WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS about the plot of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Read on at your own risk.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" featured plenty of characters from previous "Star Wars" films, including some in well-concealed cameos. But according to a new book, there was one more familiar face originally slated to make an appearance, which was ultimately scrapped.

Concept artist Iain McCaig revealed in the book "Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens" that he was commissioned to create some images of Anakin Skywalker for the flick, though the artwork he designed never actually made it onto the big screen. The book indicates that the character was set to appear as a Force ghost (like the glowing Obi-Wan and Yoda at the end of "Return of the Jedi"), though the context of that appearance is never explicitly explained -- nor is it determined if Anakin would appear in his Jedi form, or as Darth Vader.

McCaig is quoted in the book as saying it would probably have been a mixture of both, to play on the duality of the Dark Side and Light Side of the Force, a differentiation that new villain -- and Anakin's grandson -- Kylo Ren struggles with in "The Force Awakens." Would this shapeshifting Anakin have appeared only to Kylo? Or perhaps he would have popped up in Rey's Force fever dream (which also featured the voices of Yoda and Obi-Wan)?

Whatever the specific part Anakin would have played (and we assume that Hayden Christensen, who portrayed him in the prequels, would have been asked back to reprise the role), that obviously didn't pan out, and that could be because filmmakers didn't want to give too much away about Rey's parentage. Many moviegoers have guessed that she's the secret daughter of Luke Skywalker, but that revelation may be slated for another film, hence the decision to do away with Anakin's inclusion for the time being.

Fans will have to wait until "Episode VIII" or later to have that specific question answered. For now, they can just see "The Force Awakens" for the fifth time, like the rest of the world seems to be doing.

[via: Screen Crush]

Photo credit: StarWars.com