Peter Jackson Helped Save Darth Vader in ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’

in Star Wars

darth vader rogue on a star wars story

Credit: Lucasfilm

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) saw the return of legendary character Darth Vader in one of the most incredible scenes in the Star Wars franchise. Still, it wouldn’t have been possible without the extra help of The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.

Ian McKellan (left) and Peter Jackson (right)
Credit: New Line Cinema

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Virtually every Star Wars fan argues that Rogue One is the best Disney Star Wars media since George Lucas sold his legendary Skywalker saga to the Mouse House — mainly when Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Spencer Wilding/James Earl Jones) plows through Rebel Alliance forces in an attempt to retrieve stolen Death Star plans.

Few thought Vader would ignite his lightsaber in this movie. Still, in a new social media post from Rogue One, writer Gary Whitta revealed that this scene wouldn’t have been possible without Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson:

I still remember vividly Gareth excitedly showing me the first cut of this. No music or VFX, wires still visible, but even in that nascent form it was clear that it was going to straight-up murder audiences. As I recall Peter Jackson was on set that day also losing his s***.

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The Star Wars universe is a small world, colliding with Middle Earth director Peter Jackson. Undoubtedly the most crucial scene in Rogue One, this epic Darth Vader moment that would have scared Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, Legolas, or even Aragorn to death had the approval of the One Ring bearer himself, Peter Jackson.

Darth Vader Rogue One fight scene
Credit: Lucasfilm

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In this epic scene, Mount Doom, dark Lord Sauron, Saruman, or anything from the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien (except Smaug) have anything over Darth Vader.

While many have long hoped Peter Jackson would direct an Old Republic-centered Star Wars movie, having his say and seal of approval onset of Rogue One with one of the essential characters in the Skywalker saga at the center, fans will be pleased to know that the magic of Lord of the Rings influenced Vader’s return, something we’ll see soon in Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+ on May 25th!

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins (L) and Peter Jackson (R)
Credit: New Line Cinema

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More about Obi-Wan Kenobi

Set approximately eight years after the execution of Emperor Palpatine’s Order 66, Jedi Master Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is living in secrecy on Tatooine as he protects the young Luke Skywalker from the threat of Inquisitors and his former Padawan Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen).

Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Tatooine desert
Credit: Lucasfilm

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McGregor recently stated that the most “annoying” part of returning to his Star Wars role was that he knew the series was happening years before Lucasfilm even announced its development in 2019:

“That was annoying. Every interview I ever did for, you know, years, people would say, ‘Well, are the rumors true?’ And I’d have to sort of, I’d have to lie. I’d have to say, ‘Well, you know, I don’t know. I’d be happy to play him one day again.’”

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in 'Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The world of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Darth Vader (James Earl Jones), Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), Darth Maul (Ray Parker), Anakin Skywalker (Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch/Temura Morrison), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Jedi Knight Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff)Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), and Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, and The Clone Wars.

anakin on mustafar
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Within the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilm is moving past Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) or the controversial Rian Johnson Star Wars film The Last Jedi (2018) as we dive into the Old Republic or explore new realities of the Star Wars universe with each new TV show or the upcoming Star Wars game like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2 or Star Wars Eclipse.

What do you think about Peter Jackson having a hand in Star Wars? Let us know in the comments below!


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