Why Darth Vader Uses A Different Lightsaber Form In Rogue One

Why Darth Vader Uses A Different Lightsaber Form In Rogue One

May 15, 2021 0 By admin


The events of Rogue One directly lead to the original Star Wars movie, so why is Darth Vader’s fighting form so much different between the films?

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directly leads to the event of the original Star Wars, so why does Darth Vader use a very different lightsaber fighting forms between the two films? Disney and Lucasfilm’s slate of films for the space opera’s renaissance not only included a brand new trilogy, but it also featured one-off stories to further build the franchise’s lore. After J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ release in 2015, it was followed by the anthology film, Rogue One which chronicles how the Rebels acquired the plans for the first Death Star.

Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars movie primarily had an all-new cast; the film introduced characters who had never been mentioned in the universe by that point and, it turned out, they were significant in how the Rebellion scored its first win against the Empire. Considering where it landed in the overall Star Wars timeline, however, Rogue One also offered the perfect opportunity to bring back familiar faces. Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin was recreated through CGI, and so is Carrie Fisher’s young Princess Leia, who accepted the plans, seamlessly tying the prequel to A New Hope. But arguably the most exciting cameo in the movie was Darth Vader’s.

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Related: Did Rogue One Reference An Imperial Darksaber Plan?

The Sith Lord appeared earlier in the movie, but his most memorable moment in Rogue One was the hallway battle scene where he easily defeated waves of Rebel soldiers in an effort to get a hold of the Death Star plan’s copy. It demonstrated just how powerful the villain was as he easily took down the freedom fighters, maneuvering his lightsaber in one hand and using the other for Force chokes and blasts; the whole sequence is one of Darth Vader’s most iconic scenes and despite having very little to do with the movie’s actual narrative, has become a fan-favorite. It’s interesting, however, that not long afterward, he fought Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope holding his lightsaber with two hands and was very slow in his actions as if he was significantly weaker.

Darth Vader VS Obi-Wan Kenobi - Star Wars SC 38 Reimagined

While this may look like a continuity error, there’s an explanation for this without an obvious change in power skills for Darth Vader. In Rogue One, he was fighting non-Force wielders, so he was confident in knowing that he can easily defeat them. Time was also of the essence since he’s trying to get a hold of the plans so his moves were rushed. However, despite only having one opponent in A New Hope, it was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Having spent much of his youth as his Padawan, Darth Vader knew that his former Jedi Master was extremely capable despite having aged. The last time they faced on Mustafar, Vader lost terribly, hence why he’s calculated in his actions.

Behind-the-scenes, obviously it all boiled down to how lightsaber fights were shot in the ’70s and ’80s compared to the 2010s. Since the original Star Wars trilogy, filming technology has made a tremendous improvement that Darth Vader’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hallway scene was easily created. Meanwhile, the Sith Lord and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s duel had to be filmed with a make-shift lightsaber, with the long stick attached. Vader and Kenobi actors David Prowse and Sir Alec Guinness’s respective ages might have also played a part in how the duel was choreographed. It’s worth noting that even lightsaber fights in the prequels were significantly different from the first three movies, but since they took place years before the Battle of Yavin, they’re not frequently mentioned comparatively to those of the original trilogy.

More: Why Darth Vader Is Confused That Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Body Disappears

  • Rogue Squadron (2023)Release date: Dec 22, 2023

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