This article contains spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is packed with nods to the original films that inspired it, from a young Mon Mothma to the return of Grand Moff Tarkin, but the most dazzling of them all was the return of Darth Vader. The iconic Dak Lord of the Sith emerged at first for what we thought was a single scene with Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), but then during the film's climax he absolutely brought the house down.
I've thought about Rogue One quite a lot since I first saw it, and I don't think I'd like it half as much if it didn't feature Vader mowing down a whole bunch of Rebel soldiers at the end. That scene took Vader from formidable to flat-out terrifying, but apparently we only got to see it because the film went though extensive reshoots.
According to editor John Gilroy, who helped piece the final film together after reshoots, much of what we see in Rogue One's final moments was planned from the beginning. Jyn and Cassian were alway supposed to beam the Death Star plans up to the Rebel fleet, and the hard copy was always supposed to land in Princess Leia's hands, setting the stage for her confrontation with Darth Vader at the beginning of Star Wars. We were even supposed to know Vader was in pursuit. The up-close-and-personal lightsaber attack, though, was the new addition.
“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,” Gilroy said. “That was something conceptualized a little later.”
The scene was added to give the finale a bit of what Gilroy calls a "punch in the arm," as well as a nod to longtime fans. It works on both counts, giving us the Vader ferocity we always wanted to see and also reminding us that, though the Rebellion now has hope, they still have a very dangerous enemy to fight. All thanks to the extra time offered by reshoots.
(Via Yahoo! Movies)