BTS "No, I am your father"

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    I have a question for Star Wars historians. When Lucas outlined the story of what would eventually become the original trilogy, and I mean before Episode IV was even filmed, do you think he had already decided that Darth Vader was going to be Luke's father?

    Was that always part of the story or did he come up with that huge revelation when he was given green light to make Episode V?

    I've always thought, and correct me if I'm wrong here, that judging by what Obi Wan tells Luke about Anakin, there's no way anyone could have seen that one coming, even if I've heard people say they did figure out who Luke's father was, before The Empire Strikes Back was first released.

    What Obi Wan says makes perfect sense and does not sound far-fetched: your father was killed by a Jedi who was seduced by the Dark Side. Period.

    So what happened? Did Lucas decide to make Vader Luke's father while coming up with the plot for Episode V or was that revelation part of the story all along?

    Does anyone know?

    [IMG]

    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 23, 2014
  2. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    IIRC, the decision to make Vader Luke's father came after ANH. Obi-Wan was originally supposed to be telling the truth, and the ghost of Anakin Skywalker was supposed to show up somewhere.
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  3. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    I did not know that. I wonder why he decided to make him Luke's father. Of course, that is a great plot point, but I wonder where that came from.

    And once more thing, did he decide to make Leia Luke's sister while writing Episode VI?
  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Yep. The "other" was supposed to be explored in the ST, but Lucas had decided he didn't want to make any more movies at that time so he made Leia the sister.

    I don't know where the Vader as Luke's father came from.
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  5. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 12, 2014
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    I must admit I never liked it that she is his sister.
  6. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Mar 4, 2011
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    I did, because it put that stupid love triangle to bed for good.

    But I wish that creepy kiss had never happened.
  7. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    The origin is complicated.

    In 1974, Lucas wrote his first draft called "The Star Wars" which was recently adapted into a mini-series by Dark Horse Comics, one of their last contributions to the license. In the first story, everything is much different from what it would become. Elements found in the TPM and to a lesser degree in AOTC were there, but in a much different and more raw form. Elements from TESB and ROTJ were there as well. In this draft, Darth Vader is nothing more than a high ranking Imperial officer. The main Sith was Prince Vallorum, a Jedi Bendu who became a Sith Knight during the rise of Cos Dashit, who became Emperor of the Galactic Empire. A Sith Knight appears in the beginning of the story in search of Jedi Bendu Master Kane Starkiller and his two Padawan sons, Annikin and Deak. Deak is killed by the Sith, before being killed by Kane after a duel with Annikin. The Sith Knight wears the black armor would go on to be used by Vader as we know him now, but it was just a space suit. Kane and Annikin head to Aqualie, the old Capital of the Empire to consult with King Kayos and Jedi Bendu Master General Luke Skywalker. Kane tells Luke that he wants him to take over his son's training as he's getting too old and weak to continue, having lost all but his right arm and his head to the Holy War of 06 and is now mostly a cyborg. Kane later sacrifices himself to help Princess Leia and her siblings to escape, by giving up the power supply that keeps him alive. During the third act, Annikin is captured and taken before Vallorum who starts to have a change of heart about his loyalties to Dashit and is inspired by Annikin to turn on the Empire and become a Jedi Bendu again. In the finale, Vallorum becomes Annikin's Master.

    Starting with the 1975 draft and on the advice of his wife, Lucas broke down the story and wrote a second draft which starts to resemble the film that we know. Here, Vader is a Sith who is still human and wears the black armor as a space suit. Luke Starkiller's father is an elderly Jedi who along with his oldest son Deak, are prisoners of the Empire at Cloud City. Luke must rescue them both and deliver a crystal to his father that will enhance his ability to use the Force, which has diminished. Luke later uses the crystal to destroy the Death Star. The cyborg in this story is an old friend of Han's who lost parts of his body over the years. As Lucas was working on this story, he realized that it was still not there and he was also reading a lot of Joseph Campbell's writings which lead him to work on the third draft.

    In this draft, Luke's father was trained alongside Ben Kenobi and they had fought against Darth Vader after his betrayal, at the end of the Clone Wars. Luke's father was killed and Ben had injured Vader, before disappearing to Utapau where Luke was being raised by his mother, who died a short while after he was born. Then the Lars took over. At this time, Lucas wasn't really set on having Vader be Luke's father, though there is a line when Vader is trying to target Luke where he says, "The Force is strong with this. I feel that I should know you." What this meant is difficult to guess. This is the draft that the actors used for their auditions. Sometime in early 1977, Lucas wasn't certain if the film would do well and so he came up with contingency plans. One of them was the story that would go on to become the first EU novel, "Splinter Of The Mind's Eye". In this story, Vader is still not related to Luke. This story was in case the film was a very minimum success and could be filmed on a low budget. But in the end, the film did very well and work on TESB began.

    The first draft by Leigh Brackett had Vader and Luke's father as two separate people as mentioned. Brackett had passed away shortly after completing her draft and Lucas decided to credit her, but changed much of the storyline. He, Kasdan, Kershner and Kurtz discussed the development of TESB in various meetings. It was during this that Lucas started to go in the direction of having Vader be the bad father, an element in Campbell's writing where Ben would be the good father and Vader the bad one. Lucas had liked the idea of a Jedi becoming a Sith and then finds redemption. His decision to have the father and son face each other and see the similarities in each other and the differences was also based upon Campbell's work. It gave a new twist on the importance of what it was that Luke had to do. It turned everything on its head and instead of being a clear case of good triumphing over a great evil, it was now Luke trying to save his father while trying to save himself.
  8. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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  9. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 5, 2012
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    @darth-sinister pretty much summed up the history there, though I thought I'd mention that at some points, Lucas has claimed that everything was planned out (in particular, Vader being Luke's father). While there's little evidence to support this (as you can see by that passage), we still don't know everything that was going on in Lucas' head at this point. While the story wasn't supposed to take that direction, I think it's possible that Lucas planned for many different occasions.

    Also, there's the legend that Darth Vader means Dark Father in Dutch. Even if that's probably not true, it's still cool to imagine. :cool:
    Last edited by SlashMan, Feb 23, 2014
  10. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    You can read the various drafts at the Jedi Bendu script site.

    http://starwarz.com/starkiller/

    This is where I first discovered the various drafts and the history of the OT. They're one of the oldest fan sites and among the best.
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  11. oierem Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    The bolded section is not exactly accurate. After Brackett had passed away, Lucas rewrote the script from scratch and wrote the draft in which Vader is revealed to be Luke's father (April 1978), a few months before the meetings with Kasdan, Kershner and Kurtz (July 1978); in fact, Kasdan hadn't even been hired at that point.
  12. oierem Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    Well, that's just... a legend because... no, it doesn't mean that.
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  13. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 12, 2014
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    @oierem But Vader is Father in Dutch.

    EDIT:

    But you're right. Dark Father would be Donkere Vader.
    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 23, 2014
  14. Yanksfan Chosen One

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    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5

    I always hear this--"wrapping up the love triangle"--as one of the reasons Leia was made into Luke's sister. But this always seemed a silly excuse to me. I mean, really, did anyone after ESB honestly think Leia was still going to end up with Luke?? It would've never even occurred to me at that point. As for Luke "not being chosen" by her, he should've just been made to come to terms with it. Like the rest of us have to do sometimes in the real world. Or, like how Han was going to just step aside and "deal with it" when he thought Leia liked Luke better. Just sayin'. I'm not arguing that that has been given as a reason, but it always seemed like a weak reason to me.
    Last edited by Yanksfan, Feb 23, 2014
  15. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    I didn't think she would but a lot of people either did or at least wanted it to happen.
  16. Yanksfan Chosen One

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    Yeah, but you know what I'm saying? Leia chose Han. That should've been enough to settle the "love triangle", regardless if some other fans wanted it to turn out differently.
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  17. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    The thing is that the early drafts of TESB had the triangle in full swing and there was even scenes shot going with that. Those scenes were cut save for Leia kissing Luke to make Han jealous. However, at the time, there were still fans who thought that Luke would win out in the end. It wasn't so much that it was resolving the triangle as it was having someone viable for Luke to lose his **** over being threatened. It had been Leia because of what happened at the end of TESB, as well as early on, at one point Leia was supposed to be well versed in a mind control technique that would prevent her from spilling the beans about the Rebel base. While Han would have been a bit more practical, having him be the other wouldn't be as credible as Leia. That's my opinion.
  18. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
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    I haven't read the original novel in decades, but I remember at the end Luke was looking up and smiling at something he thought he saw. The way it was written gave me the idea he saw the ghosts of Ben and his father.
  19. Vthuil Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2013
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    And nothing in ESB suggests to me that Luke/Leia was still a possibility even at the beginning.
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  20. Yanksfan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah, I actually totally agree with you there. Even the icky kiss was only to make Han jealous. It wasn't because of any feelings she was having for Luke.

    @darth-sinister --And I know that originally there were deleted scenes with Luke and Leia in ESB that would've made it more of a love triangle if they had stayed in the film, but they didn't stay in the film, so for all intents and purposes they never happened.
  21. WhiskeyGold Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 4

    Lucas come up with the other line so that people would not know Luke's fate. So we wouldn't say "Vader cant kill him, its Luke Sywalker he has to be good and the hero". It was until writing on Jedi that it was Leia
  22. WhiskeyGold Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 4

    its not really creepy, they did not know they were related at the time
  23. WhiskeyGold Force Ghost

    Member Since:
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    I head the legend as "Darth Vader" means "Luke Skywalker's Daddy" in latin. True?
  24. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    Others have covered the historical development of the Father Vader change fairly well. One thing to note is that we don't really know why Lucas made that change. Presumably he liked the story it generated - Lucas seems to have a thing for subverting audience expectations, he does it all throughout the saga - but we don't know the exact details. Lucas wrote the draft that merged Vader and Annikin while alone (The Secret History of Star Wars covers this in the most detail I think).

    The Leia aspect is even vaguer. In pre-ESB notes and in the Brackett Draft, Luke has a sister who is also being trained as a Jedi, somewhere across the galaxy. In this draft, she's named Nellith Skywalker. The idea at the time was that she would be encountered in one of the remaining serial-type episodes and probably join forces with Luke. They would ultimately defeat the Emperor/Empire in the last episode. In the subsequent drafts of ESB, any mention of her is removed. When Luke leaves Dagobah, Yoda says something like 'now we must find another.' As more drafts were written, that line kept shifting until it eventually became 'there IS another' - which seems tantalizingly close to the 'lost sister' concept, though we don't know for sure that there was a connection between the earlier Sister and the Other. That's what's in the movie. Then, in one of the early outlines for ROTJ, Lucas just appends 'Sister!' in the margin beside one mention of Leia's name. We don't know anything else (the idea that the circa-1979 Sequel Trilogy plans would follow the Other is a cool one, but there doesn't really seem to be any real information behind it).
  25. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 5, 2012
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    It's even been stated that there was no "other" at the time; it just created more tension and brought the possibility of Luke's failure.