Bad news, you guys; James Cameron didn’t like Star Wars: The Force Awakens that much. It’s true. In fact, last week he told The Guardian that he thought it lacked the “visual imagination” of earlier movies. But there’s also some good news: Mace Windu didn’t die at the end of Revenge of the Sith according to Samuel L. Jackson, and George Lucas apparently agrees. Life in a galaxy far, far away, just like life here on Earth, is all about these swings and roundabouts, it seems. While we’re riding the roller coaster, here are the high points of Star Wars news from the last couple of weeks.

The Force Is Strong with This One (The Dark Side, At Least)

Source: Lucasfilm, via Entertainment Weekly
Probability of Accuracy: It’s 100 percent confirmed.
The Real Deal: Finally, president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy has confirmed the much-rumored news to Entertainment Weekly: Darth Vader will be in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Barely. “He will be in the movie sparingly,” Kennedy said. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.” Director Gareth Edwards added a little bit more detail: “Within the Rebellion, [Vader’s existence is] not commonly spoken about,” he said, adding that “within the Empire, there is the culture of knowing of the existence of Darth Vader. There’s definitely an underlying feeling that there is a power—a dark power available to the Empire and that if you overstep your mark, you will suffer the consequences.” He exists outside the traditional Imperial power structure, it’s suggested, and will act as a thorn in the side of Director Krennic, the movie’s main antagonist as played by Ben Mendelsohn. And, before you ask, yes, James Earl Jones will be supplying the voice of Vader once more for this movie.

The Rogue’s Gallery Gets Bigger

Source: Lucasfilm via EW again
Probability of Accuracy: Right on target. Great shot, kid.
The Real Deal: EW also had information on the other characters in Rogue One, from Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso through K-2SO, the Alan Tudyk-voiced security droid described by director Edwards as “the antithesis of C-3PO… a little bit like Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body.” It’s also worth noting that Mads Mikkelsen really did make a slip-up on British TV a couple months back: he really is playing Galen Erso, Jyn’s father and a scientist whose knowledge is sought after by Imperial and Rebel forces alike. Could he be the man behind the destructive power of the Death Star? That might explain why the otherwise rebellious Jyn gets involved with a mission to steal the plans of the space station in the first place.

Rogue One Is a Stealth Clone Wars Sequel

Source: Lucasfilm via EW, for the last time this week, honest
Probability of Accuracy: Like shooting womb rats back home.
The Real Deal: And the final piece of information that EW debuted was a fascinating one for those Star Wars fans who pay attention to the franchise beyond the movies: Forest Whitaker’s character in Rogue One is Saw Gerrera, a character who originally appeared in the fifth season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series as a young insurgent fighting alongside Anakin Skywalker for whom things don’t end well. Lucasfilm president Kennedy said that, in Rogue One, he’s “kind of a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists.” That’s a description that might ring a bell for those who’ve read the recently released Star Wars: Bloodline novel, where Gerrera gets mentioned in passing, being blamed for the “terrorist tactics” of a group called the Partisans. (Bloodline, meanwhile, also features material suggested by Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, so perhaps there’s some Episode VIII stuff in there, too.)

Lucasfilm Doesn’t Like the Prequel Trilogy, But One of the New Prequels Will Be Great

Source: An insider at Lucasfilm (shhhh)
Probability of Accuracy: This is all based on a subjective interpretation, so take it with an appropriate grain of salt.
The Real Deal: Lucasfilm concept artist Iain McCaig gave a presentation at a recent New Zealand conference (thankfully annotated for online posterity) in which he spilled some behind-the-scenes beans about The Force Awakens, the current Star Wars direction, and more. For example, Disney has banned elements from the prequel trilogy from being referenced in terms of design and George Lucas wrote a treatment for the movie that was rejected. Perhaps most excitingly for fans of what’s to come, however, was McCaig’s comments about Lawrence Kasdan’s screenplay for the standalone Han Solo movie, which he called “by far the best Star Wars script, and one of the best scripts period, that I have ever read. I laughed, I cried, I did all the things you should do when reading a good script. You’re in for a treat.” Here’s looking forward to 2018, then.

Fans Might Get to See Some Episode VIII Footage Soon. Maybe.

Source: Fan conjecture based on experience and official teases
Probability of Accuracy: It is conjecture. So let’s chalk it up as “likely, but hardly confirmed.”
The Real Deal: Star Wars Celebration Europe takes place in London July 15-17, and right now, it’s beginning to look like it’ll be filled with all kinds of new things about upcoming projects. The official Star Wars Show has revealed that Rian Johnson and the Han Solo directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller will be making an appearance to talk about their upcoming movies, and Rogue One is also pencilled in for a panel with Gareth Edwards on hand to talk about what to expect. Also, a strange game of Internet telephone seems to have some people wondering if there’ll be footage of Episode VIII unveiled at the event, which may be a little early—but even if there’s nothing then, the Comic-Con International is just a week later in San Diego. So perhaps we should be expecting Episode VIII updates some point this month no matter what.

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Cantina Talk: Chill Out. Darth Vader Will Be in Rogue One