David Prowse as Darth Vader in a scene from the film 'Star Wars', 1977. (Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)
20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

Entertainment Weekly just unveiled its new cover, and before we even get to read the story, we've got the huge scoop: Darth Vader is 100 percent returning to Star Wars this December for Rogue One, the series' first non-trilogy spinoff movie since the saga launched in 1977. 

"We have a run-down of the Sith lord’s first day on set," the magazine writes, "and what his return means for the larger Star Wars storytelling universe." (Rogue One is set between 77's Episode IV: A New Hope and 2005's Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.) EW senior writer Anthony Breznican told Good Morning America (via Vulture), "Darth Vader kind of looms large over the plot even when he's not necessarily onscreen."

Lucasfilm/Entertainment Weekly

EW's Rogue One cover story won't hit newsstands till Friday, June 24, but the previous does offer teaser-y tidbits. We'll get a look at "taller, slimmer walkers known as AT-ACTs hauling cargo, and flatter, fang-like interceptors known as TIE Strikers," plus "full details of the squad of characters uniting to take on the Empire, played by the most multicultural cast to appear in a Star Wars film yet." Last thing to salivate over: The article will give some info on that caped baddie played by Bloodline's Ben Mendelsohn, an "ambitious officer, who’s eager to earn the favor of the Emperor—and avoid the wrath of his black-masked enforcer."

Fan speculation about Vader's presence in Rogue One shifted to a seemingly confirmed fact back in May, when visuals from the book Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—The Official Visual Story Guide were prematurely released on the internet. If this has all got you in the theory-zone, check out our roundup of Episode VII: The Force Awakens theories and our (definitely infallible) predictions for Episode VIII, coming in December 2017. Don't forget out Complete Guide to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, either.

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