Gareth Edwards Reflects On The Pressure Of Directing Darth Vader In Rogue One


Few villains are on the level of Darth Vader. The former Jedi Knight wrote his name in the history books as one of cinema’s great antagonists after the original trilogy – the less said about the prequels the better – and late last year, the Star Wars faithful welcomed Vader’s return via Rogue One.

And though his role in Disney’s standalone pic was chopped and changed all throughout the film’s storied development, the moment when Darth Vader unleashes his fury upon the hapless Rebel ship, cutting through soldiers like a hot knife through butter, was truly spectacular. All in all, it’s a fantastic finale to a fantastic film, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Gareth Edwards didn’t feel the pressure during production. It is Vader, after all.

During a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), Edwards admitted to being nervous whilst filming Darth Vader’s scenes in Rogue One.

You kind of get nervous. Even though you know it’s an actor inside, once that helmet goes in, it’s DARTH! And as strange as it seems, it’s really hard to tell him what to do, no-one tells DARTH what to do. So you find you have to talk with the actor and figure it all out before the helmet goes on.

That gravitas really shines through the screen, too, and though there was some doubt lingering over Rogue One once those disconcerting reports started to surface online last summer, that Darth Vader scene in question is proof that the film arguably saved its best for last. Responding to a follow-up question, Edwards then spoke about what it was like to craft a scene around such a formidable character.

“Once he’s in character. Darth is in charge, and if you screw up the shot, he is not that forgiving.”

After reaching all the way to $1 billion at the international box office, Rogue One is due to release via Blu-ray and DVD in April. Indeed, next month is shaping up to be an exciting one for Disney’s treasured franchise, what with the first teaser trailer for Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi purportedly locked in for Star Wars Celebration as well.