Rogue One: A Star Wars Story may be crushing it at the box office, cementing itself as the second biggest film of 2016, but it’s also drawn a bit of controversy. As you’ll no doubt know by now, Disney opted to bring back Grand Moff Tarkin, which isn’t problematic in and of itself, but ended up angering some fans as instead of getting a new actor to play him, they digitally re-created the original actor, Peter Cushing, who passed away in 1994.
Tarkin wasn’t the only classic Star Wars character to return for the prequel, though, as one of cinema’s most iconic villains also made an appearance. Yes, Darth Vader was back on screen again for Rogue One and moviegoers were thrilled to see him. While the character’s voice came from James Earl Jones, who brought him to life all those years ago, it was actually two different actors who wore the suit this time around.
From what we’ve heard, Daniel Naprous played Vader during the reshoots and Spencer Wilding was the one who portrayed him for the big reveal scene and in the footage we see in the trailer. As you can probably imagine, playing such an iconic role would be a daunting task for any actor, even if their voice isn’t being heard and their face is hidden, and in a recent interview with ITV, Wilding spoke about how he prepared for the job.
“This character has got so much presence… It’s unbelievable. I’m just one small element of Star Wars. It’s a massive production, and it takes a lot to bring the magic of that film. It’s just awesome. We studied the movements of Darth Vader. We had a trainer who got it bang on. We wanted to keep it ‘Darth Vader!’ It’s every actor’s dream. I’m still pinching myself!”
Those who’ve seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will know full well that Wilding’s hard work paid off, as Vader’s appearance in the film is a definite highlight and fans embraced it a lot more positively than they did Tarkin’s. With more spinoffs in the works, we actually wouldn’t be surprised to see the villain show again somewhere down the line, giving Wilding the chance to suit up once more.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now playing in theaters everywhere. Tell us, were you pleased with how Disney handled Darth Vader in the film? Sound off down below with your thoughts!