Spencer Wilding, the actor who played Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is setting the record straight on his rumored appearance in the young Han Solo movie. Without question one of, if not the most iconic characters in the Star Wars saga is Darth Vader, the father of Luke Skywalker who gave into the power of the Dark Side, only to be redeemed and appear in his spirit form as his true self, Anakin Skywalker, at the end of Return of the Jedi.
And while the villainous character's story arc was told throughout the first six episodes of the Star Wars film saga, anthology stories have given Lucasfilm and Disney new opportunities to plug Darth Vader (originated by David Prowse in the classic trilogy) into the narratives of its anthology films, which began with his wicked supporting turn in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Naturally, fans were thrilled to see Darth Vader wield his deadly powers of the Force at the conclusion Rogue One, and apparently that enthusiasm was spun into a rumor earlier Tuesday that Darth Vader – or at least Wilding in an unspecified role – would be appearing in the upcoming Han Solo movie.
The rumor of Wilding's appearance in the film began with an announcement on the website for Fandomfest that Wilding was forced to back out of his upcoming Louisville, Kentucky, appearance “as he will be filming the newest film in the Star Wars Universe." Those few words led to the conclusion that Wilding had joined the Han Solo movie, and as rumors go, planted the seeds for the obvious assumption by fans that he was reprising his role as Darth Vader merely because he played the role before.
But on Facebook Thursday, Wilding explained the reason for his Fandomfest cancellation, and it was not because he was filming Han Solo (it was for an appearance at a charity event in Australia). Wilding was also surprised at how fast the rumor had spread, so he wanted to nip it "in the bud" before it went any further. See Wilding's post below:
You have to admire Wilding for taking responsibility and dismissing the rumor, especially since he had nothing to do with it in the first place. Perhaps he felt compelled to say something as a means of job preservation, since the opportunities to bring Darth Vader back for more Star Wars anthology films are entirely possible.
The last thing an actor in Wilding's position would want to do is put future chances to play the character at risk, especially since he could be replaced without anyone noticing. True, Wilding's handiwork with Vader's lightsaber was impressive in Rogue One, but fans are less likely to notice there's a different actor wearing Vader's classic costume than say, the voice of James Earl Jones being replaced.
Source: Spencer Wilding
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019