Although the original Star Wars trilogy and its prequels were all about Darth Vader’s rise to prominence, the patriarch of the Skywalker family has yet to appear in the latest batch of Star Wars movies. In fact, beyond his blood relation to Kylo Ren, Anakin’s connection to the new sequels is flimsy at best and non-existent at worst. However, a resurfaced old George Lucas interview may have unexpectedly revealed Darth Vader’s role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Warning! Speculative spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars fans have long speculated that Hayden Christensen may return to The Rise of Skywalker as a Force ghost, though his role in the film remains up for debate. However, the idea of Force ghosts returning to help defeat Emperor Palpatine have been in circulation for a long while.
In fact, a recent leak from Making Star Wars claimed that Rey would defeat Emperor Palpatine with the help of “generations of the Jedi that came before her”. One of these Jedi ghosts could be Anakin, right?
The truth is, Anakin’s absence from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi has caused fans to question if he is actually the Chosen One prophesied to bring balance to the Force. Maybe it Rey, or even Kylo Ren, who’s actually destined to fulfill that longstanding prophecy?
That’s a fair assumption. After all, the strongest connection Darth Vader has to the new sequel trilogy beyond being Kylo’s grandfather is Rey wielding his blue lightsaber. Still, there’s no reason to worry that Vader’s prophesied role is being erased.
“When you watch the actual movies in order, the story will become very clear that Anakin is the Chosen One,” he says. “And even when Anakin turns into Darth Vader, he’s still the Chosen One.”
There you have it from the Star Wars creator himself. Anakin is and always will be the Chosen One. So, how does that connect back to Vader’s potential role in The Rise of Skywalker? Well, these films are called the Skywalker Saga for a reason and, the fact that Anakin’s family name is in the title of Episode IX speaks volumes.
Then again, a lot has changed since this interview. George Lucas no longer owns Lucasfilm, and J.J. Abrams is calling the shots when it comes to how the Skywalker Saga will end. But considering the fact that Lucas directly consulted on the plot of Episode IX, it’s reasonable to assume that his old beliefs about the importance of Anakin still holds up.
Perhaps, as one theory goes, the redeemed Anakin will return along with his son, Luke, to fight Palpatine in spirit form. Or, Anakin might even appear to Kylo after being chucked into that deep hole, asking him to “finish” what he started. There are a million possibilities, and, hey, with the lengthy runtime of Episode IX, there’s plenty of time for a comeback.
Whether or not Vader will return as a Force ghost remains to be seen — recent reshoots may have cut the Force ghosts out of the film completely. However, it’s always possible that the story will connect back to Anakin and the prophecy in some way regardless, bringing the saga full circle.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20.