June 23, 2016


James Earl Jones to Voice Darth Vader for Small But Crucial 'Rogue One' Role

Jim Spellman/WireImage
Jim Spellman/WireImage

On Tuesday, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that Darth Vader is returning for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first non-trilogy film in the series, one set between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. The excitement was palpable, despite the information being brutally incomplete. Now the cover story's got a new online sample with the reveals we needed.

First, James Earl Jones, now 85, is returning to voice the character. Original in-the-suit actor David Prowse, age 80, will be replaced by "a variety of large-framed performers."

As for Vader's presence, should our hopes be sky-high or knee-high? “He will be in the movie sparingly,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.” Evidently the Rebellion is almost entirely in the dark about the Sith Lord, although, as director Gareth Edwards puts it, “Within the Empire, there is the culture of knowing of the existence of Darth Vader. 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.”

Aside from the facts, though, EW's article has an adorable snippet with Edwards talking about Vader's first day on set:

“He’s got more in common with lighting a car than a person, so we wanted to get it exactly right. We had the breathing sound just to inspire everyone. I just got massive goosebumps. I was so nervous to turn the corner and see him. You have to pinch yourself. Everyone became children again, so easy. You just go straight back to being a 4-year-old, like, in a heartbeat. ... There’s all these rules about security on set, but I couldn’t help it. I got my phone out and started taking pictures of him, and pictures of me with him, because I felt like no one would ever believe that I’d met Darth Vader.”

Please tweet those selfies now that the word's out, Mr. Edwards.

Check out these awesome cosplayers from New York Comic Con 2015: