We've known for a few months now what many suspected: Darth Vader will appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and James Earl Jones will reprise his role as the voice of the Emperor's right hand man. At Star Wars Celebration's Rogue One panel today, director Gareth Edwards talked about what it was like to work with the legendary actor.
"I got a very early Christmas present," he told a crowd of four thousand attendees. "We finished filming in December, and I got straight on a plane to New York to do a voiceover recording."
The Godzilla director said that he and Skywalker Sound's Matthew Wood tried to remain professional, but for one moment. "He did this one line where he says the word 'power' and we just both looked at each other and had this nerdgasm. We were reduced to three-year-olds."
Vader's involvement in the story makes sense; Rogue One is set just prior to Star Wars: A New Hope, during the character's tyrannical heyday. But Rogue One's central villain will be an entirely new character, Director Krennic, played by Ben Mendolsohn.
Mendolsohn appeared in his impressive, cloaked costume during the panel, flanked by imposing black-clad Stormtroopers, rumored to represent an elite Imperial force know as Deathtroopers. Later, out of costume, he could say little about his character without giving things away — but panel host Gwendoline Christie described Krennic as "A different kind of Imperial villain."
Rogue One will star Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, alongside Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendolsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk. It will hit theaters on December 16, 2016.
You can watch the whole panel right here.