Well, here’s your long-shot Star Wars rumor of the day, and we recommend swallowing it with a helping heaping of salt. In the wake of rumblings about possible Episode VII returns for Luke, Leia, and Han, now another iconic character is rumored to play a big part: none other than fallen Jedi/reformed Sith Lord Darth Vader.
Your reaction to that news is probably the same as mine was: Yeah, right. Nevertheless, it is the rumor being floated by the Express, who cite “industry insiders” and a “film mole” to back their claims that Vader will be resurrected somehow so he can participate in the new trilogy. Here’s the relevant quote from the aforementioned film mole: “He’s an integral part of the franchise. Replacing him is virtually impossible. The plan is for him to return and play a significant role in the new films.”
Obviously, unattributed quotes on the internet are about as rare as packing peanuts, and not nearly as useful. Will this rumor prove to be hogwash? Most likely. Is it the most ridiculous Episode VII rumor we’ll hear between now and the film’s 2015 release? Probably not.
Still, let’s presume for the moment that it is accurate. How do you bring Vader back? As you will recall, we last saw Vader/Anakin Skywalker being torched on a funeral pyre by Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi. I realize young Anakin survived a dip in a lava pool thanks to Palpatine’s intervention, but it’s bound to be a lot trickier to resurrect a pile of ashes.
A bigger problem, however, is that the story of Anakin Skywalker is finished. We’ve seen his humble origins, we’ve watched him fall to the Dark Side, and we saw him find redemption by saving his son and dropping his former employer down a really deep shaft that I’m sure served some sort of practical purpose other than emergency Sith disposal. If they brought him back…then what? Where does the character have to go from here? You can’t make him a bad guy again because that would make the previous six films a colossal waste of time, narratively speaking. If you bring him back and he’s still reformed, well, that’s nice, I guess. But why?
So yeah. Our B.S. detectors are going off something fierce on this one. Besides, I’m far more interested to find out if the chubby Rancor keeper will be making an appearance.