When it was confirmed that Darth Vader would be in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fans went, understandably, nuts. The inclusion of what many call the greatest villain of all time meant they were in for a treat, especially since this was a Darth Vader at the height of his power. A treat is what they got, and while his use was limited, it definitely made an impact.
SPOILERS FOR ROGUE ONE FOLLOW
In Darth Vader's first scene, we saw him uncharacteristically vulnerable. That's because he was recharging in a bacta tank, without all his cybernetics attached. The character has, in teh past, been rumored to not eat and drink, and that would mean he needs the support of something like a bacta tank (think in-and-outward IVs) to sustain his life. He's guarded by two elite Imperial Guards in their bright red cloaks, and has some sort of acolyte come to retrieve him when needed. What exactly that acolyte is - caretaker, dark side devotee, something else entirely, remains a mystery, one of those Star Wars things that's hinted at but never really told.
Upon emerging from the tank, Vader suits up and heads to confront Director Orson Krennic. The two have a spirited discussion, and Vader essentially tells him to get his sh*t together. When Vader turns to leave, Krennic continues to complain about not getting the credit he deserves, leading to a Force choke from Vader as he departs, and in what has to be a first, a pun from a dark lord of the Sith as he warns Krennic "not to choke on your aspirations." A subtle tribute to the pun-tacular Kieron Gillen who wrote the Darth Vader comic?
Vader's second scene shows his planning, before it shows his ruthlessness. Darth Vader observes the epic space battle between the Rebel fleet and the Empire through a viewing window, until he determines his next course of action. After a quick order to some Imperials, it's time for action.
And oh boy, action do we get. The Rebels copy the data from the Mon Cala ship onto a chit - the same chit that we'll eventually see Princess Leia place into R2-D2's casing in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. As they're running back to their ship, Vader arrives on the scene, and goes to work. Darth Vader ignites his lightsaber, deftly deflecting the Rebels blasters back into them, killing a few. Force choking one, he slams him against the ceiling - another gets slammed into a wall. Vader cuts down a few, and just as one hands off the data chit for the other Rebels to take away in their ship, Darth Vader drives his lightsaber into the man's back, straight through to the door.
It's a terrifying show of power, as Darth Vader cuts loose with the Force and his lightsaber in a major way for the first time in live action. It's the scene that fans will be talking about for years to come, and fully establishes Darth Vader is the ultimate villain once more.
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