I don't know if you remember this, but I used to write a thing for this site called Fake Movie News where I made fun of the kind of dumb rumors and Hollywood moves that movie websites have to cover for hits. The thing about Fake Movie News was that a lot of real stories were well beyond exaggeration already. Devin's story yesterday about a MacGyver movie offers a pretty good example. This stupid Star Wars rumor offers another.
The Daily Express apparently has a "film mole" wise to Star Wars stuff. This "mole" claims that Darth Vader will have a role in these new Star Wars films. His quote is priceless, actually:
“He’s an integral part of the franchise. Replacing him is virtually impossible.”
So there you go. The guy we saw spiritually settled and physically burned to a crisp will be back because there's really no other choice. This, according to a "film mole." (psst... the "mole" is Clint Howard)
The troubling thing is, the "mole" might be correct. I'd like to assume they wouldn't do this, but they probably will. In the eyes of Disney, I wouldn't be surprised if this quote doesn't speak to some monetarily axiomatic stance that was cemented the moment they decided to do more Star Wars films. You can't have Star Wars without Darth Vader. They have to sell lunch boxes, after all.
There's a lot of optimism out there regarding these new movies. I always had faint hope for the day when other filmmakers could open up the Star Wars world (possible only after Lucas died, I assumed). But with this rumor and similar rumors regarding the return of old cast members, I have - to quote Star Trek - a very bad feeling about this.
I don't really want to see Old Luke or Old Leia or Old Han Solo. It might be cool if they're just barely in the film lending their gravitas to the building of an epic story, but I want new Star Wars films to expand outward and give us something new. They've been crumbling into themselves since even before the prequel trilogy.
The idea of fresh blood on the franchise indicated a fresh take along with it. But if this rumor proves true, it cuts my optimism in half and throws my optimism down a big, endless tube. Then my optimism comes back half-crazed with a spider body, obsessed with killing Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hey! Obi-Wan Kenobi should come back, too! And Watto! And Jimmy Smits as whoever the fuck he played!