David Prowse may be credited with lending his physical appearance to the role of Darth Vader across the original Star Wars trilogy, but without James Earl Jones’ booming and iconic voice, that signature sense of gravitas would be lost to the stars.
Thankfully, Entertainment Weekly brings word today that Earl Jones will indeed return to voice the galaxy’s biggest menace in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with a handful of young actors donning the famous suit to bring the character to life on screen. Just don’t expect ol’ Vader to own much screentime in Gareth Edwards’ hotly-anticipated spinoff.
MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB
That’s because, as we learned yesterday, it is Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic that stands as the chief villain in Rogue One. “He [Vader] will be in the movie sparingly,” Kathleen Kennedy told EW. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.” Exactly what that “key strategic moment” could be remains up for question, though we assume it revolves around the installation of the Death Star’s planet-crushing WMD.
Though he may be pulling the strings from the background, the mere presence of Darth Vader will be enough to leave old-school Star Wars on edge, waiting with, ahem, bated breath for the magnetic villain to step onto the screen.
“Within the Empire, there is the culture of knowing of the existence of Darth Vader,” said director Gareth Edwards. “There’s definitely an underlying feeling that there is a power – a dark power – available to the Empire and that if you overstep your mark, you will suffer the consequences.”
Elsewhere on the casting call, Felicity Jones leads the charge as Jyn Erso, flanked by Donnie Yen, Diego Luna, and Forest Whitaker’s Rebel extremist, Saw Gerrera. Rogue One also features a host of characters that include Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), Rebel fighter Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), Alan Tudyk’s droid K-2SO – billed as “the antithesis of C-3PO” – Imperial leader Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and, finally, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) as the wanted father of Felicity Jones’ heroine.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is expected to arrive on December 16.