Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Almost Had A Bigger Darth Vader Battle


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is arguably the best of the new Star Wars movies. One of the main reasons is the inclusion of the iconic villain, Darth Vader. While he only appears in two scenes in the film, the second is a full-on Rebel massacre where Vader eviscerates folks left and right to reacquire plans to the Death Star.

It’s perhaps the best scene in the spinoff, but according to screenwriter Gary Whitta, the original plan would have included a higher Rebel body count and a beach location.

This other version sounds more epic, but it’s hard to top the scene we were given. It’s terrifying, claustrophobic and visceral. It’s the Vader we’ve always wanted to see in a Star Wars movie and while watching him cut down even more Rebels sounds awesome, a beach backdrop just doesn’t fit. It also might reduce the villain’s imposing presence by having him in an outdoor element with wide shots.

Of course, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story famously went through a number of changes. Tony Gilroy was brought in to essentially rewrite and direct the entire third act, which is why a few scenes you see in the trailers are not in the finished product. It’s one of those rare occasions where the reshoots actually improved the film, though. The tension, action and character sacrifices are the best of any of the new movies in the franchise and perhaps Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm should have gone to Gilroy instead of J.J. Abrams for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

But what’s done is done and circling back to Vader, it’s unclear when we may see him on the big screen again. Lucasfilm is mapping out multiple movies all set many years in the past, so he’s likely to return at some point, but you can’t do any better than that last scene in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.