James Earl Jones Will Return to Voice Darth Vader in Star Wars: Rogue One

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To be clear, this guy is not Darth Vader. Photo: Lucasfilm

Finally, a Star Wars rumor turns out to be true: Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that Darth Vader will appear in the universe's first spinoff movie, Rogue One. "Darth Vader kind of looms large over the plot even when he's not necessarily onscreen," EW writer Anthony Breznican told Good Morning America about the reveal, pointing out that Ben Mendelsohn's character remains the primary villain. EW also confirmed that Mads Mikkelsen is playing Felicity Jones's father, "a scientist whose knowledge is sought by both sides," and that you won't get to see Alan Tudyk's blond locks in the movie, because he's playing a performance-capture droid. There's no news yet on who's playing Vader himself, but if anything, it'll probably be more of a cameo appearance: two minutes of heavy breathing, a spooky line delivery or two, and maybe an indistinct silhouette. Who cares? Fans love indistinct silhouettes!

Update, June 23: Lest you fear that no one could deploy just the right timbre for that raspy voice, a new update from EW promises that James Earl Jones will return to voice Darth Vader in Rogue One. While David Prowse was the man inside the suit in the original films, "a variety of large-framed performers" will embody him in the newer installment. "He will be in the movie sparingly," producer Kathleen Kennedy said of Vader's presence in the movie, like a celebrity chef explaining how to deploy turmeric. "But at a key, strategic moment, he's going to loom large."