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

We’re rapidly heading into the second end of the week for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and fans’ craving is still at a high. A best aspect regarding this new Star Wars spin-off is the arrival of Darth Vader.

In spite of the fact that the Dark Lord of the Sith has almost no screen time in the film, one significant scene conveys us to his already unseen home on the volcanic planet of Mustafar.


We’ve already heard that Darth Vader’s palace may return in future Star Wars movies. This bodes well, considering Kylo Ren’s fixation on his granddad, however it likewise made it all the more essential to get the design right.

During a recent interview with, co-production designer Doug Chiang  clarified the way toward making 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.”

As indicated by Chiang, there may likewise be more to Vader’s home than we’ve seen yet.

“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.”