Despite the relative standalone nature of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the movie was still heavily reliant on past events and characters. While it could be argued that this insistence on incorporating legacy elements into the story prevents the franchise from properly focusing on new stories, it also provides a through-line for the series. What’s more, it’s hard to argue that seeing some of Star Wars‘ most popular characters back up on the big screen is a bad thing. Case in point, the now infamous final scene of the movie involving Darth Vader will likely go down as one of the character’s best moments. And now that Rogue One is on digital HD, fans will be able to watch it over and over.
Still, it wasn’t always a no-brainer to include it. We heard awhile back that the scene was actually a reshoot. More recently, director Gareth Edwards even went into a bit of detail about how the scene evolved and how it almost wasn’t pitched to Lucasfilm at all. Luckily, the idea got out and was approved, leading to Rogue One perfectly segueing into A New Hope and thereby setting up the Original Trilogy.
Now, a new video from WIRED has Edwards going into even more detail about the scene. He starts by retelling the pitch story, before going on to discuss the approach to the moment. He made sure to try and match shots from A New Hope, while adding in some more modern action-style cuts. He also took pains to only display Vader using abilities we’ve seen before. Most interestingly, he talks about the specific lighting choices used when Vader emerges from the dark at the beginning of the scene.
There’s also interesting bits about trying to create the prop for the Death Star plans based off of a sliver of it from A New Hope. And he closes by talking about his small cameo in the scene, which he believes makes his character the most important person in Star Wars canon. It’s a lot of fun insight into a film that we keep learning more and more about.
Elsewhere, other parts of the finale of the movie changed a number of times during the process of making the film. At one point, our heroes had a much happier ending. On top of that, another pair of climaxes were dreamt up that would have created very different futures for the protagonists of the film. Even Vader took a somewhat different path, as we learned that he was originally supposed to kill Orson Krennic.
Exciting as all of these alternate paths are, it’s hard to argue that the team behind the movie made the right choices in the end. Thanks to the heartbreaking climax followed by a rare action-packed denouement, the film was a huge hit and earned its place in the Star Wars universe.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits Blu-ray April 4, 2017.