We all know that Darth Vader died at the end of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, but that hasn’t stopped fans of the iconic villain from hoping that we’ll see him again now that more Star Wars movies are in development. Sure, there was always little to no chance that we’d see Vader in Episode VII (though Anakin Skywalker could always reappear in Jedi ghost form), but what about the planned spinoff films? We assume that many of them could take place in the past, filling in the various gaps between official “Episodes” throughout the entire saga.
Though there’s always the chance that Vader could appear in one or more of those movies, the man behind the iconic, booming voice of the Sith Lord recently said that he personally won’t be involved. In an interview with Variety, James Earl Jones was asked if there were any chance that he’d return for the upcoming movies, and he said:
“Oh no. I’ve got no illusions that I will or even hankerings to be in them, but I’m very proud to have been part of the original… I have no idea where they’ll go with it, but I hope they sustain the success of the first ones and do it well.”
Of course, there’s always the option of recasting the part and allowing a new voice actor to don the helmet, but it would be wise for J.J. Abrams, Gareth Edwards, Josh Trank, and any future Star Wars directors to let the character rest for the time being. At this point, there simply is no Vader without the voice of James Earl Jones, and perhaps it’s time to let some new villains come into the fold. (Admiral Thrawn, I’m looking at you!)
Star Wars: Episode VII arrives in theaters on December 18th, 2015, while the first two spin-off films will arrive in 2016 and 2018.