When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters it will feature the return of one of cinemas most memorable villains: Darth Vader. Though the Sith Lords role in the film will be small compared to his previous appearances in the Star Wars saga, fans are eager to see the character return to his cunning and ruthless roots after his last live-action appearance in Revenge of the Sith left audiences laughing at the iconic villain rather than trembling. Now, executive producer and visual effect supervisor John Knoll spoke with ComicBook.com about bringing Vader back to the big screen and the pressure of ensuring they got the characters look right.
Knoll explained how they combined Vader’s costume designs from A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back for his appearance in Rogue One.
“That’s a bit of a hybrid. If you look in New Hope, especially like that white corridor scene at the beginning you can see all these smudges and all these fingerprints on there because it was cast from a clay sculpt. Then by the time we got to Empire Strikes Back they made a new one that was like really polished and smooth and shiny and perfect. The chest plate is different in every film. We matched more the, what the chest plate looked like in Episode IV, but a little bit more of the high polish that’s in Episode V.”
Knoll offered an in-story explanation for why Vader’s costumes will change between films.
“I figure he’s got more than one version of those outfits. The reason the armor looks a little grungier and dented up in A New Hope is you’re not going to wear your nice armor into battle. You’re gonna wear your beater armor into battle. Then, if you’re going to go talk to the Emperor or something you put on the nice shiny one, show some respect.”
Though Vader’s screen time in Rogue One may be limited, it is clear the creative team behind the film put a lot of care and effort into ensuring the legendary villain will be instantly recognizable while possibly looking better than ever for his triumphant return.
Rogue One: A Star Story will be released in theaters on December 16, 2017.