Darth Vader has spent 40 years as an icon in cinema and popular culture, thrilling people of all ages as they return again and again to watch the original Star Wars films. He’s one of the most famous movie villains of all time, and certainly the most recognisable in any scenario.
However, he has also been repeatedly lampooned in television and movies, adorned children’s bedsheets and nightlights, and essentially been watered down by decades of media. People who weren’t kids in the seventies and eighties, originally terrified by his booming voice and imposing silhouette, now treat him as a cartoon character – they know his lines, how to do a mock impression of him, but they aren’t afraid of him. It’s certainly difficult to be after watching him grow up in the prequels. Why does he hate sand so much?
The climax of Rogue One allowed the Darth Vader of old to return in full force – pardon the pun – as the renowned sith lord the rest of the galaxy seems to fear, swiftly killing numerous rebels as though they were as inconsequential as flies. The scene was markedly different from his earlier appearances in the film, and according to editor John Gilroy, it almost didn’t make it into the final cut.
He spoke to Yahoo Movies about the choice to do reshoots for the film, and how much it improved the end product:
“What was added — and it was a fantastic add — was the Vader action scene, with him boarding the ship and dispatching all those rebel soldiers. That was something conceptualized a little later.”
Director Gareth Edwards had always intended to bring back the notorious Skywalker patriarch in some form, likely in a cameo capacity. It wasn’t until John Gilroy, along with brother Tony, came onto the project to incorporate the newly shot material into what had once been the original Rogue One cut that the idea struck to give Vader his reputation back. The originally written ending with Jyn and Cassian sending the Death Star plans to the Alliance fleet above Scarif remained unchanged, but the stakes were once again heightened with the deadly presence of a sith lord. As Gilroy said:
“It was a really great punch in the arm and something I think fans wanted to see.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theatres now.
Source: Yahoo Movies