(Photo : Lucasfilm )
 “Star Wars Episode VII” arrives in theaters in 2015 along with a lot of expectations. While no plot details have been confirmed yet, fans have been wondering if the new film iteration would feature some of the franchise’s most revered characters. If Luke, Leia, and Han return, then C3PO, R2D2 and Chewbacca can almost definitely be penciled in as well. However, the biggest question surrounding the franchise concerns two of its major character’s: Yoda and Darth Vader.

Darth Vader is in many ways the identity of “Star Wars.” The first six films centered on his rise and fall, and the image of the Sith lord is one most people would immediately associate with the franchise. However, it is highly unlikely that the iconic villain makes an appearance, for two reasons. First off, he died at the end of “Return of the Jedi,” and there is no logical means of bringing him back in the way that the world is currently set up. More importantly, though, the new writing and directing crew may be looking to move away from the George Lucas influence and expand the brand into new territories. What better way than to cut the umbilical cord connected to the noted Sith lord?
Still, it’s plausible he might make an appearance as a ghost incarnation of Anakin Skywalker. In the original films, the Jedi learned to reappear in ghost forms and it is possible that this could still happen in the world of “Episode VII.” However, actor Sebastian Shaw, who played the older Anakin in “Episode VI,” died in 1994. In the prequel trilogy, Hayden Christensen played the young Skywalker and replaced Shaw as the ghost in the DVD release of the films. Christensen’s performances were reviled by many fans and his appearance could hurt director J.J. Abrams’ desire to push the franchise into new territory. If Anakin is to return, he will be incarnated by a different actor. However, it is more likely that he stays out of the film entirely.

If Jedi reappear in the world of “Episode VII,” then it is certainly possible to keep Yoda in the series as an aid to Luke or his team of young Jedi. Frank Oz, the voice and puppeteer for the character, has previously stated that he would be interested in returning to the role; there have also been rumors of a Yoda spin-off film in the works. Why not maintain the Jedi’s presence in the franchise for the new installment? His appearance would give both younger and older fans a link to the original and prequel films that even older versions of Luke, Leia, and Han would be unable to provide.
Do you think Yoda or Darth Vader/Anakin should appear in “Episode VII?”
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