Solo: A Star Wars Story will undoubtedly feature plenty of connections to previous films in the franchise, but hopefully Ron Howard and company showed some restraint in regards to cameos. The film is a prequel covering Han Solo’s youth from ages 18 to 24 as he looks to make a name for himself in the criminal underworld. Along the way, he meets his lifelong pal Chewbacca, encounters Lando Calrissian, and wins the Millennium Falcon. For a while, Solo has been described as an origin story for the classic character, establishing how he became the cynical smuggler Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi meet at the cantina.

The modern Star Wars films are chock full of Easter eggs for people to spot, and in some cases, viewers would argue Lucasfilm has gone too far in a few places. The studio’s last anthology film, Rogue One, featured criticized appearances by A New Hope‘s Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba (the cantina patrons that attack Luke) and R2-D2 and C-3PO. In both instances, even the biggest Rogue One enthusiasts would argue they amounted to little more than cheap fan service. Time will tell what surprises Solo has in store, but there are a few legacy characters we’d rather not see again.

Vader’s presence in Rogue One made a lot of sense – and not just for the obvious business reasons. With Gareth Edwards’ film dealing directly with the Rebellion/Empire conflict, it would have been odd if the Imperial enforcer wasn’t part of the proceedings. Vader almost had to be in Rogue One, and the filmmakers ensured his brief role paid off memorably. In the case of Solo, things are different. Yes, the spinoff is set in the heyday of the Galactic Empire, but the Star Wars universe is an expansive place, so Vader’s absence could be easily explainable. From a story perspective, there’s simply no need for his inclusion, especially since Solo is more about an exploration of the seedy underbelly.

Howard also has an abundance of classic Star Wars iconography to take advantage of with Han, Chewie, Lando, and the Falcon all featuring heavily in the marketing campaign. There’s already enough nostalgic elements to complement the new aspects, so forcing Vader in too would be a disservice. There’s no need to shoehorn him into Solo, and it would probably just illicit eye rolls if he strolled onto the screen. At this point in the timeline, Vader was more of a mythical figure who stayed in the shadows, so it’d be wise to honor that.

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