Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Darth Vader has no real-world precedent, but he's more recognizable than almost any real-world leader. People or things may be like Vader but Vader is nothing like people or things, and his defiance of likeness and explanation were what made his origin story, as told in Star Wars Episodes I-III, so disappointing.
In a Wired interview, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards avoided the quagmire of explaining Vader when he discussed the scene at the end of the latest Star Wars installment.
The scene in question is one of the film's last, in which Vader uses his lightsaber to turn a hallway full of Rebels into a sausage grinder.
There's more to the scene than Vader gleefully returning to form after his embarrassing Frankenstein-esque first steps at the end of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. As Edwards points out, it's the culmination of events in Episodes I-III and puts into motion the action of Episodes IV-VI. The most important survivor of the massacre at the end of Rogue One is a data card containing the stolen plans for the Death Star, without which the Rebel Alliance would be hopelessly outmatched against the forces of evil. It is the precise moment, Edwards said, that ultimately dooms the Galactic Empire.
If this version of Vader looks and feels more like the Vader from the original trilogy, it's because Edwards pulled the character's body language and Force moves from the dark lord's appearances in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
"The golden rule was not to let Vader do anything you haven't seen or [wasn't] established in the original trilogy," he said. "Everything you sort of see him doing down that corridor is pretty much something from the previous films."