One of the highlights of Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and perhaps the feature that greatly contributed to its huge success, was the inclusion of Darth Vader, if only briefly, in all his menace and cruelty.
The former hero of the Galactic Republic and the Clone Wars has always been a feared and respected villain in the world of fiction. This was especially true in the days of the Original Trilogy, where different outlets and publications hailed Vader as one of the greatest antagonists of all time. But as Star Wars fans would tell you, the character’s reputation diminished with the prequels. In place of an intimidating and powerful dark side warrior in a bodysuit, George Lucas introduced us to an innocent 9-year-old child, setting the groundwork for a transition that would conclude by Revenge of the Sith.
As such, the thing that makes Rogue One even better is its portrayal of a ruthless Vader. In fact, you can clearly sense that the producers actively tried to restore the character’s terrifying image, as the hallway massacre scene at the end of the film perfectly captures what made Vader a compelling villain in the first place.
The other set piece, an epic and nostalgic callback featuring James Earl Jones, was Director Krennic’s chat with the dark lord in his castle on Mustafar. Some early concept art shows that Vader’s first moments in the film could’ve looked different from what we saw in the theatrical release, though, as you can see below.
After his appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we still don’t know if or when Darth Vader will return, but a recent report suggested that he may make an appearance in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show for Disney Plus. If the hearsay is anything to go by, then, we can’t wait to see the powerful Sith Lord in action once again, and alongside Darth Maul, no less.