Although a month has passed since its release, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is still the blockbuster on everyone's minds. The first standalone movie in the Star Wars franchise was a bonafide success, expanding the galaxy far, far away while also making tons of money at the box office. Rogue One had a tone unique to the franchise, and also brought back fan favorite characters from past installments. And no character was quite as exciting and polarizing as Darth Vader, who came back with a vengeance. One of the most surprising aspects of Vader's appearance in Rogue One was his fiery castle, especially because his opening scene was lacking the title cards which the other locations were given. Well, it turns out that was done purposefully.
Rogue One editor John Gilroy has been fairly chatty now that the film is finally in theaters, and he can discuss what went into the editing process. Regarding Darth Vader's Mustafar castle lacking a title card, it was apparently done to make Vader's first appearance a true surprise for the audience. He revealed the following (via Yahoo Movies),
We had one on for a little while, but what we realized was Star Wars fans --- true Star Wars fans --- if they saw the name, would know exactly what they were going to see. And we wanted it to be a bit of a surprise, so we decided to not put the title on so Star Wars fans could be surprised along with people who were not initiated to where Mustafar was.
Did anyone else just have an "aha" moment? What seemed like a folly by the filmmakers was actually a very logical editing choice. So take that, haters.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story utilized quite a few unique editing choices. The iconic opening crawl was absent from the film, as was some of the classic transitions like the Star Wars wipes to new shots. Then there was the inclusion of title cards, which isn't really how the franchise usually operates. Having each setting introduced was actually quite helpful, as there were a variety of planets in play during the film's runtime. But when we were on Mustafar without a title card, it felt disjointed. Alas, it was done on purpose so that Darth Vader's first scene was as powerful and surprising as possible.
While not as iconic as planets like Tatooine, Mustafar actually holds a fair amount of weight for the Star Wars canon as a whole; Anakin Skywalker's descent to the dark side was cemented on the fire planet. After nearly force choking Padme to death, Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi engaged in the most epic lightsaber battle in the franchise's history. And after gaining the higher ground (which apparently is game over for Jedi), Obi- Wan took Anakin's limbs and left him to burn on the planet's fiery surface. And just like that, Darth Vader was born.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is still in theaters now.