Almost every film ever made has it's own sliding doors moment. Seeing a scene introduced or cut out to entirely shape the narrative of a motion picture. In the case of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the final moments are dominated by the appearance of Dark Vader as he boards the Calamari ship.
Yet director Gareth Edwards explained this week that he never had any such intention of including the master villain in this way. Only to be later convinced by editor Jabez Olssen. Promoting the March 24 Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD release of the title, Edwards spoke about the original script and how it was supposed to be played out.
Jabez Desperate To Depict Darth In Closing Scene
Going through the production process, Edwards stated that the last minute change instigated from his editor had to be fast tracked with time running out.
"He arrives and obliterates the Calamari ship, and then the blockade runner gets out just in time and he pursues the blockade runner," he remarks. "And then Jabez (Olssen) was like, 'I think we need to get Darth on that ship,' and I thought, yeah, that's a brilliant idea and would love to do it, but there's no way they're going to let us do it. It's a big number and we had, what, like three or four months before release. Kathy (Kennedy) came in and Jabez thought, f*** it, and pitched her this idea, and she loved it. Suddenly within a week or two, we were at Pinewood shooting that scene. Because it was my last chance to do Star Wars, and because you know it's the end, we really were very careful with it. We storyboarded absolutely everything and tried to have no regrets."
Edwards so happened to play a cameo in the movie. Who you ask? It turns out he was the soldier who pulled the lever to disconnect the Tantive IV from Admiral Raddus' ship. But he wouldn't be the only filmmaker stepping in front of the camera.
"That sequence was shot five months earlier, so we had to connect Darth Vader's moment to that. And another fun fact is the guy who says 'launch.' That actor's name is Christopher Nolan. So whenever someone said Christopher Nolan was on set, it was that guy, but everyone thought it was the director. We had a lot of fun with that."
Had To Stay True To Form For Vader
While there was an appetite from some of the crew to see something different from the character, the director knew the direct linkage to Episode IV meant that he had to stay within the boundaries of his character for the sake of continuity.
"It's funny, if you would've asked me what are the top five scenes in this film that people will talk to you about when it's over, I might not put Darth Vader's scene in there. It just felt right; it felt like the right thing to do. It really is just the greatest hits of Darth; that corridor. And we really didn't want to do anything you haven't seen him do so it didn't throw people off. We kept it to what had been established. (The stunt guys) came up with a whole shopping list of ideas. Seventy percent we used, and maybe thirty percent felt a little too extreme. They were things you hadn't seen him do before, and I wanted to stick to what Darth does in the original trilogy."