Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode VII Would Be a Mistake

I like to follow casting rumors just as much as the next guy, but the Star Wars rumors have gone from laughable to absolute lunacy.

16451WWE wrestler Sheamus was recently spotted near Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of Ireland, which is also where some of the filming for Star Wars: Episode VII is taking place. So, of course, that means he’s definitely in the movie, and obviously going to play Darth Vader.

Of course that kind of overlooks the fact that Darth Vader is kind of, you know, dead.

The reason, superficial though it may be, that people are jumping to the conclusion that he’s playing Darth Vader (if in fact he’s in the movie at all, which is a very impressive stretch of the imagination)is that he’s played the character on tours in costume before. Wait, I screwed up. Did I say the reason? That’s not much of a reason. More of an excuse for a severe lapse in judgment. Using that to say he could be playing the character is like saying my cousin should be in a Disney movie because he wore the Mickey suit at Disneyland one summer.

But, to be clear, even though every internet gossip site is reporting this like it’s actual news, I don’t think it’s happening. Even forgiving for the appalling lack of logic here, it doesn’t fit the production’s M.O. The studio has been infamous for its secrecy of the whole project. Actor Domhnall Gleeson said they even have the actors wear cloaks around their clothes when they’re outside of the studio to avoid giving away costumes prematurely. They’re intense.

_PB66286_crop_northNow compare that with Sheamus’ tweet: “I cant confirm that i wont not be reprising role of Darth Vader in #StarWars … I hope that’s clear”

This doesn’t point to an actual appearance by Sheamus. It points to a showman who’s embellishing in the spotlight because he just happened to be in the same area where filming was taking place. Additionally, the studio has revealed the cast. Why would they feel the need to keep Sheamus a secret? Now his role would be kept secret, of course, as is most everybody’s at this point, but why keep his identity as an actor a secret? It just doesn’t make any sense.

But if Darth Vader were to reappear in any shape or form, even if it isn’t by way of a childish professional wrestler, it would still be a mistake. The first problem is exceedingly obvious: Darth Vader is dead. It’s kind of hard to get around that fact, especially when the end of Return of the Jedi depicts his body being burned, and you see Anakin’s spirit ghost just before the closing credits.
Now it is true that Darth Sidious is returning. I think that’s a mistake too, but he’s returning nevertheless as a spirit ghost.

“So Vader could come back too!!!”

Calm down, Silent Bob. If Anakin Skywalker is in the film as a force ghost, it couldn’t be as Vader, because he died as Anakin. A good guy. The hero. So Vader couldn’t come back that way.

“But what about a flashback?!”

Jay. Listen to yourself. When has a Star Wars movie ever featured a flashback? For that matter, when has J.J. Abrams ever shown a fondness for flashbacks? Even if they did do that, it would be a big mistake, for the film commercially and for the film as a piece of art. Why? Because the only way this film can be good or successful is if it moves forward instead of reliving the past. That’s why they’ve got some younger actors instead of just recycling Hamill, Ford, and Fisher as the main act. That’s why Adam Driver is the villain instead of James Earl Jones. That’s already going to be difficult to accomplish with the return of Darth Sidious, and the return of Darth Vader would make it impossible. With the return of both of the crucial villains, the original triumph over the Empire is meaningless, the heroes weak, and the new movies become blatantly about sucking on the franchise for a few more million, while needlessly hacking away at one of space opera’s most beloved stories.

But I don’t think they’d do that. I don’t think they’re that unintelligent. So rest assured, perturbed fans, Darth Vader will not be ridiculed by a return in this film. I don’t have faith in Disney by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have faith in Abrams, and I do have faith in the cast, and I do have faith in the franchise.

Maybe it’s misplaced, but it’s there until the final product casts it down. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t. ~ Logan Judy: Extremis Star Wars Contributor.



About Julian Munds

I possess a degree in Theatre and Drama from the University of Toronto. I own my own theatre company called Snobbish Theatre. We focus our work on new versions of classics.

Posted on August 13, 2014, in Episode VII, Star Wars and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Well said. Or written, rather. I especially agree about the need for the story to move forward. Looking back I think that’s a major part of why I disliked the prequels so much. It was a lot of treading water leading up to events we had already watched a thousand times.

  1. Pingback: Will Star Wars Episode VII Invalidate the Prophecy of Anakin? | THE EXTREMIS REVIEW

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