Darth Vader Returns, 'Thrones' Wraps Up & More: 5 Things We Loved

Darth Vader in Star Wars
"Star Wars" is bringing back its greatest villain for new adventure "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Lucasfilm/Disney

From Darth Vader's return to the Star Wars franchise to artists' open letter to Congress on gun control, here are five things we loved in Culture this week:

  • Generations of film fans are shuddering in anticipation at the news that Darth Vader will return to the Star Wars universe in prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The film, which depicts events that took place before the storyline in 1977's original, revolves around an outlaw's mission to steal plans for Vader's Death Star. James Earl Jones will again voice the legendary villian, with Felicity Jones as the young outlaw who presumably will battle with Vader.
  • We're still so exhausted and exhilarated from last Sunday's bloody "Battle of the Bastards" that we can barely handle the thought of Game of Thrones season finale, "The Winds of Winter," set to air tonight. But before we wrap up 2016's run of Thrones, there are a few things that may have been missed in Jon Snow and Ramsey Bolton's epic battle. For instance, Tyrion Lannister and Queen Daenerys make reference to the "Mad King" hiding caches of wildfire around King's Landing, the capital, seemingly giving credence to theories that Cersei Lannister will use the fiery weapons to dispose of her enemies in the finale. Or the fact that former King Robert Baratheon's arrival in Winterfell back in the first-ever episode of the show included his greeting the Starks—all those he physically touched are now dead. Whatever happens in the finale, we're sure to be talking about it for some time to come.
Game of Thrones 6x10 - The Winds of Winter
"Game of Thrones" season six finale, "The Winds of Winter". Helen Sloan/HBO
  • A British photographer is turning pictures of London commuters into Renaissance-style artwork. Matt Crabtree of Yorkshire started photographing people on the tube and retouching the photos to give them the grandeur of 16th century portraits as a lark, an activity "to share with my mates on Facebook, and all of a sudden, it's taken off," He explains that he "took the photographs when I thought someone looked beautiful, in their own moment of introspective loveliness, My thoughts were often, 'she looks lovely, he looks proud, she looks incredibly virtuous.'"
woman on tube
A woman on the London underground leans on a blue pole in June 2016. Matt Crabtree
  • This weekend's Glastonbury Festival in the UK includes tributes to artists we lost in the past year. The Pyramid Stage features artwork hanging above from David Bowie's 1973 album "Aladdin Sane," at the festival that welcomes acts such as Coldplay and Adele. Meanwhile, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead is remembered with the band's artwork from their classic "Ace of Spades" album, and organizers were planning a few tributes to Prince, as well.
David Bowie Pyramid stage at Glastonbury
A tribute to David Bowie atop the Pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, England. The singer had a special relationship with the festival, said organizer Emily Eavis. ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is among nearly 200 entertainers to sign an open letter to Congress arguing for gun control. Danny Moloshok/Reuters