First Look: Darth Vader In 'Star Wars Rebels'

When the second episode of Star Wars Rebels co-starred C-3PO and R2-D2, you realized they weren't shying away from recognizable characters. The story of Kanan, Ezra and the rest of the Rebels will primarily take place parallel to anything going on with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the young Skywalkers and more but the Empire is the Empire. And if the Rebels are fighting against it, they're really fighting against two people: The Emperor and Darth Vader.

But, as we know from the original trilogy, The Emperor is mostly behind the scenes. Vader is his who, at the time of Rebels, is "hunting down and destroying the Jedi." He's the boss of The Inquisitor, the primary villain in the series so when Rebels goes to the masses on October 26, Darth Vader will make a brief cameo.

But you already knew that. Below, see what Star Wars Rebels Darth Vader is going to look like.

David Prowse, the actor who played Darth Vader in the original trilogy, tweeted the following image:

Here's the larger image, which is pretty much just a screenshot from a commercial teasing Rebels on ABC October 26.

Star Wars Rebels Darth Vader

Three things about this image. First, Star Wars Rebels Darth Vader has a lot of Ralph McQuarrie in him. The cheeks and eyes are a lot more rounded than they were in the films, much like those early designs. That seems mostly to be a way to distinguish him in animation. Second, he's talking to The Inquisitor, who we've heard from Dave Filoni takes orders from Vader (more on that below). And third, he's not in the room, instead using the same communication technology Vader uses to talk to the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back. A nice, knowing nod.

As for that relationship between Vader and the Inquisitor, here's what Rebels producer Dave Filoni told us a few months back:

Looking at a galaxy, there were 10,000 Jedi in The Clone Wars. That number's been diminished. How do you find them? Where do you find them? I'm sure Vader is involved in hunting down Jedi all the time. I'm sure that right after the Clone War, when the remnants are very visible and the Jedi are all trying to figure out what happened, that he was luring them into traps and wiping them out several at a time.

At the point we are, so many years later, they are so few and far between that I don't think he would follow up every lead. Because one of the things that's muddled the whole operation, in my mind, is kids being born that can use the Force. The Emperor and Vader don't really want them around either. But they're so unnoticeable, you needed a group of hunters, attack dogs. And so we have an Inquisitor that goes out and hunts these guys down.

Star Wars Rebels airs at 9 p.m. Mondays on Disney XD. The Darth Vader scene will be an addition to the Spark of Rebellion mini-movie when it airs on ABC on October 26.