Last week, a description of a piece of leaked concept art for the pic dropped online and appeared to promise that Darth Vader will be making a return. It apparently showed Kylo Ren in a new throne room, reflecting the fact that he’s now in charge of the First Order. Seen in the window’s reflection as he looks into space is his grandfather, with his face split between Anakin Skywalker and the mask of the Imperial villain.
Assuming that’s all on the level, it begs the question: what’s going on here? Well, Star Wars fan theorist Mike Zeroh has some ideas which are quite interesting. For starters, he says that he’s confident that this concept art description is to be believed because it’s known that The Force Awakens nearly saw Vader return in Rey’s Force vision flashback scene. Now that J.J. Abrams has returned to the director’s chair, it makes sense that he’d resurrect the idea.
Because of this initial plan, the YouTuber theorizes that Vader’s appearance in Episode IX will take the form of a Force vision as well. Zeroh then ties that together with a previous theory he devised which argued that Ren will travel to Vader’s home on Mustafar in IX as filming’s set to take place around live volcano Mount Etna.
According to Zeroh, Ren could make his way to his grandpappy’s old castle in order to visit the Dark Force Cave located underneath it, as revealed in Marvel’s Darth Vader comics series. This is where Ren will have the vision of his idol, allowing Vader to come back for a fan-pleasing cameo, which could spell Hayden Christensen’s first appearance in the saga in well over a decade.
Of course, it’s too early to say whether any of this is spot on, but there certainly is a lot of buzz surrounding a possible Darth Vader appearance in Star Wars: Episode IX and the evidence does seem to suggest that the big guy’s coming back in some form. How he’ll make his return remains to be seen, but as soon as we learn more, we’ll let you know.