DARTH VADER Returning to STAR WARS…?!

As the hype continues to grow for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December, both fans and Lucasfilm are slowly diverting some attention over to Episode VIII, coming in May 2017. We know Benicio del Toro will play a villain, the movie is casting for a female lead and has recently returned to Skellig Michael to shoot with Mark Hamill, confirming that Luke Skywalker will live past VII. However, there have pretty much been no plot details available – until now. Maybe.

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Making Star Wars, a very reliable fansite, have emerged with two fun, Darth Vader-centric rumours. One is pretty expected and cool, and the other is expected but… well, scary. Take a look.

“A fully operational Darth Vader chest piece along with the helmet made it to the creature shop for the next film. The lights on the chest piece work and everything.”

We’ve heard about Darth Vader popping up in Star Wars: Rogue One before so it’s probable that that’s what it’s there for, however the site also notes that they only knew of the one chest piece that had been made – if he was heavily involved then there would likely be multiple lying around. So, what could it be for? It doesn’t rule out an appearance, but it could suggest that it’ll merely be a cameo scene – or for another purpose entirely.

The other is a little trickier, with plenty of interpretations.

A team in the U.K. are soon heading to the U.S. to begin training Hayden Christensen for a Star Wars: Episode VIII appearance of some sort.

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Now, Hayden Christensen doesn’t exactly have the best reputation amongst fans – or the rest of Hollywood, for that matter. His acting in the Prequel Trilogy is generally regarded as one of its lowest points, yet the debate of whether this was his fault or George Lucas’ directing is ongoing. Either way, his career didn’t exactly soar during or after the Prequels. Christensen’s Anakin sucked, and the way he’s portrayed in The Clone Wars is just a million times more interesting. Disney have also been trying to distance the franchise from those movies by focusing almost everything Star Wars-related on the Original Trilogy and beyond. Why would they bring back one of the worst elements?

The keyword here is “training”. Unless he’s really let himself go then there wouldn’t be any need to train for a simple Force Ghost cameo, so we’re gonna assume he’ll be involved in a fight sequence. There are three possibilities:

  1. It’ll be a flashback to the time of the Clone Wars.
  2. Lord Vader will be appearing in Rogue One and Hayden Christensen will be donning the outfit.
  3. Vader gets resurrected in Episode VIII.

Or it could be any five of these – Robot Vader? Totally happening!

A flashback isn’t entirely out of the question. There’s allegedly one in The Force Awakens, and it could go a long way in redeeming both Christensen himself and Anakin’s portrayal from those movies. Plus, it means we could also get Ewan McGregor back as Obi-Wan!

The Vader in Rogue One thing is all-but-confirmed, but I don’t see any need for Christensen to be under the mask. Sure, it would be nice, I guess, but there’s really no need at all.

A resurrection?

I don’t know.

I really, really dislike the idea. Turning Vader into a god-like figurehead post-Return of the Jedi is interesting and the way he’s being featured and referenced in The Force Awakens is a good way to keep the icon around but not rehash things. This would be rehashing things. With the Prequels, the entire saga became the story of Anakin Skywalker’s rise, fall, and redemption; I’m totally fine with that and it enhances the emotion of the Original Trilogy. However, the story really is done. There isn’t any more to be added to it – it’s absolutely fine (well, it’s not, but sadly we can’t remake the Prequels) as it is. Not only would bringing him back as either Anakin or Vader severely dampen the goodwill they’ve built up with the fans, but it would really damage the story too.

Fortunately, I don’t think either J.J. Abrams or Rian Johnson – or the rest of the Story Group, for that matter – would allow something like this to make it into the new movies. Judging from everything we’ve seen Disney and Lucasfilm want to create nostalgia for and give respect to the Original Trilogy, but the focus is really on the new characters and moving forward; it’s BB-8 that’s making such a huge splash with kids and everybody else rather than R2-D2. It’s entirely possible they may want to try bring Vader back but I find it very unlikely. A more respectful and emotional way to reference the past would be a scene between Luke and his father as a Force Ghost, which is an interaction we never truly got to see through all six movies, except the removal of the helmet at the end of Jedi.

Anakin's Dark Side

The site also stressed that these two nuggets are rumours. Unconfirmed. It could all be complete bullshit, and Lucasfilm aren’t letting Hayden Christensen anywhere near Skywalker Ranch ever again. We just don’t know, but because we’re blind, rabid and hungry fans we’ll run with this for the time being.

What do you guys think? Should Hayden Christensen come back for Star Wars Episode VIII, and if so, then in what capacity? Sound off!

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I have been reborn amidst salt and smoke to lead UTF against the darkness. I'm also an amateur writer and filmmaker as well as having played the 16th Doctor and invented penicillin. Also, deceased.