Villainous Darth Vader Reportedly Force Chokes His Way Into Upcoming ‘Rogue One’ Star Wars Spinoff

Star Wars has a new villain who wears a mask, that of Kylo Ren who appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first of a new trilogy of sequels that Disney plans to release two years apart from one another. But what of Darth Vader? Rumor has it he'll appear as his old self in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first of three planned spin offs.

The spin offs are standalone films that flesh out subplots in the main series. Rogue One will kick things off by focusing on events that occurred shortly before Star Wars: A New Hope, otherwise known as Episode IV (the original Star Wars movie released in 1977), focusing on the Rebels' mission to steal plans for the Death Star.

Darth Vader

Such a plot presents an opportunity to feature Darth Vader as the main villain once again. A news and blog site dedicated to all things Star Wars claims to have it on "good authority" that Darth Vader's original costume "has been meticulously recreated" for the spin off. Lending credibility to the claim is the fact that Brian Muir, the British sculptor who created Darth Vader's original helmet and suit, posted an updated on his Facebook page last November indicating he's started work on Rogue One at Pinewood Studios.

A new actor is said to be playing Darth Vader this time around, though if accepting all rumors as fact at this point, James Earl Jones will once again provide Vader's voice. It's not known if he's already recorded his lines or if that will occur in post production, but either way, the blog is pretty confident Darth Vader is returning in look and sound.

Given the reception and overwhelmingly positive reviews of Star Wars: A Force Awakens, there's reason to be optimistic that Rogue One will be another winner, albeit on a smaller scale compared to the main installments. Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) wrote the first draft of Rogue One before it was handed off to Chris Weitz (About a Boy, Cinderella 2015). Rumor has it that a third writer, Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation), provided some last minute polish to prep the script for filming.