Rogue One: A Star Wars Story contains the best Darth Vader scene in the entire saga

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story contains the best Darth Vader scene in the entire saga

The Star Wars spin-off returns this evening on TFX.

If fans of Star Wars are very divided about the last trilogy, concluded in December 2019 by The Rise of Skywalker, Rogue One (rebroadcast this evening on TFX) is undoubtedly the only film of the Star Wars/Disney era that almost everyone agrees on. This is particularly thanks to the impressive appearance of Darth Vader, who left his mark.

Beware of spoilersbecause the scene comes at the very end of the film.

Article from 12/19/2016: The first time we see him in Star Wars: Rogue One, he is only a shadow of himself. Barely a bust, legs and arms cut off after his fight with Obi-Wan at the end of Revenge of the Sith. In the bacta bath that keeps him alive, Darth Vader waits for his time, the moment when he will shine like in the time of the first trilogy.

A little later, we find him facing Orson Krennic, and the magic seems to evaporate. Slightly swaying gait, rapid delivery, too high-pitched voice (it is, however, James Earl Jones who overtakes him again, but at 85 years old)… The feeling is strange and the scene does not seem to work until Vader strangles him with the Forces his subordinate devoured by ambition. Without a look.

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His third and final appearance on screen will arrive much later, towards the end of Rogue One, while the plans for the Black Star have already been stolen by Jyn Erso's commando. Stupor and trembling in the spectator: the scene is of incredible violence for Star Wars.

Darth Vader is depicted as an unstoppable killing machine,”a force to be reckoned with” as they say across the Atlantic. Fast, merciless, he makes a massacre in close combat. Intense thrill when he finally takes out his red lightsaber on a few furtive shots, after having sent poor soldiers of the Rebel Alliance ad patres with a use of the Force more savage than ever.

The scene fascinates as much for its brevity and its incandescence as for the immeasurable power that emanates from Vader. Obviously too short, it nevertheless succeeds in developing a new imagination around a character that we thought we knew from every angle. Even his fights against Luke in The Empire Strikes Backe and Return of the Jedi did not have this intensity, this ardor in pure violence.

Who is the face of Star Wars in 2016?

Vader's shadow looms over everything Rogue One, we were told before the release. This is false, of course. At best the character is an attraction, responsible for making the link between the big and small stories of Star Wars. But its power over the collective imagination is intact and all it took was a spark to rekindle the flame. The film unconsciously asks this question: who, deep down, is Star Wars ? Who is the face of the franchise? Luke was only in one shot of The Force Awakens, yet his presence was felt in every second of the film. To the point of giving goosebumps when he finally appeared, almost Christ-like, at the very end of the story.

L'Episode VII achieved what the original trilogy never really knew how to do: establish Luke as the ultimate hero, while until now secondary characters stole the show and he was devoured on screen by an iconic villain . The feat of The Force Awakens was to refocus the saga on him, THE Jedi, creating from scratch a myth around his absence. Without saying a word, Luke took the place that was rightfully his, and that he had never really occupied.

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The situation is both similar and completely different for Rogue One. Vader did not need a new spotlight to restore his image. He is THE cinema villain, unsurpassable and unforgettable. But now tied with Luke Skywalker in the incarnation of Star Wars. This was undoubtedly not its main objective and yet that is what Rogue One did the best: putting the duality of the franchise back at the heart of the debate, so the hero was one step ahead and Vader was nothing more than a thing of the past on the scale of the saga. So who is it, Star Wars, in 2016? Luke or Vader? The scale is balanced.

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