With ‘Rogue One’ less than a month away from being released domestically (and less than three weeks away from its actual premiere), Disney and Lucasfilm are pushing out the PR team to make sure all eyes are on the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, and it seems the magazine of choice at the moment is Entertainment Weekly, which has just released an issue with two exclusive ‘Rogue One’ covers (once with Jyn Erso and one with Darth Vader) and over 15 new production stills from the film, not to mention a lot of coverage about the latest installment in the franchise. Now that we are so close to release it seems that Lucasfilm is finally ready to push the Darth Vader angle, as this is potentially the last time the iconic villain could be used in a new film, and they did not want to use him too early in their promotional material for ‘Rogue One,’ instead wanting the new characters and dynamics to be the draw for audiences. Now though, he is front and center and even with a small role in the film, his presence is sure to excite generations of fans, especially those who were so disappointed that the last time we saw a version of him on screen he was stiffly portrayed by Hayden Christiansen in a Frankenstein version of himself screaming “NooooOO!” in one of the comically worse moments of ‘Revenge of the Sith.”

As for Darth Vader’s role in the film when operating alongside Director Krennic, Lucasfilm Head of Story Development Kiri Hart had the following to say about their dynamic:

“Here is the thing about Krennic: his perspective obviously is that of a person who doesn’t understand the Force. And Darth Vader comes at everything from the perspective of understanding the Force. So that I think is the thing that you see sort of separating Darth Vader from other characters with regards to a super weapon like this.

“There are military men who are interested in a really effective piece of military hardware, and Darth Vader is a little bit beyond that, right? He’s tapped into something on another level, on a spiritual level. So, that’s part of the fun of Vader in the context of the Imperial Military. He’s got a broader perspective.”

Check out some of the photos from the EW coverage below, and then feel free to share your thoughts on ‘Rogue One,’ the return of Darth Vader, or any theories you have for the film in the comments below!













‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ invades theaters on December 16.

Sources: Collider, Screenrant