Was Rogue One's Awesome Darth Vader Scene Directed By Dave Filoni? [Update]

Update — Sunday 5 March, 2023: "Rogue One" screenwriter Gary Whitta has said that Freddy Prinze Jr.'s claim about Dave Filoni directing the Darth Vader scene is "completely false." Editor Kevin Hickman previously said that the scene "was not in the original shoot" but rather "was something that one of the [filmmakers] thought, 'Oh, why don't we tie in Darth Vader somehow?'" According to The Wrap reporter Umberto Gonzalez, Filoni was involved creatively but the scene itself was shot by second unit director Simon Crane.  

Original article follows.

The more time passes, the more special "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" becomes, particularly because of how much of a mess it could have easily been. As the first-ever "Star Wars" spin-off and the first movie in the franchise not to be centered around Jedi or the Skywalkers, "Rogue One" could have easily gone the "Solo: A Star Wars Story" route. After all, this movie underwent extensive rewrites and reshoots, with entire plots changing and a whole new ending being added in reshoots, as Tony Gilroy came on board to not only reshoot scenes but do extensive rewrites.

And yet, the final film feels like a bolder, more mature "Star Wars" movie than anything the franchise had done (something that would carry over to "Andor"), a movie that expands what this universe could do. It was a movie that felt like it was breaking the rules, which Tony Gilroy also continued in "Andor."

Arguably, the coolest scene in an already stellar movie comes near the end, when the Rebels desperately try to escape Scarif with the Death Star plans, before Darth Vader ambushes them and starts mowing down rebels. It is one of the most memorable parts of the movie, a scene that made Darth Vader scary again after being turned into a bit of a joke by the prequels. Now, seven years later, we're learning that this may have been the live-action directorial debut of one Dave Filoni.

What a twist!

"Star Wars Rebels" voice actor Freddie Prinze Jr. revealed Filoni's apparent involvement in "Rogue One" while appearing on Lights, Camera, Barstool. Prinze Jr., who admits he may not be allowed to reveal this information, said that Filoni directed the scene where "Vader comes through and you see basically what's going to happen in 'A New Hope.'"

Not only that, but Prinze Jr. says Filoni also recast the actor under the Darth Vader suit. The reasoning? As Prinze Jr. explained, "Darth Vader doesn't talk with his hands, but this one clearly does."

This is quite a shocking revelation. Filoni, of course, has long been considered the successor to George Lucas' empire because of their collaboration all throughout "The Clone Wars" (which almost didn't happen, as Lucas wanted to be hands-off) and even on "Rebels." Despite this, Filoni didn't make the jump to live-action until "The Mandalorian," or so we thought.

Except, Filoni himself talked to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week, and admitted he visited the set of both "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One," but didn't get to actually play around with live-action cameras and lenses until he visited Rian Johnson on the set of "The Last Jedi."

So did he secretly direct the Vader hallway scene? We simply don't know, as this news is not confirmed. We'll let you know if we hear anything else about this.