Death Stormtroopers, scene-stealing droids plus more Rogue One tidbits

When last we reported on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, there was a rumour that Darth Vader was going to be making a cameo appearance in the highly anticipated spin-off. While that hasn't been 100% confirmed by anyone associated with the film, a new report suggests that the popular villain will have much more screen time than we thought.

The news comes courtesy of JoBlo, who state that "we can confirm that Darth Vader will be in the film and is expected to have a larger role than originally thought," but stopped short of going into more detail on how involved the iconic character will be. That's not the only tidbit the site uncovered though; the article goes on to say that the rumours of stormtroopers in all-black outfits were accurate, adding that they will be referred to as "Death Troopers". This information jibes well with a photo Rogue One star Donnie Yen posted on his social media pages last year (and then quickly removed) - see below.

Also in the report is a claim that there will be a new TIE fighter design in addition to the classic AT-AT's, but the most intriguing detail in the article concerns a new "scene-stealing" droid who "has been repurposed to serve the rebel alliance" and may be being played by Alan Tudyk with the aid of mo-cap.

With BB-8 earning big laughs for his exceptional performance in The Force Awakens, it's no surprise that Gareth Edwards and co seem to be trying something similar for Rogue One. Here's hoping we'll get some confirmation on this new information when the first trailer for Rogue One is eventually unveiled.

Directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is scheduled to open in UK and US cinemas on December 16, 2016.

Images: Disney/Donnie Yen

It’s the final week of our January sale and your last chance to save up to 58% when you subscribe to Total Film. Join us for a brilliant year at the movies.

Amon Warmann

Amon is a contributing editor and columnist for Empire magazine, but is also a Film and TV writer for GamesRadar+, Total Film, and others. He has also written for NME, Composer Mag, and more, along with being a film critic for TalkSport. He is also the co-host of the Fade to Black Podcast, and a video mashup creator. Can also do a pretty good Bane impersonation.