Star Wars Episode VII: Return of Darth Vader?
Will Darth Vader be resurrected in the new Star Wars trilogy? That’s the claim from British publication The Express, which quotes a “film mole” as saying, “He’s an integral part of the franchise. Replacing him is virtually impossible. The plan is for him to return and play a significant role in the new films.”
While stranger things have happened in the “Expanded Universe” of tie-in Star Wars fiction, and cloning technology is available, this seems a little far-fetched. What we could see, though, is the “Force spirit” of Vader’s alter-ego, Anakin Skywalker, returning to guide his descendants. Late in the prequel trilogy there was a heavy emphasis on Obi-Wan Kenobi learning to commune with the spirits of the dead, which of course ties in with Kenobi’s ghostly appearances to Luke Skywalker after his own death in the original trilogy — and the new films could certainly benefit from restoring some of this mysticism to the Jedi ways.
There’s also this: George Lucas made a point to replace Sebastian Shaw’s appearance as Anakin’s spirit at the end of Episode VI with Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin as a young man in Episodes II and III. Could that have been because Shaw left us long ago, and Christensen remains to make further appearances as the fallen Jedi who was redeemed?