Making Star Wars reports Darth Vader may appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s something the Star Wars rumor sites have been trying to lock down for awhile. According to their sources there is “a fully operational Darth Vader chest piece along with the helmet made it to the creature shop for the next film. The lights on the chest piece work and everything.”
They also hear tell that Hayden Christensen is set to head to the UK to shoot scenes for Star Wars: Episode VIII. Whether or not he’s appearing in the Vader costume is unclear. He could always appear as a Force ghost, provided you wanted to have that connection back to the prequel era. Earlier rumors suggested Vader might be brought back as a clone or some other Star Wars story function that makes resurrection possible.
A Vader appearance in Rogue One is a no-brainer. He’d be chasing the rebel spies at some point, right? But bringing him back for Episode VIII seems like a step backward. Thematically, it’s interesting to see what the galaxy looks like after Vader’s final sacrifice. It’s not unlike seeing the galaxy after Darth Revan abandoned it in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.