It’s an open secret by now that Star Wars: Rogue One was heavily changed during its production. The movie that bridged the gap between the prequels and the original trilogy once included Darth Vader scenes away from that hallway massacre – and an ILM employee has shared a look at one such moment that ended up on the cutting room floor.
ILM animation director Hal Hickel posted a shot of Vader – away from Mustafar – with an Imperial officer (or possibly someone else, more on that in a moment) standing at a distance from the Sith Lord.
Last Rogue memory for today: pic.twitter.com/iJd5GDu1fQFebruary 2, 2021
This deleted Vader scene may seem familiar. After all, a brief snippet was included in Rogue One trailers in the lead up to release. But it wasn’t a scene planned just for trailers and sizzle reels.
In a reply to a fan, Hinckel said that this location also featured "a conversation between Vader and Tarkin that ended up out of the film."
Yes, there was a conversation between Vader and Tarkin that ended up out of the film.February 2, 2021
So, we could be looking at a stand-in for a CGI Moff Tarkin (‘played’ by Guy Henry in the final film, but with Peter Cushing's face digitally inserted over the top) at the corner of the image. Curiously, the two never interacted during Rogue One despite sharing a frosty relationship in A New Hope – but this indicates plans were in place for them to do so.
While it’s unlikely that the Rogue One scenes cut from director Gareth Edwards' original version will ever see the light of day, the story of the movie's characters isn't over. A Cassian Andor Disney Plus prequel series starring Diego Luna is currently filming.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in December, Luna teased the project’s scale: “The way we’re shooting this reminds me of how we shot the film, and the amount of work behind this TV series reminds me of the work you do for a film. It feels like we’re doing a very long movie.”
Unlike Vader’s talk with Tarkin, let’s hope nothing gets left on the cutting room floor. Find out what's coming next in a galaxy far, far away with our guide to the upcoming Star Wars movies. If you want to catch up on the story so far, on the other hand, all you need is a Disney Plus sign-up.