WARNING: Spoilers for Rogue One and Darth Vader’s amazing role in the film are below. If you haven’t seen the film yet, proceed at your own risk and know everybody else is judging you
Darth Vader’s role in Rogue One is brief but memorable. It was the most talked about moment online right after the film premiered, with countless bootlegs and gifs hitting Reddit and the rest of the internet that showed the iconic character doing exactly what most hoped he’d be doing. It was a fine cap off to the first of the many “side stories” being produced to coincide with the rest of the new Star Wars films. The surprising part is that it initially wasn’t in the film until the last moment.
Gareth Edwards sat for a behind-the-scenes talk with Wired ahead of Rogue One‘s digital release and noted that the final scene with Darth Vader wasn’t added to the film until four months before the film’s release. Edwards’ editor on the film, Jabez Olssen pointed out that film needed just a little more Vader or something along those lines, so they worked up an idea and presented it to Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy. She was pleased by the idea and they went through creating the scene in just three days. One long weekend to create what might be the best scene in the movie for some people.