We know that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story went through some fairly significant reshoots which drastically changed how some aspects of the film finally made it on screen. This includes the big final scene with Darth Vader. Now, writer Gary Whitta has revealed how he originally conceived Darth Vader's finale when he was creating Rogue One. According to Whitta...
The version I pitched (but never wrote) had Vader on the Scarif beach single-handedly slaughtering his way through a Rebel blockade at the base of the Imperial tower. The version in the Raddus hallway works much better because it's so contained, feels more horror than action.
In the version of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that we saw, Darth Vader ignites his lightsaber at the end of a darkened hallway on board the Rebel ship. In the enclosed space the Rebels have no choice but to try and fight, but they end up as sitting ducks as the Dark Lord of the Sith tears through them. It seems that Whitta's original concept for the scene, though it never actually made it to the page, was for a similar sort of sequence, but one that took place on the planet's surface, rather than a ship in orbit.
This part of the film has come to be a favorite scene among many of the fans of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It shows Darth Vader more as a force of nature than a person, making it clear why the character is so feared throughout the galaxy. As Gary Whitta says, the scene has a sort of horror movie feel to it because of the contained space. Darth Vader comes across like Michael Myers, an unstoppable machine whose only interest is to kill.
Having said that, seeing Darth Vader work in a more open space would have also been quite interesting. With the more open area, Darth Vader could have potentially shown off more of his power. What sort of methods could he have used to break through a Rebel blockade with an entire beachhead at his disposal? One imagines Rebels being flung off into the sky or large pieces of machinery crashing down around them as Vader lays waste to the entire area.
While it's a known fact that Rogue One received fairly significant reshoots, not a lot of detail is actually known about the original version of the movie. Overall, it does seem that the reshoots were the right decision, as the film is pretty well loved by Star Wars fans, something which is reaffirmed by many of the responses to Gary Whitta's tweet here. What's next for the Star Wars Story spinoff movies is not clear. No additional spinoffs have been officially announced, and some rumors have indicated Lucasfilm is taking a step back following the lukewarm response to Solo. However, other reports have claimed that a film about Obi-Wan Kenobi is currently in pre-production with plans to start shooting early next year.