From a visual standpoint, arguably the most memorable and iconic character from the Star Wars saga is Darth Vader. The Sith warrior who was once the Jedi Knight known as Anakin Skywalker factored in the central story of both Star Wars trilogies but met his heroic end in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi in a final selfless act to save his son from Emperor Palpatine.
A favorite among cosplayers, toy collectors, merchandisers and memes (thank you Robot Chicken), Vader's evil ways are outmatched only by the fun and funny our culture had turned him into. Now, the failed protector of the Death Star is the face of the Star Wars social media.
At the time of this writing, the official Star Wars Instagram account, which launched just yesterday, is about the cross the 100,000 followers mark. If you want to keep up to date on fun Star Wars images, behind-the-scenes photos, and what will undoubtedly be little glimpses of the production of Star Wars: Episode VII, you should definitely follow along here:
The three images released in the last 24 hours all hail from the original trilogy, the first introductory image being a fun internet meme-esque throwback to the intro of the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, when Darth Vader's Star Destroyer captures Princess Leia's Corellian Corvette and boards it with a squad of Stormtroopers. The 'selfie' has Vader using a smartphone to capture the fun times and you can see the fallen solders in the background.
The other two shots are behind-the-scenes looks at the epic lightsaber duel between Vader and Luke Skywalker, before revealing their family ties, in Empire Strikes Back. The third image depicts one of the concepts for the iconic triangular Star Destroyer from designer Colin Cantwell. It's very evident that Cantwell's vision of the Imperial starship was very reminiscent of real-world naval warships, from the bridge, weapons and radar arrays along the top.
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If the reports are true regarding Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions having already built a full-scale replica Millenium Falcon for Episode 7, we hope in the coming months to see images of it, other returning and new ships, locations, etc. as we lead into the start of principal photography. Much like with Episode I in the late '90s, and like Disney's Marvel Studios, fans can expect official announcements regarding casting and such through official Lucasfilm channels, meaning the Star Wars Instagram account and the official Star Wars website will be host to much exciting news in the near future. Stay tuned!
Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters December 18, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.