Star Wars villain Darth Vader makes quite the impression during his limited screen time in spin-off film Rogue One but the Sith Lord could have made even more of a splash had the writers stuck to their guns and gone with their original tale.
Gary Whitta, who wrote the original script (which was then re-drafted by Chris Weitz and later Tony Gilry) had planned to give Vader a very dark deed to do towards the end of the film
“Vader is in the movie as much as he always was. He only had two things in the film. He was on Mustafar and then in the battle at the end,” Whitta told Entertainment Weekly.
“The rampage where [Vader] murdered everybody wasn’t me. That got added later,” said Whitta, who had actually considered pitting the Star Wars villain against the rebels, but never put pen to paper on it.
“I had pictured early on Vader murdering all these Rebel soldiers but I never wrote it into the script. It was an idea that stuck around after I left and they ended up finding a cool way to use it. It’s actually my favourite thing in the film.”
Whitta did script a scene that saw Vader kill off a major character, though – and it sounds as merciless as you’d expect from the good Jedi gone bad.
His early take on the tale saw Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) survive the attack on the Imperial base at Scarif, along with their foe Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn).
“They tore him out of the rubble and they brought him back,” Whitta said of Krennic’s miraculous escape. “When they’re going over the ruins, he somehow survived.”
But he didn’t survive for long, as he met his fate at the hands (or should we say Force Choke) of Darth Vader instead.
“He survived the blast and they pulled him up and brought him to the Star Destroyer to report to Vader,” said Whitta “He’s all beat up, his cape’s all torn up and stuff, and he thinks he has survived.”
“Vader kills him for his failure,” he added.
So, why did the scene get cut? Well, turns out the powers that be just didn’t think it was believable for Krennic to survive that massive explosion on the base.
“It’s a bit of a reach,” Whitta explained, “which is why it isn’t in the finished film.”