Darth Vader. Even if he's dead and his body burned in Return of the Jedi, his presence has to be felt in any Star Wars film that hopes to be taken as canon.
The second teaser tailer for The Force Awakens has only just started making the waves that it will. Initial fan reaction is one thing. But there are memes being cranked out that take that even further.
But one of the most exciting moments in that trailer -- perhaps second only to seeing Han and Chewbacca -- is seeing that burned-out mask of Darth Vader. The question of whether Darth Vader might in some way, somehow, make an appearance in The Force Awakens is catching fire.
Could Darth Vader return? If so, how?
Die-hards and purists say no way, not unless it's some flashback bit or other supernatural tomfoolery.
One commenter remarked: "He'll probably be a Jedi ghost, same as Obi-Wan, if anything. Vader's dead, roasted on a pyre and everything. ROTJ wasn't vague about it."
But something in the trailer is bothering even the most literal of interpreters. It is a verb tense used in the narration. The line very familiar, and was originally spoken by Luke Skywalker to Leia in Return of the Jedi.
"The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And... my sister has it."
The line in the new trailer starts off the same way, but ends with "... you have that power, too." To some this indicates a new speaking of the line, to a generation of Force-blessed Skywalker, perhaps? And, if that is the case, why would Luke -- the presumed speaker -- continue to speak of his father in the present tense? Why not say, "My father HAD it?"
To some, the idea of bringing in Vader is a step backward. They doubt JJ Abrams would go there. But he did before, when he actually did bring the character of Khan in on Star Trek: Into Darkness. Everyone thought it was just too obvious, but he made it work.
people that think Darth Vader is alive after being electrocuted and then his dead body burned make me laugh
— Breann Thomas (@bree_theaviator) April 17, 2015
Another theory is that there could be a Vader clone introduced to the proceedings, since cloning is already part of the Star Wars universe.
What do you think? Can Darth Vader return? Should he?