‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Director: Darth Vader Will Be ‘Huge Presence’

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards has revealed that he needed to take care while utilizing Darth Vader in the upcoming film, noting that the iconic Sith Lord’s “gravitational pull” ensured that the character would be a massive presence onscreen, potentially overshadowing the rest of the production.

Speaking at Star Wars Celebration in London last week, Edwards noted that Vader’s appearance in Rogue One was one of the more daunting challenges he had to deal with. Bringing together elements both old and new due to its unique place in the Star Wars timeline, Rogue One could easily have found itself overshadowed by the iconic villain’s presence, if not for the skilled hands of its production team, as Gizmodo points out.

“He’s got such a gravitational pull, the second he shows up you just get sucked into Darth Vader. So it was a process to try and figure out how to pepper that in in a way that felt right.”

While Vader’s role in Rogue One has long been rumored, it is now confirmed, with the dark lord making a brief appearance at the end of the film’s second trailer, as the Guardian notes. Revealed at Star Wars Celebration, the clip ended with a shot of Vader from behind, underscored by his unmistakable mechanical breathing.

Though each director approaching the new Star Wars films are making their own statement and working with their own style and voice, Edwards noted that a delicate balance needed to be established in order to introduce new elements to the Star Wars universe, while still respecting the series’ continuity and past. Nowhere is that more evident than in Rogue One, a film that takes place almost directly before A New Hope, in a world already deeply familiar to fans.

“[But] it’s such a fine line. If you go slightly to the left, it’s not Star Wars. It’s some other sci-fi movie. If you go slightly to the right, you’re just copying what George [Lucas] did. Trying to navigate this thing where it’s new but feels fresh was the dance that was the process of making the film.”

Edwards also revealed that his inner Star Wars fanboy received an unexpected and unique opportunity when he was able to sit in on a recording session during which James Earl Jones delivered some of Vader’s lines for Rogue One. Jones is providing the character’s voice for the first time in over a decade, directly tying Vader into the original trilogy in as many ways as possible.

While Vader is now a confirmed presence in the film, it remains to be seen how much screen time the dark Jedi will receive. Though early leaks of a Rogue One tie-in book showed Vader and the Death Star towering above the cast of the film, as the Inquisitr previously reported, Ben Mendelsohn’s character, Imperial Director Orson Krennic, appears set to be the movie’s main antagonist. The Guardian suggests that Darth Vader could be on screen for “an expanded cameo at best,” as executives at Lucasfilm or Disney want to limit the character’s involvement, yet nothing has been confirmed regarding the scope of his role.

With previous reports stating that the Vader who will appear in Rogue One will be portrayed in a far more ruthless manner, unlike the character ever has been shown before, Star Wars fans have a long few months ahead before the film hits theaters in December.

[Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]

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