Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters later this month and it's going back to the basics. Despite being the first non-chaptered Star Wars spinoff, the film takes place immediately prior to the 1977 original and visually hews close to the style of that first chapter (albeit with a facelift from modern-day special effects). In many ways, Rogue One looks like it may go even more barebones, eschewing the hero's tale for a gritty look at the everyman war between the Rebellion and the evil Empire. So far, not a single lightsaber has been lit in the trailers and nary a Jedi is to be found. One thing we can count on, however, is an appearance from the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader himself.
Vader is more than just an imposing force in the Star Wars series - he's a pop culture icon who has defined for decades what it means to embrace the power of the Dark Side. AFI listed Vader as their third most noteworthy film villain of all time (right after Hannibal Lector and Norman Bates).
Diego Luna stars in the upcoming Rogue One as the rebel Captain Cassian Andor, an intelligence officer that works with Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones) to recover the plans to the Death Star. Luna recently appeared on Good Morning America and shared an amusing anecdote about his first day on set.
"I arrived to London, and the producer goes, 'Oh, Gareth Edwards,' the director, 'go meet him. He's on the set. He’s doing a camera test.' And I arrive, and he says, 'Welcome! We’re going to have so much fun.' And he’s in front of a monitor, and I start listening.' [mimics the sound of Darth Vader breathing]
"And I just went like, 'Oh no, oh no,' and I could see Gareth's face, and he had the same expression, you know? We suddenly went to 6-year-old kids, and we turn and there he is... Darth standing there. He's taller than you, my friend [gesturing to the 6' 5" host Michael Strahan]. You'd feel terrible standing next to him.
"He’s there [breathes again] and then says, 'Should I come in through the left or the right?'"
The extent of Darth Vader's role in Rogue One is still unclear and it's uncertain whether or not Luna's character himself will even share a scene with him in the film. That said, the chance to meet the Dark Lord in person is probably something that would give any fan a thrill.
Part of what makes Darth Vader intimidating is his simple, menacing look. With a black mask shaped like a straight-faced scowl, a massive frame, and a swishy cape to emphasize his forceful movements, the costume by itself would be enough to make a grown man nervous. Add in the air devouring sound effect, and it's enough to make anybody feel like a kid again. Hopefully, Vader will have the same effect on moviegoers when he returns to theaters later this month.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates and impressions of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as they hit.
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019