A couple months back, speculation began that Darth Vader might be making an appearance in the Han Solo Star Wars spinoff, when Rogue One‘s Vader actor—Spencer Wilding—dropped out of an appearance at a convention, reportedly because he was filming a role in “the newest film in the Star Wars universe.” Wilding’s involvement in any currently in-production Star Wars movies was never confirmed by Lucasfilm, and Wilding himself stated that claims of his involvement were false, so Vader’s presence in the Han Solo movie has remained nothing more than fan speculation. We can now, however, exclusively say that everyone’s favorite dark lord of the Sith will be dropping by Ron Howard’s upcoming feature.
A source close to the production has revealed to us that someone—presumably not Wilding, given his pretty definitive statement that he isn’t involved—was on the set of Howard’s Han Solo reshoots in Darth Vader’s armor as recently as two weeks ago. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all we can confirm. We don’t know how big of a role Vader will play in Han Solo; it could be nothing more than a brief cameo in a single shot; it could be a full scene with dialogue; it could be multiple scenes. We don’t know. The only thing we can say with confidence is that Darth Vader is making some kind of appearance in the film.
Speaking for myself, I hope that Vader doesn’t factor too heavily in the movie. Rogue One demonstrates that Vader is best used with surgical care. His two scenes in Rogue One are as powerful as they are precisely because they’re the only scenes he’s in. He entered, made his mark, and then exited. If Vader had been floating around over Tarkin’s shoulder (or something like that) the whole movie, it would have dramatically diluted his impact in those two big scenes. Vader is a character with a powerful presence, and the last thing we want is for that to be watered down with unnecessary appearances. Luckily, the judicious nature of his use in Rogue One indicates to me that Lucasfilm is well aware of the potential pitfalls of using Vader too much, and will act with similar restraint with his role in Han Solo.
What do you think? Are you excited about seeing Vader again in Han Solo? How big of a role do you think he’ll play? Let us know in the comments.