At the end of Rogue One, Darth Vader boards the Rebel flagship Profundity and pursues a group of rebel troopers carrying the disk with the Death Star plans. At one point he uses the Force to yank several of the troopers' blasters from their hands (similar to how he pulled Han Solo's blaster into his hand on Cloud City).

Why didn't Vader just Force Pull the disk with the Death Star plans into his hand? Or why not yank the trooper carrying the disk away from the partially closed, jammed door? Vader was practically on top of the trooper carrying the disk up until the moment the trooper was able to pass the disk to another trooper on the other side of the door. The jammed door then delayed Vader and bought the rebels just enough time to escape with the disk.

(It's difficult to find clips of the scene since Rogue One just came out, but for reference this video has the scene in an inset. Also, this video is a LEGO re-creation of the scene which seems accurate.)

The novelization suggests that Vader did see the disk with the plans. Is there an explanation for why he did not Force Pull the disk into his hands if he saw it?


In the film, it's not clear that he saw the tapes at all. I discuss this in greater detail in my answer to Why was Vader talking about "Rebel transmissions" in Episode IV when he saw the data tape being passed in Rogue One?; there's some ambiguity over it. The most likely answer is that he simply didn't see the tapes, and the novelization is incorrect.

Alexander Freed, however, evidently had the same concerns as you; in the novelization, Vader does try to grab the data tape with the Force. Unfortunately, he's just a smidge too late:

The security door opened a mere crack and rebel hands shoved the tape through. Vader reached through life and matter and air and by will alone he pulled. He fueled his will with rage and fear and need. It was enough to tear the rebel from the door and drop him at Vader's feet.

But it was not enough to claim the tape.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Official Novelization Epilogue

  • Ah, so he did pull but we couldn't see that in the movie because he failed to pull it toward him. Great answer!
    – Null
    Jan 9 '17 at 16:07
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    @Null Well, maybe. This is an area where the film and the novel are in direct conflict; the best answer in the context of the film is that he didn't Pull the tape because he didn't see it Jan 9 '17 at 16:09
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    Poor Vader. Failure to retrieve the plans is but a hint of what's coming his way.
    – void_ptr
    Jan 9 '17 at 19:45
  • @void_ptr Poor Vader indeed! Now the whole Star Wars “saga” is not about good guys defeating bad guys—as I remember it as a kid pre-1983/*Return of the Jedi*—but basically nothing works out for poor Darth Vader and how sad it is that everyone is trying to get in the way of him and his space Nazis. Won’t those poor space racists ever get a break? Jan 10 '17 at 0:25
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    @Mooz Yes, but George Lucas has officially said the following regarding Anakin/Vader and the saga he has created: “Yeah, I made a series of movies that was about one thing: Darth Vader. Originally, people thought it was all about Luke.” With the prequels, George Lucas has “retconned” the whole idea that the original IV-VI films were about Luke versus evil. Not any more! Thanks to episodes I-III, the overall structure is about poor old Darth Vader and the tragedy of his life. Screw the prequels to hell. Jan 13 '17 at 4:21

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