Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back

Like every denizen of the Star Wars galaxy, Han Solo lived under The Empire's reign for more than two decades following Revenge of the Sith. However, it would be years before Han joined the Rebellion and started actively fighting back against Emperor Palpatine's regime. Because of that, the character's upcoming solo movie will explore how he became a notorious smuggler in his younger years, but don't think that means the Empire won't have a presence in the second Star Wars Anthology movie. In fact, it's now being reported that the Han Solo movie may be taking a cue from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by throwing Darth Vader into the mix.

For those of you who believed that Rogue One would be the last time we'd see Darth Vader on the big screen, you might want to hold off on such thoughts. Supposedly the respiratorily-impaired Sith Lord's armor was seen on the set of the Han Solo movie as recently as two weeks ago. It's unclear if Vader's role will be significant or if he'll just cameo, but evidently he will appear at some point. It also wasn't revealed in The Hashtag Show's write-up who is donning the Vader costume in the upcoming Star Wars movie. Spencer Wilding, who physically portrayed Vader in Rogue One, firmly denied a few months ago that he'll appear in the Han Solo movie, so if Vader is indeed showing up, another tall actor must've been recruited to put on the helmet and cape.

Given that Han Solo seemed to have never personally encountered Darth Vader until the events aboard the Death Star in A New Hope, one can surmise that if Vader does show up, he won't be anywhere near where our intrepid protagonist is. As for how involved Vader might be in the story, I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping that his presence will be minimal. Rogue One struck a fine balance between giving Vader notable screen time and not having him overshadow the main characters, so it would be wise to stick with that formula. But including Vader in Rogue One was an easier task since that the movie was set right before A New Hope. Fitting him seamlessly into the Han Solo movie is surely a more challenging task.

Of course, Darth Vader isn't the only Original Trilogy villain rumored to appear in the Han Solo movie. Shortly after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were dismissed as the spinoff's directors, it was reported that Jabba the Hutt might also grace the silver screen, which makes sense given that Han already had history with the slug-like crime lord before A New Hope. But if this Darth Vader report is legitimate, it sounds like Han Solo and his allies could face trouble from Imperials in addition to their enemies in the criminal underworld.

The Han Solo movie blasts its way into theaters on May 25, 2018.

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