Darth Vader Appears In The New 'Rogue One' Trailer & Totally Steals The Show — VIDEO

Fans should feel a little less confused after watching the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer. Finally, director Gareth Edwards is revealing a bit more about heroine Jyn Erso and her scientist father, Galen Erso. Turns out, Galen and his knowledge are quite critical in the Empire's "development of a super project," AKA the Death Star, and Jyn, who clearly hasn't seen her dad in ages, is critical to helping the Rebels find him. But that might have been hard to focus on since another father figure is in the mix. Why, yes, that was Darth Vader in the Rogue One trailer, on full display for a quick second, looking more menacing than ever as he comes out of the shadows. It's just more proof that Darth Vader's role in this latest installment is more than a nostalgia play and could actually lead to some action.

Darth Vader was teased in the original Rogue One trailer, sure, and here he does nothing but walk in and steal the show. So typical of Darth. However, the fact that he's even there has people excitedly speculating what he's up to. (Seriously, check out Twitter, where Darth is getting a lot of "welcome back" messages.) His shadow is certainly hanging heavy in the movie that takes place before A New Hope, a film that begins with Princess Leia hiding the plans to the Death Star in R2-D2 before being captured.

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But Vader's expanded role shouldn't be too surprising, since Entertainment Weekly teased months ago that Darth Vader will be "back at the height of his powers." The film's producer Kathleen Kennedy told EW that Vader, voiced by James Earl Jones once again, will be in the movie "sparingly, but, at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.” This was reinforced in Rogue One's newest poster, which focuses on said looming.

Look to the right of Felicity Jones, right above her shoulder, and you'll see Darth lurking in the background. That may be a symbol of Darth Vader hiding in plain sight throughout this movie, despite being used sparingly. Darth Vader is even hiding in the trailer at 1:16 mark, listening to the Empire's Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) explaining the power they're dealing with. Vader is not yet the powerful leader that we first meet in A New Hope, but more like the muscle who takes care of the Empire's problems — not unlike Kylo Ren's role in Star Wars: A Force Awakens. Coincidence? I can't help but think not.

The mystery behind Darth Vader's role in this film, which takes place during a period of his life that has not been explored in the cinema, is what makes his appearance in the trailer so exciting. He's now directly connected to a character who is outside the original Star Wars hexalogy's world. He's a part of Jyn Erso's story in a way that will have to be seen to be believed. How Edwards uses Darth Vader will be studied and nitpicked, but, as this new trailer proves, the bold move seems like one that will pay off with viewers.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters Dec. 16.

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