ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Artist Reveals The Story Behind Darth Vader's Castle On Mustafar

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Artist Reveals The Story Behind Darth Vader's Castle On Mustafar

One of the coolest moments in Rogue One came when we paid a visit to Vader's home on Mustafar and now co-production designer Doug Chiang spills the beans on its creation, and its possible future!

After seeing Darth Vader's castle on Mustafar in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it's impossible not to wonder whether we might return there somewhere down the line. If the iconic villain gets his own movie, that's a given, but isn't it somewhere Kylo Ren might want to spend some time given his fascination with his grandfather? We'll have to wait and see, but during a recent interview with StarWars.com, co-production designer Doug Chiang explained the process of creating Vader's home. 

"Vader’s castle was really fun. When I knew that we were going to possibly go back to Vader’s castle, I loved that idea of, “Okay, let’s establish Vader’s home.” The initial idea was, “Why would Vader live here?” In our minds, we started to come up with a little bit of a backstory. That perhaps this place had special meaning for him, and that this is where he comes to meditate and to heal himself. We started with the idea that maybe it should be built around his bacta tank chamber, and he comes back here to rejuvenate himself and also to meditate. So from there, the structure itself grew out from the bacta tank, and there were certain ideas that we tried. We were trying to go for a very iconic shape, and we always love tall towers. Ralph McQuarrie actually drew quite a few small thumbnail sketches [of Vader’s castle] that were very intriguing. They were kind of angular versions of a tower, and I saw the potential of where he was going, and I just exaggerated that quite a bit."

Vader choosing Mustafar is very interesting, especially as it was there that Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated the Sith Lord and left him injured to such an extent that he needed to be put inside that iconic suit.

Chiang then went on to hint that there's more to Vader's castle than meets the eye, hinting that there are unexplored areas which could be revisited down the line. After all, it would be pretty amazing for Kylo Ren or even Luke Skywalker to head to Mustafar in Episode VIII or IX to try and unearth some of its secrets, and it's hard to imagine that Lucasfilm will never consider revisiting this aspect of Vader's life.


"It went back to the original idea of, “Well, why would Vader be here?” and there was a series of paintings and sketches that Ralph McQuarrie did, where Luke actually visits Vader in this underground lava cave. I always thought that was such a compelling image, because you have this lava lake inside this cave and there was Vader’s throne. So we took that idea and thought, “Okay, well, maybe on the lower levels of Vader’s castle, there’s a more ancient part. That he actually built this castle on a foundation of an ancient structure.” If you look at the finished design, it has this very strong element of a structure that was there for a purpose, and that purpose was to draw energy from the lava lake. If you look at the design of the base, it feels very much like a dam, and how the lava flows through it, possibly getting energy. And so we thought, “Okay, well, that’s the foundation. Maybe even deeper, or underneath that, is an even more ancient part, which is a natural cave where Vader goes to meditate.” Visually, we’re trying to create a sort of history for the tower. The bottom is the most ancient, the lava lake dam part was perhaps what Vader built his foundation on, and then the tower was Vader’s addition."

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