If there’s one thing we’re fairly certain about when it comes to Star Wars: Episode IX, it’s that Darth Vader will be making an appearance as the first Sith ghost in Star Wars movie history. We’re not talking about a smiling happy Anakin like at the end of Return of the Jedi, we’re talking about a terrifying Sith ghost who’s still loyal to the dark side. It might sound like a stretch, but we’re already pretty sure it’s going to happen. Now, some newly resurfaced evidence is making the case for ghost Vader even stronger.
The story begins on December 27 when /Film editor Peter Sciretta tweeted a cryptic clue regarding Star Wars: Episode IX, offering fans a hint at what to expect from the upcoming movie.
“If you want some hints about Star Wars Episode 9, you might want to revisit some of the early concept art from Star Wars The Force Awakens,” he wrote, adding a winking emoji face at the end of the message.
This of course led to a flurry of speculation from fans who poured through the 2015 book The Art Of Star Wars: The Force Awakens for new evidence. There was one specific detail in the book that a large number of people noticed: early concept art for Anakin/Vader’s Force ghost.
Take a look for yourself:
Clearly, J.J. Abrams considered the possibility of bringing back Darth Vader as a Force ghost in The Force Awakens. So now that Abrams is back at the helm for Episode IX, why not make this awesome concept art into a cinematic reality?
Unfortunately for any Vader fans hoping to see the Sith Lord return (even as a ghost), Sciretta replied to his own tweet a day later to strike down the possibility of “Anakin being alive.”
That may sound like a definitive no, but Sciretta doesn’t specifically say we won’t see Vader’s ghost. He just says Anakin isn’t alive, which doesn’t seem to be something anyone else is arguing for anyway. It’s also unclear where Sciretta’s inside information is coming from, or how reliable it actually is.
Regardless, for anyone hoping to see Darth Vader’s Force ghost in Star Wars, this concept art is a compelling reminder that Lucasfilm seriously considered the idea for Episode VII, which only makes the case for his appearance in Episode IX that much stronger.
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.
Related video: 9 Questions Star wars: Episode IX Needs to Answer