Much of the success of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first Star Wars standalone movie, can be attributed to the exhilarating final act, which, as I suggested in my review, took Star Wars to the nth degree and into A New Hope.
During the SXSW Film Festival, director Gareth Edwards spoke to Fandango and shed light on Rogue One's extensive summer reshoot that included the addition of Darth Vader boarding the Rebel ship, with horrifying consequences, in the final moments.
“He arrives and obliterates the Calamari ship, and then the blockade runner gets out just in time and he pursues the blockade runner. And then Jabez 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 3 or 4 months before release.
Kathy [Kennedy] came in and Jabez thought, f--k it, and pitched her this idea, and she loved it. Suddenly within a week or two we were at Pinewood shooting that scene. [They] came up with a whole shopping list of ideas. 70% we used, and maybe 30% felt a little too extreme. They were things you hadn’t seen him do before…
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.”
Fans finally witnessed the wrath of Darth Vader in a way the prequels failed to convey.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released on Blu-ray this April.