Director Gareth Edwards tells how Darth Vader’s short but meaningful scenes in Star Wars: Rogue One were able to encapsulate his human and monster personas.
Everybody loved Star Wars: Rogue One, and a lot of people who were just looking for the perfect entrance to the series finally found themselves a prequel to do just that. And Star Wars isn’t Star Wars without Darth Vader! So if you’ve thoroughly enjoyed those Darth Vader scenes, or were just left wanting more, then let Star Wars: Rogue One director Gareth Edwards let you in on what went into producing those prime Darth Vader moments, and how the scenes were made to pack into one movie a 360-view of our favorite villain.
Remember the very first Darth Vader scene on Star Wars: Rogue One? We see Darth Vader floating, limbless, in a Bacta Tank. In the Star Wars canon, the Bacta Tank is a healing container unit that is used to accelerate healing and treat major injuries. Post Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the Bacta Tank has been essential for Darth Vader to survive outside his suit since he could never really truly heal from the burns and injuries he suffered from his fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
This Bacta Tank scene for Darth Vader on Rogue One, apparently, has been largely inspired from an Empire Strikes Back scene that Edwards reminisces about on Empire’s post-Rogue One podcast.
“I’m jealous of moments like in Empire Strikes Back where you see the back of [Vader’s] head and you just go, ‘oh my God, that is so cool,’ and wanted to try and find something like that in our film. [The Bacta Tank scene] was actually a Chris Cunningham-inspired thing of the idea of being in milk [like in the Bjork music video] ‘All Is Full Of Love.’ He’s really a burns victim, and it’s not going to be fun for him when he’s not in the suit – he’s going to be uncomfortable.”
This Bacta Tank scene is very crucial for the series to paint Darth Vader as a human, as someone who is vulnerable and has his own worldly pains to cope up with. Edwards continues, sympathizing with Vader.
“I love the idea of showing that he’s vulnerable as well.
“Vader’s very, very bad, and so you try and just glimpse something of him that gives him some humanity, or it makes you empathize with him. Just seeing those scars and realizing that he’s, you know, an amputee, and just reminding you of that before he does all his stuff, it makes you torn, I think. He’s just such a rich character, in so many ways.”
It was a crucial component to include the scene in Star Wars: Rogue One, ComicBook notes, since Edward wanted to show a different side to Darth Vader.
And to juxtapose with such a vulnerable image of Darth Vader, Rogue One presents the exact opposite of human: a monster that could just as easily comb through any flesh that stands in his way. That scene towards the end of Rogue One where Darth Vader easily strolls past a horde of Rebel soldiers, how calmly he tears through those lowly Rebels, then highlights the violence and evil that Darth Vader is known for, the monster that has complete command of the dark side of the Force.
There has been a lot of thought and rework that has been put into the character of Darth Vader for Star Wars: Rogue One, including his brand new outfit made especially for the prequel. That’s why at the end of watching Rogue One, even with only 10 minutes worth of Darth Vader scenes, we felt ever more connected to his character, his humanity, and his monstrosity.
How much did you enjoy Darth Vader’s scenes in Star Wars: Rogue One?
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]