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Could Darth Vader return in Star Wars Episode VII?
Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Longtime readers of Coming Attractions will remember the days that I kept track of the rumors tossed about for Star Wars Episode I, The Phantom Menace. Looking back and reading some of those posts, it amazes me how many unconfirmed reports and stories I kept track of, as well as surprisingly how many turned out to be 100% real.
More often that not, they were bunk.
It's still in the early days of Episode VII rumor speculation. Aside from the skinny news stories about which A-list directors don't want to direct Episode VII (or are talking with the press to give their best "Aw shucks, I'm just a fan" comment), there's been little hard news to report. That's because there's probably only a small handful of people, maybe a dozen or thereabouts in total, that know what story ideas George Lucas gave to Disney for his vision for Star Wars Episode VII.
That's why I put little faith in the recent report that appeared in the pages of The Daily Express, a UK tabloid, that Darth Vader will supposedly rise from the dead and return to Star Wars to become the signature villain of the series. "He's an integral part of the franchise," the nameless insider supposedly told the paper. "Replacing him is virtually impossible."
Yet that's precisely what Lucas did with Episode I - III. The black-suited Dark Lord of the Sith -- which is truly the way that 99% of the public think of Darth Vader -- wasn't in Revenge of the Sith until the final few minutes of the movie. Lucas gave us other new Sith Lords to plague his heroes, most memorable of which was the horned, dual-lightsaber wielding Darth Maul. So would Disney and/or Lucas really decide to bring Vader back from the dead to be the baddie in Episodes VII - IX?
Resurrecting Darth Vader seems like a longshot. Even though he's become one of cinema's most well-known characters, I can't think of a means to bring back Vader that wouldn't turn Star Wars into something akin to bringing back Bobby Ewing on Dallas. Perhaps introducing a new Sith that's the spiritual successor to Vader can be done. They could even give this new villain some personal connection to Vader, like owning his red lightsaber or cloak or something like that. But to make Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader the new bad guy in Episode VII? That would ring hollow with Lucas' stated intentions for Episodes I - VI: for us to witness the rise, fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker.
Perhaps Michael Arndt is writing something right now in the Episode VII screenplay that has a connection to Darth Vader, but I doubt that he'd make that big of a fanfic mistake and place the original Sith gangster in the action.