Star Wars: The Force Awakens is obviously the exciting centerpiece of the new franchise plan Disney and Lucasfilm will be rolling out in the coming months and years, but it's far from the only intriguing thing. After The Force Awakens comes Rogue One, the Gareth Edwards-directed first installment in a series of spinoff films dubbed Star Wars: Anthology. The idea is to tell stories connected to the main films, while also allowing different filmmakers the chance to tell different kinds of Star Wars stories. In Rogue One's case, that story is a combination of heist and war, the tale of how a group of rebels managed to steal the plans to the first Death Star, which led to its destruction at the end of the very first Star Wars film. it's a very intriguing idea, not just because it's the kind of Star Wars film we've never seen before, but also because it allows us to look at a point in Star Wars history we've never glimpsed on the big screen.
Now, the project looks even more intriguing. Devin Faraci of Birth.Movies.Death. reports that he has a "good source" who claims that Darth Vader will make his first live-action appearance since 2005 (and his first good live-action appearance since 1983) in the film. According to the report, Vader won't be the main villain, but will show up in a supporting capacity via something like a hologram projection (much like Emperor Palpatine first showed up in The Empire Strikes Back).
Faraci notes that his source wouldn't spill any other details, including how long we might see Vader and whether or not the film will also involve Grand Moff Tarkin. Still, if this is true, it's big. This is a pre-Luke Skywalker Vader we're talking about, back when he was an absolute galactic monster who struck fear in the hearts of every Rebel soldier. It would be the perfect opportunity to remind us of the character's power while not overusing him.
Star Wars: Rogue One arrives December 16, 2016.