Will Darth Vader or the Inquisitors show up in Rebels S3? With the focus so far on Thrawn, Dave Filoni talks to /Film about whether we’ll see any of Rebels’ traditional villains in the new season.
Exactly how much Darth Vader will there be in Rogue One? “He will be in the movie sparingly,” Kathleen Kennedy tells Entertainment Weekly. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”
James Earl Jones is returning to voice one of his most iconic characters, with “a variety of large-framed performers” inside the suit.
But as iconic as he is to the audience, in-galaxy Vader is “still a background player.” To the Rebellion, he’s more of a legend than a fact:
“Within the Rebellion, it’s not commonly spoken about,” says director Gareth Edwards. “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.”
The article also looks at where Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic fits in, and Vader’s first day on set.
And nope – no stills yet. Will Vader make his Rogue One debut at Celebration?
The publicity blitz for Rogue One begins with an Entertainment Weekly cover, introducing more of the story to mainstream movie fans, getting the word out that this is set before A New Hope, involves the Death Star, and all the other things your less-obsessive friends and family need to know. (Or, well, a few things you couldn’t tell them after the teaser trailer.) Here’s what we learned today:
Darth Vader is back
It feels like rumors about Darth Vader being in the film have been running rampant since day one, so it’s not at all a shock that EW comes straight out with it. (Also confirming that James Earl Jones is back to voice him, though multiple people will be donning the suit.) And hey, remember the mainstream? The mainstream LOVES Darth Vader. The marketing for Rogue One is absolutely going to use the guy, even if he just appears in 5 minutes of the film. It’s happening. Plus, it’s nice not to have to write around the utterly obvious any more. We also learned that Vader will only be used “sparingly.”
A Clone Wars character comes to the big screen
But the big surprise today wasn’t Vader, it’s the reveal of who exactly Forest Whitaker is playing. He’s Saw Gerrera, a character who was introduced on The Clone Wars but was originally created by George Lucas for the live-action series that never happened. Pablo Hidalgo talks a bit more about that on the latest Star Wars Show, and how Saw ended up in the movie. Dave Filoni talked to Comicbook.com about the character’s jump to the big screen.
Of course, there’s even more from Pablo on Twitter. The key quotes, I think: “The idea, and we talked about this in Season 5, is that Saw was a key architect of the rebellion. But he’s definitely not Mothma or Organa,” and “Think of Saw as the uncle mom and dad don’t talk about. Something bad went down. He’s ‘disowned’ to some degree.”
StarWars.com also put up a feature on Saw: Ten things to know about the character, by our pal Amy Ratcliffe. Note that his hme planet, Onderon, originates in an early Legends source, the 1993 Tales of the Jedi comics.
New (to us) Imperials
Ben Mendelsohn is confirmed to be playing Director Orson Krennic. He’s trying to crush the Rebels while avoiding Vader’s wrath – and “palace intrigue” gets a mention, which is sure to please some.
He’s intended to be something of a contrast with the cold brand of Imperial epitomized by Grand Moff Tarkin, “Krennic runs a little hotter than that, so that’s kind of fun and it’s a little bit different,” Lucasfilm head of story development Kiri Hart tells EW. “He is unpredictable and volatile.”
The new black deathtroopers are “a new, deadlier breed of commando stormtrooper” who are “asked with hunting down and destroying the fragmented Rebel uprising.” There’s still a lot of questions about their purpose (and why we don’t see them again) but you can’t deny that they look pretty cool.
Welcome to the jungle
Rogue One introduces a new tropical paradise planet – as yet unnamed – that’s evokes the South Pacific and World War II. It was partially shot in the the Maldives.
Another location glimpsed in the new photos has tundra.
Meet the Ersos
Lead Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has “a checkered past,” Kathleen Kennedy says. “She has been detained [by the Rebellion] and is being given an opportunity to be useful. And by being useful, it may commute her sentence… She’s a real survivor. She becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story.” The decision to have a female lead was made by John Knoll before he knew about Rey.
The beans were already spilled by Mads Mikkelsen, but it’s confirmed that he’s playing Galen Erso, Jyn’s father. EW describes him as “the galactic version of nuclear pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer,” and Lucasfilm isn’t sharing many details just yet. Interestingly, they’ve also not released a photo of Mikkelsen in costume.
The rest of the gang
We also get a few details on the rest of the principal cast. Some of these we saw partially in that book leak from few weeks back. The group’s diversity is intentional. “People are coming to the Rebellion because something has happened that has galvanized or politicized them,” says Hart. “The question just becomes: What are those triggers for different people in different places?”
Diego Luna is Captain Cassian Andor, “a by-the-book Rebel intelligence officer.” He’s a bit weary but has a commitment to the long fight.Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe “very much still believes in everything the Jedi were about,” and that sounds very much like the tenets of the Church of the Force, the group led by Lor San Tekka that we saw briefly in The Force Awakens. Jiang Wen’s heavily armored Baze Malbus is a friend of Chirrut’s who’s supportive but not so much into all that Force business. The two are inspired by The Hidden Fortress, ala Threepio and Artoo, Kennedy says. Besides his staff, Chirrut also carries a brand-new weapon that could spark some debate until we see it in action.
Riz Ahmed’s Bodhi Rook is the group’s lead pilot. “He flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,” Kennedy says. “And he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.” Here’s another photo.
Alan Tudyk’s droid K-2SO (Kaytoo) is described by director Gareth Edwards as “a little bit like Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body. He doesn’t give a s— about what you think.” Looks like Chopper is getting some company in the ‘cranky droid’ department. Here’s a full body shot.
Edwads also confirms that there are two background aliens who fight with the group, but “they’re not necessarily front-and-center.”
Head to EW for more details.
The Darth Vader comic will end with #25, Marvel announced at IGN today. The ongoing by writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca debuted with the company’s 2015 relaunch of the Star Wars comic line.
“It was a situation where, you know, we’ve always said all the way through, from Darth Vader #1, that this was a story with a beginning, a middle and an end,” Gillen said. “And we kind of looked where we were after Vader Down, and we realized we were probably actually nearer to the end than we thought we were.”
Marvel has three ongoing Star Wars titles at the moment, with Star Wars and Poe Dameron (which replaced Kanan) being the other two. The end of Vader means we’ll likely see another soon.
After disappointing showings in previous years, Luke Skywalker not only made it to the finals, but won the whole thing, defeating previous champions Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi along the way. Newbies Rey and Kylo Ren also made quite a showing, facing off against Luke and Vader in the final four matchups.
I have returned, once again, to guide you with my wisdom. Yes, your fearless captain, Hondo Ohnaka, is back to tell you who to pick in the starwars.com ‘This Is Madness’ character tournament in the penulti… pe… second to last round. This round will decide which light side character and which dark side character will face off to see who the champion is.
On both sides, we have a bunch of those laser-sword wielding Jedi and Sith. For the light side, it’s Luke Skywalker against Rey. And right now, Luke has the lead against Rey. Both grew up on the Outer Rim without their parents, only to be shown a larger galaxy by a mentor who was killed by a Sith in a mask, and then started to learn about their Jedi skills. Also, both are good pilots. But I think I will pick Rey, because she had a tougher lot – Luke had his uncle and aunt and got to live on a farm. Rey had no one and lived in a crashed walker. That can’t be good for your back. Plus she can fly the Falcon, which I hear is a pretty good ship. Not as good as one of my ships, but perhaps close. So Rey.
On the dark side, there’s Darth Vader and his grandson Kylo Ren. And Vader has a big lead right now. So I’m going to go with that. I think Kylo will probably get mad though, and smash up some stuff. Or punch his side to get him pumped up to smash some stuff. But Vader – I hear he just fought off his apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, and she is a serious Jedi. or serious former Jedi. And my friend. So I don’t like Vader at all, but I do respect him from a distance. Vader.
And for the finals. I’m going to assume that Darth Vader wins the dark side. If he goes against Luke Skywalker, I say vote Luke, because as you know, Luke beat his father at Endor, and that counts. If he goes against Rey, I say vote Rey, because I don’t want Vader to win. Yes, just vote for the light side, since they are more likely to not put me out of business.
Rebels wraps up their second season tonight – and deals with some old Clone Wars business – with tonight’s one-hour ‘Twilight of the Apprentice’. IGN has an interview with Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg and Ashley Eckstein where they address the return (again) of Darth Maul, Darth Vader and Ahsoka. Eckstein also chats on StarWars.com.
Fans who don’t want to be spoiled on Twitter should probably mute the hashtag #StarWarsRebels.
Rebels begins at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on Disney XD. And yes, there will be a season three, probably beginning in the fall.
The second season of Rebels wraps up next Wednesday with the one-hour ‘Twilight of the Apprentice,’ bringing Darth Maul in, Darth Vader back, and all sorts of dark side shenanigans.
The show airs March 30 at 9:00 p.m. on Disney XD.
Io9/Gizmodo has an exclusive trailer setting the stage for the hour-long season finale for Star Wars Rebels. Heralding a confrontation between Darth Vader and Ahsoka Tano, this trailer reflects on their growth and relationship during the Clone Wars, and ends with a glimpse into their upcoming encounter, complete with a James Earl Jones voiceover. Lots of clips from The Clone Wars highlight their history together, as well as some the individual challenges they faced. Does this bode well for their meeting on Rebels?
Find out on March 30 with the hour-long season two finale of Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD, 9 pm ET/PT. When you think about it, neither Ahsoka nor Vader is a main character of the show, and yet the season finale focuses on these two re-uniting, and igniting their sabers against each other.