Star Wars: Rogue One has been in theaters for just about a month, and it is safe to say the movie is a huge success. Not only has the first ever live-action theatrically released Star Wars Anthology movie to take place outside of the Skywalker saga done very well at the box office, but it has been very well received by fans. One of the main reasons for that was the presence of Darth Vader, specifically his final scene. It turns out that scene wasn't originally in the movie.
Warning: There will be massive spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ahead. Last year, there was a lot of concern when news surfaced that there would be some very significant reshoots done just months before the release of Rogue One. As it turns out, those reshoots were very worthwhile. Speaking with Yahoo Movies!, editor John Gilroy revealed that Darth Vader's final, epic, violent moment wasn't originally in the movie and was added during the reshoots. Here is what he had to say about it.
"What was added - and it was a fantastic add - was the Vader action scene, with him boarding the ship and dispatching all those rebel soldiers. That was something conceptualized a little later."
Without that final Darth Vader scene, his presence could have easily been perceived as disappointing. When looking at the trailers for Star Wars: Rogue One, it is easy to see that some of his other scenes were cut, none of which were really action heavy. It seems like he was going to be more of a looming presence in the background as opposed to being an actual threat. Many have said the Vader scene was the best thing in the movie and it is arguably one of the best moments the character has ever enjoyed on screen. Interestingly enough, there were two different actors who wound up playing Darth Vader in the movie because of the reshoots. During the initial scene between Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and Vader, it was Spencer Wilding. However, because of timing, Disney and Lucasfilm had to bring in Daniel Naprous to wield the lightsaber in the final sequence.
John Gilroy was brought on during the reshoots to help director Gareth Edwards with editing and some rewrites, which seemed to be a good call. Shortly after the movie was released, he also talked about some of the other additions that were made during reshoots, but they seemed to be more character driven additions, as opposed to such monumental changes, like the Darth Vader sequence. Here is what he had to say about it last month in a separate interview with Yahoo.
"The story was reconceptualized to some degree, there were scenes that were added at the beginning and fleshed out. We wanted to make more of the other characters, like Cassian's character, and Bodhi's character. The scene with Cassian's introduction with the spy, Bodhi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added. Also Jyn, how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better."
The final version of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story wound up being very good, by most accounts and also very profitable. The movie is closing in on the $1 billion mark at the box office and managed to prove that these standalone Star Wars stories can work. Also, there always seems to be a concern with movies when the undergo reshoots and if nothing else, Rouge One proves that reshoots can be very helpful.