|The original force of STAR WARS evildom: Darth Vader, as seen in ROGUE ONE.|
It was always planned that the STAR WARS saga's most iconic and popular villain would appear in ROGUE ONE, but originally it was only to have been on the strategic periphery of the story telling, a shadowy but imposing third party in the battle of wills and power for control of the Death Star between Tarkin and Krennic. As in the finished film, Krennic, recognising Vader's power and his influence with the Empire, was eager to win over the Dark Lord's support, in scenes originally set on the space station in orbit around Scarif (its sanctuary moon and construction site) before being rewritten and transferred to the fan friendly environment of Vader's new home castle on Mustafar- a further welcome bridging between the Prequel and Classic trilogies, and incorporating the lead-in scene of Vader/Anakin Skywalker in the bacta tank. This was an environment originally likely to have been either within the Death Star or an Imperial Star Destroyer, before being relocated. Wearing prosthetics as Anakin was stuntman/actor Daniel Naprous, of which this scene must have been shot before the Summer 2016 reshoots, as it made the first teaser trailer for ROGUE ONE that debuted in April that year...
|As seen in an early trailer, the reflection of Vader (Spencer Wilding) at the Death Star bridge.|
|Looking at computer graphics, presumably of Scarif.|
|Krennic has an audience with Vader (Spencer Wilding) at the location.|
|TOPPS card Rebel Missions Briefing Comic Strip 1 art no doubt based on this deleted scene.|
The idea of a castle home for Vader had been conceived early on for ROGUE ONE (as recently confirmed by Art Director Doug Chiang), with an archive visitation of Ralph McQuarrie's original ideas for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK plus other Mustafar designs from EPISODE III, before the concept was seemingly dropped then reappeared as a filming reality for the 2016 re-shoots, with Ben Mendelsohn back as Krennic and stuntman Daniel Naprous now inhabiting the costume for this and the later in the reshoot schedule epic Vader confrontation on the Blockade Runner- a genius idea from the film's co-editor Jabez Olssen to director Gareth Edwards, and quickly given the go order for filming by Kathleen Kennedy, recognising its potential to wow audiences- Vader was always to have given chase to the departing Death Star plan custodians at the end of the film but never in such a proactive and murderous way.
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|On a Star Destroyer, Krennic confers with Vader (Spencer Wilding).|
|Vader on the Star Destroyer bridge, most likely played here by Spencer Wilding.|
The Vader suit, first worn in the original filming period by actor/stuntman Spencer Wilding, and later in the re-shoots by Naprous, was not from the Lucasfilm Archives but fan built- camera tested by Gareth Edwards and his crew on one of the Starkiller Base sets during production of THE FORCE AWAKENS. Original sculptor Brian Muir returned to create the old/new helmet that would replicate Vader's facial appearance in A New Hope, whilst the overall final appearance of the character was checked over by his original costume designer, John Mollo. For reasons unknown, however, it was decided that Vader's appearance in ROGUE ONE would not fully adhere to the 1977 film's continuity- his inner cloak wrappings not being displayed outside the shoulder armour.
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