Darth Vader might be the most iconic villain in cinematic history, right up there with the shark from Jaws and Norman Bates from Psycho. With his trademark heavy breathing and intimidating outfit, it's hard to believe that Darth Vader has actually been played by quite a few actors. There's Hayden Christensen from the prequels, the man who wore the costume on set of the original series, David Prowse, and then the voice, James Earl Jones. Darth Vader's voice is one of his defining features, so, when fans heard that he would be returning to the big screen in Rogue One, the question of if James Earl Jones plays Darth Vader in Rogue One was naturally on everyone's minds.
Thankfully, to the delight of fans and viewers everywhere, Jones is reprising his role and is voicing Darth Vader once more in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Though Jones wasn't on set during filming, allowing body doubles to wear the threatening armor and mask, he did record the voice for the character in the booth with director Gareth Edwards. "I was having this freakout, fanboy moment, because this hadn't happened in like years and years that James had done the voice of Darth Vader," Edwards recounted during a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Rogue One isn't actually the first time Jones has lent his talents to Darth Vader since the original series ended with Episode VI in 1983. According to Jones' IMDB page, the actor recently voiced Darth Vader in a handful of Star Wars Rebels episodes. But, the character has been performed by other voice actors in various video games, cartoon series, and other entertainment vehicles. Rogue One will mark the first time Jones is credited as Darth Vader's voice on the big screen in over 30 years.
The size of Jones' role in the film is unknown, but reports suggest Darth Vader won't have all that much screen time in Rogue One. "He will be in the movie sparingly," Lucasfilms' Kathleen Kennedy said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "But at a key, strategic moment, he's going to loom large." You can make of that what you will, but I'm choosing to believe it means that Jones' voice will be giving us all delicious nightmares as Vader once again.
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