Rogue One: A Star Wars Story comes to our cinema screens this week, and I’m sure a lot of you have heard that it features a cameo from Darth Vader himself, but how good is he in the movie? Let’s discuss. I’ll try to keep this as SPOILER FREE as I possibly can.
Darth Vader occupies an important place in pop culture as one of the most iconic screen villains of all time. His dark, tall, masked, caped figure has been haunting our dreams ever since we first met him in Star Wars: A New Hope. It’s been a while since we last saw him on the big screen, but Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One has brought the Sith back, and I’m so glad he did because his cameo is incredible.
I won’t go into spoiler territory here, but what I will say is that he features pretty heavily in the film’s final scene, which is undeniably one of the best Darth Vader moments you’ll ever see. James Earl Jones also recorded new lines of dialogue for this cameo which just helps to give the character that extra sense of authenticity. I had shivers when I heard Vader talk and it quickly brought back memories of watching him in the original trilogy.
Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son!
When coming out of the screening, Darth Vader’s cameo was the first thing I wanted to talk about. I spoke briefly of it in my full Rogue One review, but I wanted to dedicate a blog post to my favourite movie villain of all time. He just pips Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight for me personally. Even though the original actor, David Prowse, isn’t the one in the suit this time around, Spencer Wilding, who also did some work in Guardians of the Galaxy and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, does a wonderful job. He’s the perfect embodiment of Vader and is able to recapture the character’s gate from the original movies.
There’s a scene between Vader and Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Krennic, which was featured in Rogue One’s trailer so this isn’t really a spoiler, where you see Vader emerge from the mist, and I honestly think this is one of the best ever shots of the character. In the original trilogy, Vader felt a bit lumbering. That’s not the case in Rogue One: he’s nimble and quick, which makes him even more menacing, especially in the last scene (OK, I’ll stop talking about that now).
Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director.
I was happy to see that the costume designers decided to replicate Vader’s look in Episodes IV, V and VI, as opposed to his brief appearance in Revenge of the Sith. He looked just a bit too polished in that movie. Vader’s a warrior, therefore his suit would have a few battle scars, which gives the character a slight edge, a certain gritty quality. Rogue One’s Darth Vader is somewhere in the middle. They’ve obviously had to modernise him a bit since the original films were made in the late 70s and early 80s. But what they’ve done is managed to make the Vader that George Lucas envisioned, which is probably why he liked the movie so much.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is currently in cinemas now, so what are you waiting for? Go and see it for yourselves!