'Star Wars: Rogue One' Darth Vader Actor Confirmed With Speaking Role?

darth vader rogue one
Will Darth Vader speak in Star Wars: Rogue One? Lucasfilm

Star Wars: Rogue One fever is officially in full effect following the debut of the film’s first trailer last week. Similar to The Force Awakens, fan theories have gone into overdrive, and that speculation shows no sign of letting up until Rogue One hits theaters in December. One of the major questions regards the presence of Darth Vader. There is a particular shot that shows a hooded, robed figure bowing before… something. Could it be Lord Vader paying respect to Emperor Palpatine?

Reports about Vader’s appearance in Rogue One have been brewing for months. Back in January, we wrote about stunt suits that were allegedly designed for the turned Anakin Skywalker, which indicated that he’ll play a significant role in Star Wars: Rogue One. Now rumors are swirling around that, if true, not only confirm Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but identify the actor playing him.

The potential casting news comes by way of FlickeringMyth (h/t Making Star Wars ). “Our sources are telling us that in fact British actor Spencer Wilding has been cast to play the body of Darth Vader in Rogue One,” reads the report. “Our source also confirms that Wilding has been running lines while on set, so Darth Vader will have a speaking role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

It seemed all but certain that Vader would appear in Rogue One, but the fact that Wilding is supposedly running lines for the part is massive news. This opens up a world of possibilities for the upcoming film, including the potential of Darth Vader once again featuring as the main antagonist.

Keep in mind that Rogue One, a Star Wars spin-off that tells the story of the rebels who stole the original Death Star plans, is set between the events of Episode III and Episode IV. Darth Vader appearing in the film is not only logical, but expected. How much he will dictate the action of Rogue One remains to be seen, however.

spencer wilding
Spencer Wilding, who is allegedly playing Darth Vader in Star Wars: Rogue One Photo: Spencer Wilding

Director Gareth Edwards has gone on record talking about his plans to differentiate Rogue One from previous Star Wars films. While those classic influences obviously play a part of the overall film, Edwards insists that Rogue One will play out more like a “heist movie,” and even claimed to draw inspiration from the World War II blockbuster Saving Private Ryan.

With that information, it’s easy to see Edwards steering clear of portraying Vader as the main villain, and simply keeping him around for the sake of “historical” accuracy and fan satisfaction. But with over six months to go, anything can happen. Hopefully the next Rogue One trailer can shed more light on Vader’s role. 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters Dec. 16

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