the distinct impression that Vader isn't too happy about this. Of course, nobody wants to upset Darth Vader. EW reports on GMA:
Darth Vader kind of looms large over the plot, even when he's not necessarily on screen, because the new villain, 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.
This means that Vader is key to the story, even though it doesn't sound like he'll be driving the plot himself. It will be interesting to see how the Star Wars: Rogue One handles this power dynamic. Will Ben Mendelsohn's character be scared of Darth Vader, afraid that if he screws up he'll find himself on the wrong end of a Force choke? Or will he instead be angry that Darth Vader is inserting himself into matters that don't directly concern him? We're guessing that Vader is going to be presented as the punishment for failure. This Imperial officer has a job to do, and if he fails, the Emperor is going to let Darth Vader handle it. We'll probably see Vader show up throughout the film primarily to remind Mendelsohn what's going to happen if he screws up.
While the rise of the Emperor was a major part of the Star Wars prequels, he's not a major on-screen force until the end of the original trilogy. The Emperor is mentioned, but it's clear that Darth Vader is his instrument. When Vader speaks, he does so on behalf of the Emperor, and everybody knows it. Since every indication is that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is trying hard to mimic the tone of the original trilogy, it makes sense that they'd want Darth Vader to play the same sort of function here.
Are you looking forward to seeing Darth Vader return to the big screen? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits screens in December.