A film as epic as Rogue One is obviously a result of months and months of careful planning. From CGI characters to gripping battle scenes, it's clear to see why it's quickly become some fans' new favorite Star Wars movie.
Considering the film's epic scale, it may come as a surprise that one of Rogue One's most iconic scenes was put together in the final stretch of production. In fact, Director Gareth Edwards thought it wouldn't happen at all.
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The Walk Of Death
#RogueOne certainly finished on a strong note, with Darth Vader marching down a red-lit corridor and cutting down every rebel fighter standing in his way— or as Edwards likes to call it, "the walk of death." An interview he did with Yahoo Movies revealed that the scene wasn't originally part of the script, but "something conceptualized a little later."
In a more recent interview with Fandango, Edwards stated the concept only came about a few months before the film was set to be released.
Editor Jabez Olssen, who first came up with the idea, pitched the scene to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy despite Edwards thinking there was "no way" it would get accepted. Much to their relief, she absolutely "loved it", and got them back into the studio as fast as possible:
"Because it was my last chance to do Star Wars, and because you know it's the end, we really were very careful with it. We storyboarded absolutely everything and tried to have no regrets."
The Greatest Hits Of Darth
Luckily, Olssen's gamble paid off, and that scene helped shape Rogue One into a spectacular addition to the #StarWars universe. While Edwards is proud of the scene, he still thought it might not match some of the film's other moments:
"It's funny, if you would've asked me what are the top five scenes in this film that people will talk to you about when it's over, I might not put Darth Vader's scene in there. It just felt right; it felt like the right thing to do."
For a massive Star Wars fan like Edwards, staying true to the source material and established characters was a priority. The writing team workshopped a ton of ideas for Vader, but Edwards felt some were a little too out-of-character for the iconic villain:
"It really is just the greatest hits of Darth; that corridor. And we really didn't want to do anything you haven't seen him do so it didn't throw people off. We kept it to what had been established."
But What About That Leia Cameo?
So if Vader wasn't originally intended to board the ship, does that mean the CGI Princess Leia cameo wasn't part of the plan, either?
Well, not quite. It's true that there were a few changes between the trailer release and the final product, with many a scene not making the final cut. One of those cut scenes involves Jyn and Cassian running across the beach with the plans to the Death Star, teasing the possibility of a version where the pair escape.
But Vader or no Vader, the final shot of that rebel passing Leia the transmission information would have worked either way— and no doubt Edwards would be hard-pressed to put together that Leia scene last minute.
Check out some of the Rogue One scenes that didn't make the cut: