Wired have a cool video interview up where Rogue One director Gareth Edwards discusses the creation of that awesome moment in the finale to the film, where Darth Vader unleashes the full fury of the Force against Leia’s rebels in his attempt to stop the Death Star plans being taken.
It almost wasn’t in the film, until editor Jabez Olssen pointed out that the film needed to see Vader really kick ass. With four months until release and the pair already editing the film, they pitched the idea to LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy, who gave the go ahead. It ended up being the final scene shot, and led to Edwards’ cameo, as the rebel trooper who pulls the switch to release Leia’s Blockade Runner the Tantive IV from the hold of Admiral Raddus’ ship. Thus leading to the opening of Star Wars (A New Hope) where it swoops over Tatooine, pursued by Vader’s Star Destroyer. “I wanted to have a cameo in the film, because I love Star Wars so much,” he says. “but I was saving it for the right thing.”
For Vader’s big reveal, bathed in the hellish red glow of his ignited red lightsabre in the dark and smoky corridor, Director of Photography Greig Fraser used a toy lightsabre with LED lighting and also needed to include a large light, blocked by the actor portraying Darth Vader. The menacing silhouette, combined with the smoke and horrified reactions of the rebels, is just the beginning as Vader hurls bodies and weapons about with the power of the Force, cutting a swathe through his enemy in his implacable quest. Watch the interview, intercut with the footage below, and as a bonus, watch the scene directly lead into the opening of Star Wars too.