Darth Vader Scene Was Part Of Reshoots, Says ‘Rogue One’ Editor John Gilroy
When Darth Vader appeared in front of a group of rebel soldiers, his signature breathing breaking the silence as his red lightsaber activated in the dark, fans readied themselves to witness a display of his power and ruthlessness. They were not disappointed as the dark lord cut through his opposition like a storm.
As it turns out, that moment was not in the original script or plans of the movie, as it was one of the several scenes that were part of its reshoots. John Gilroy, the film’s editor, revealed to Yahoo! Movies that they added in Vader’s battle sequence late in the process.
“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,” he said. “That was something conceptualized a little later.”
According to director Gareth Edwards, having Darth Vader in the movie was always going to happen. We saw it in the trailers, with Vader’s breathing and a quick shot from behind finishing off the first official trailer. Noting how that moment, among a few others, were not in the final cut, it’s entirely possible that his importance diminished with the final cut.
Before reshoots occurred, those involved in the production of the movie had already hinted at the significance of Darth Vader’s role in the story. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Yahoo! Movies that “he has a very, very important part in the movie.” Considering that Vader’s scenes did little to move the bulk of the film’s plot along could be a sign of giving up at least another scene for the one audiences saw.
The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director and screenwriters wanted the movie to end in a way that transitioned seamlessly to the beginning of the very first Star Wars film. As hinted at in A New Hope, “several transmissions were beamed to [the consular] ship by rebel spies,” like Vader said as he questioned Princess Leia. The eventuality that the rebels beam the Death Star schematics up in space was always going to happen.
“As far as I know that was always the plan; the main structure was there,” Gilroy told Yahoo! Movies, who joined production later in the process to help incorporate the reshoots alongside his brother Tony and director Edwards. Originally, Darth Vader would have simply been chasing the soldiers, not necessarily backing them up against a jammed door. They decided that they wanted to treat fans to the side of Vader that they’ve wanted to see for decades, an unstoppable Force-wielding killing machine. “It was a really great punch in the arm and something I think fans wanted to see,” Gilroy said.
The scene undoubtedly added to the fan service to the film. Darth Vader could have been absent and the movie would have been much of the same, as he was in it for less than 10 minutes. His presence stood out and he certainly attracted a good portion of the moviegoers.
In the eyes of fans, the Darth Vader scene in Rogue One has somewhat made up for his representation in the prequels. Many disliked the personality of a young Anakin and the causes of him turning to the dark side. Now people are hoping that there will be a Darth Vader solo film someday.
Considering that reshoots have a negative connotation indicating that a film’s production has gone through trouble, the fact that the movie’s arguably best scene was a part of that process comes as a welcome surprise. There is little evidence to say that reshoots are necessarily a bad thing for a movie.
According to IMDb, as of January 8, 2017, Rogue One has made $914,464,924 at the box office.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]