Yeah, I mean the Vader scene is definitely gratuitous, but even I have to admit it made for a great theater experience, and still pumps me up a little when I go back and watch it.
But it is funny how your mind was going to this reverse-engineering idea from a storytelling perspective. Thinking about Rogue One had me thinking about reverse-engineering the film to gel more aesthetically with the original Star Wars by going more retro with the grade and VFX, or trying to make the music and dialogue and other sound effects sound more analog. I like the idea of going “retro” with projects in general, sort of how the film Black Dynamite made a 70s retro film in 2009. I think if I were to ever make a Star Wars fan film, I would try to keep aesthetic and cinematography reminiscent to the original trilogy.
To be fair, the franchise shouldn’t be expected to be stuck in the past, per se, but I think the production value of the original trilogy really contributed to that real-world feel those movies had. I do agree with you that the saga could’ve worked well as a whole with that idea of mind, if the prequels had been smaller scale in comparison to the OT. Like others here, I’ve also definitely wasted a lot of brain space thinking about prequel rewrites, so the idea is definitely appealing. At the same time, I look at how I keep bouncing between ideas, whether it be the Rey Nobody stuff, a full TROS edit, a Rogue One edit, even full ST edits, etc… And after how weird the Book of Boba Fett was, it sometimes makes me wanting to just do a nice ROTJ edit and be satisfied with just a well-rounded Original Trilogy, not wasting any effort on stuff beyond that.
EDIT: Also, the upcoming Andor series makes me a little reluctant to make any major aesthetic changes to Rogue One, even if the idea is appealing.