WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Rogue One
Lucasfilm’s first Star Wars anthology, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has no shortage of great moments that made the film standout and become a valuable piece of the franchise canon. However, for many viewers, the biggest sequence came towards the very end of the movie. Following the intense Battle of Scarif, the Rebel Alliance attempt to flee with the stolen Death Star plans, but as Alliance soldiers try to get the readouts to the Tantive IV, they have a most unfortunate encounter with villain Darth Vader. In a scene that has already become part of Star Wars legend, Vader uses the full extent of his Force abilities to annihilate the Rebels in his path, causing much carnage.
Undoubtedly, this section of the film immediately was a fan-favorite, and its horror movie undertones even sparked conversation about a potential Darth Vader spinoff film. The imagery of Vader slicing his way through helpless rebels is now ingrained in everyone’s minds, while the Internet has unsurprisingly already churned out some entertaining homages to it. Rogue One was a film notorious for its extensive reshoots, and as it turns out, those who loved this Vader moment have those pickups to thank for the final moment of destruction.
In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, Rogue One editor John Gilroy revealed that this action sequence was a product of the reshoots that took place last summer:
“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. That was something conceptualized a little later.”
Apparently, the original plan was to use Vader as more of an ominous background threat than anything else, but it was determined that something else had to be added. Many would be in agreement that this was a wise choice, since the scene went a long way in redeeming Vader’s cinematic reputation by illustrating why he was the most feared man in the galaxy at one point. There is also a reasonable chance that Rogue One is the last time the Dark Lord appears on the big screen, and if he did not ignite his lightsaber and get involved in the action at some point, several viewers would have been disappointed and wondered why the team brought him back. As Gilroy says, the Vader moment “was a really great punch in the arm and something I think fans wanted to see.”
If there is anything to be learned from the Rogue One saga, it’s that reshoots can actually be beneficial and help improve the final product. It’s now impossible to think about the film without that last bit from Vader, and it almost didn’t happen. This is important for fans to keep in mind, since it is easy to push the panic button and worry whenever word of pickups becomes public. Still, reshoots are a key part of big budget filmmaking, and some memorable parts from The Force Awakens were the product of them as well. Two films in, it’s becoming clear that Disney and Lucasfilm have a good handle on their prized franchise, so they should be trusted to do what’s best moving forward.
Source: Yahoo! Movies