‘Rogue One’ Director Says He Found Darth Vader’s Introductory Scene on Accident

By July 19, 2016

While the trailer itself was not made available on the live stream, fans attending the Rogue One panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe last week were lucky enough to see a short new trailer for the film, which included the very first “official” footage of Darth Vader in the film. Though, the introductory shot of him wasn’t even focused on the iconic character himself necessarily, as much as the very large shadow he casts.

The final shot of the trailer was of a red console of some kind, and everything was quiet until a black, instantly recognizable silhouette appeared and the breath of Darth Vader could be heard. Suffice it to say that the crowd at Celebration went wild, especially because of how gorgeous and interesting of an introduction it seemed to be for the character.

Director Gareth Edwards is no stranger to creating visually-arresting and unexpected shots in his films either (just look at practically all of Godzilla even), but according to the director, who spoke about the trailer in the press room immediately following the panel – that introductory shot of the character was a spur of the moment decision (via Comicbook.com):

“That was born out of all the experimenting we were talking about. You don’t go, ‘I want this, this is the shot I want.’ They built the whole set, they had a reflection, Vader went in there and we’re looking at the reflection going, ‘That’s fucking cool!’ So as we’re filming, we’re like, go down, go down, and just playing around, and things happen that you wouldn’t have asked for. That was a great example of it. I would’ve never picked that shot, but then it’s in front of you and you get excited about something, and he’s such an iconic – he’s the most iconic character in all of cinema, potentially. To hear everyone cheer when they saw his silhouette, you feel like, ‘that is worth everything.’”

Even despite “the gravitational pull” to use the character a lot as well, Edwards said that he was trying to be as careful as possible when it came to using the character, admitting that, “it was a process to figure out how to pepper that in, in a way that feels right.” As a fan of the series also, Edwards wanted to make sure that Vader being in the movie didn’t feel like “a karaoke number or just winks and fan service.” He added:

“Hopefully, the goal, is that you come to the film for all the reasons we love Star Wars, and you get sucked in, and care about the new people, and then as you’re in the midst of all that, familiar things start to pass by.”

Edwards is echoing a number of Kathleen Kennedy’s previous statements about Vader’s presence in the film here, who has said that Vader’s amount of screen time in the movie is being kept small in order to maximize his dramatic effect when he is onscreen. From the sounds of it, Vader is going to have a very omnipresent role in the story as well, breathing down the neck of Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Krennic, and being the big bad that nobody wants to run into.

Hopefully those rumors about seeing him on the battlefield end up being true, but for right now, it seems like Rogue One has a very solid hold on its version of the character, and it’s sounding more and more like this will be the Vader fans have been wanting to see for a very long time now.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to hit theatres on December 16th.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable
  • phnxgrl

    I loved how the practical staging allowed for this kind of creativity.

    • Jonathan Burns

      Which naturally wouldn’t happen with greenscreen.