The inspiration of Darth Vader's Castle from Rogue One

May 27, 2018

Let's chat about THAT Darth Vader scene in Rogue One and a bit about his Castle

Thirty years since we saw Darth Vader fulfill the prophecy as being the Chosen One, we have the 'return' of his character in Rogue One.

For two whole scenes.

But they are mighty scenes and one is sure to live on for years as the stuff of Star Wars legend.

Vader's first scene arises as a result of Director Krennic seeking out Vader at his fortress on the planet Mustafar. Krennic is seeking to keep control of his own little Empire.

This fortress has long been whispered about as George Lucas once made noises about it. And if I recall properly Lucas said he had pet dragons or gargoyles. No dragons in R1 however Krennic is reptile enough as he does his best to suck up to Vader. But he miscues and feels his thorax tighten as Vader gives him the good old Force Choke for being a bit too cocky. Did Krennic smile afterwards?

We also loved how the closer Vader walked towards Krennic, the larger the shadow on the wall grew.

Don't choke on your aspirations indeed.

Great stuff but more on the castle lair later.

The second scene involves Vader following Tarkin's orders to get the Rebel's copy of the Death Star plans. As an audience, we know he's not going to get them but we also know someone stopped him.

So who was it?

By my rough count, it was about 17 brave Rebel soldiers who faced Vader's blade as it sliced through them as he charged towards his goal.

Given the Tantive IV goes into hyperspace, we are not sure how much time elapses before Vader catches up to it in ANH. It appears to be a few hours. 

But enough time must pass for Ponda Boba and Doctor Evazan to keave Jedha and get to Tatooine... So it's possible some one else later got in the way of Vader.

We have never seen Vader quite like this before.

He was brutal, killing everything in his path. He used the Force to smash a man into the ceiling and he cut a man in half as he cut through a metal door. The man was simply in his way.

We've seen glimpses of this fury and might before.

In Attack of the Clones Anakin kills everyone in the village of the Tuskens that held his mother captive and in Revenge of the Sith, Anakin massacres the younglings in Yoda's class but it was off screen.

This scene will only add to the lord of Darth Vader as being a bad ass. 

Yes, we saw him duel with sabers a few times against Luke and Obi-Wan but we hardly ever saw him as the guy that almost single-handily hunted down the Jedi that survived Order 66.

So about Vader's Castle

darth vader concept design
An early scribble by Ralph McQuarrie of Vader's lair

But that name Mustafar. Does it ring a bell for you?

You should, it's the planet where Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker faced off each other in Revenge of the Sith when Anakin had become a Sith Lord himself.

Why on Earth (What? - Ed) would Vader want to have a Castle of his own on this planet? The answer lies in the Art of Rogue One book. Vader's Castle is built on an old Sith Cavern so that could be a reason why it's there.

The Rogue One script describes the lair as a monolithic, obsidian fortress of stark, brutalist design. Lead designer Doug Chiang said that the 'turmoil of the roiling purgatory outside' is supposed to reflect the internal evils of Vader's twisted soul.

Which seems about right!

Vader's castle sketch by Ralph McQuarrie

Keen fans of the television show Star Wars Rebels will also now be able to take new meaning from the line about Mustafer being the 'place where Jedi go to die' because that's where Vader probably killed a few of them.

We wonder if we have ever seen the last of Vader's Castle. Will Kylo Ren take it over? Maybe that's where he is now? 

Also, what has became of Vader's servant 'Vanee' that attended to him while he was recuperating in the Bacta tank?


We wonder if Vader ever uses lawn mower oil when cutting grass?

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