How long is Vader's screen time in Rogue One?
It’s no secret that Darth Vader is making a return to Star Wars with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
We caution though, that the movie is not about him and he that will have minimal screen time.
If you think he is going to be running around taking Jyn’s band of merry Rogues out one-by-one with his blazing red saber, you’ve got your head in the Cloud City.
The bad guy of Rogue One is Director Orsen Krennic.
The trailers have made this very clear, as has the prequel novel to R1, Catalyst, Krennic is responsible for breaking up the Erso family and the movie explores the echoes of that moment when Galen Erso was taken by Krennic to build the Death Star.
So back to Vader. He is in the movie to add some plot and give weight to the menance of Krennic and to frankly help sell the movie.
Star Wars fans are going to buy tickets to see a Star Wars movie regardless of who is in it. Mom and Dad type movie goers will go and see Darth Vader.
Vader is Disney’s cash cow and this is quite possibly the last time for a fair while that they will be able to plug Darth Vader into a movie (flash backs and more prequels aside).
If you recall the film Silence of the Lambs, the bad guy Hannibal Lecter is in the movie on screen for only something like 12 minutes. That was enough time for Anthony Hopkins to win the Best Actor Academy Award. Darth Vader had the same kind of affect in A New Hope. He became infamous all around the world as a bad guy and he was only on screen for 12 minutes as well.
We are picking Vader will have even less time in Rogue One and we suspect he won’t even get his sabre into his hands (though a brief show down with Jyn right at the end would be awesome).
So, if you think Vader is going to have a big role in Rogue One you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. Knowing that he has a small role (but one that could totally steal the movie) you will likely enjoy the movie better.