CT Why didn't Vader sense Leia (in-universe explanation)?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Klingon Padawan, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The novelization of RoTJ makes Vader's amazement that Luke "has a twin sister" rather clear.
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  2. Placeholder Force Ghost

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    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    It's pretty clearly a revelation to him in the scene, too
  3. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    star 6
    Same really applies to the most recent version of the ESB Emperor scene.

    "He's faking" doesn't really work that well.
  4. Placeholder Force Ghost

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    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    I hate the way they changed the lines
  5. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    star 6
    Still, it's "their" film to change.
  6. Placeholder Force Ghost

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    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    That is true, they are the ones making the product. But it is my right as the consumer to judge said product. Sort of like New Coke, that was Coke's right to change it, it's their product. But it was the consumer's right to judge and eventually reject that product. And they did.
  7. darth ladnar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I know, but I was giving an explanation from only what we see in the films. I thought this forum was supposed to focus on the CT, not the EU stuff. To me it's a plot hole if it didn't work out how I described it in post 75. If Vader, while distracted in battle, can sense Luke's Force potential even though Luke has no training then it doesn't make sense to me that he wouldn't sense Leia's force abilities. I mean if you are going to go EU with it, then it's very clear that Force-users can sense the Force potential of other characters. It doesn't matter if the other individual is using the Force or not. I'm reading through Darth Plagueis, and Plagueis and a young Palpatine can sense with great accuracy just how strong an individual is with the Force.

    The real explanation is of course that GL didn't come up with the idea that they were related at this point, but I'm trying to give an explanation that makes sense with the 6 films. And if he can sense Luke, then he should be able to sense Leia. I just take it that he also gets a sense that they may be his kids, and that would in part explain why he let's him escape. It would also explain why he wants Leia taken to his ship in TESB.

    The other thing you mention -- Vader being surprised to learn that Luke is his son. For me that really doesn't seem to fit the rest of what happens in the film or before it. Even at the beginning of TESB, he refers to Luke by name when the Imperial probe catches signs of life on Hoth, saying, "That is the system. And I'm sure Skywalker is with them."

    Vader clearly is interested in him for a particular reason. Even without going to the EU, we can figure out why he's so interested: he knows his name is Skywalker, he knows he's been hanging around with Obi (he reveals his knowlege of this in his conversation with the Emperor), he must know he's Force sensitive (surely, there are other Skywalkers out there, so there must be something special about this Skywalker if he's interested in him), and he knows being strongly Force sensitive is really rare in the SW universe. Given that Vader must know all that, Vader would have to be an idiot not to think that Luke is his son.

    Now, maybe the Emperor confirmed Vader's very, very strong suspicions and Vader was somewhat in denial, but still, all signs must have been pointing to "Yes" for Vader even before they spoke. It just doesn't make sense any other way, and given that, Vader's response to the Emperor is still dishonest. If he were honest, he would have said something like, "Oh thanks for confirming that. I was really suspicious that he might be my son. That's why, behind your back, I've been sending out thousands of probes to find him." (This is clearly Vader's first conversation with the Emperor about Luke, so he must be sending out the probes without the Emperor's knowledge.) I can go along with the idea that the Emperor is confirming Vader's very, very strong suspicion, but it just doesn't make sense that Vader didn't pretty much know it already or that Vader is being completely honest with the Emperor. I mean, even if GL told me, "No, Vader is totally surprised." I'd reply, "Sorry, Buddy, your film provides tons of evidence to the contrary. If I had to go with your opinion or what I see on screen, I'm gonna go with what I see on screen. Go watch the movie again. You're having a senior moment."
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Apr 28, 2013
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  8. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Huh? When did Vader encounter Luke when Luke had not yet had any training?

    Yet in the same book Palpatine senses absolutely nothing from Anakin on the Coruscant landing platform.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Apr 28, 2013
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  9. darth ladnar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
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    I meant in ANH when he's flying the X-wing. I didn't consider it "real" training when Obi-Wan gives his 5-minute lesson with the remote on the Falcon and his short explanation about what the Force is. Also, it seems from my limited reading of the EU that strong Force-users can sense someone's Force potential regardless of their training.

    Yet in the same book Palpatine senses absolutely nothing from Anakin on the Coruscant landing platform.[/quote]

    I haven't gotten to that point yet! (I think you will admit that they are both generally really good at sensing the Force potentional of individuals. I remember Plaqueis sensing that some people have virtually no capability, and at one point, he senses another has a somewhat high midi-count but still just below the level needed to have Force powers. That seems pretty precise to me.)

    I'll have to read on and pay close attention to the Anakin scene. I actually read over the novel quickly before, and now I've amazingly forgotten a lot of it already!
  10. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    It may not be much, but it's the first step.

    Vader senses Ben when he gets near the Falcon (without actually pinpointing him), though he doesn't seem to sense Luke at that point.

    It could be that the Force user needs to be actively opening themselves to the Force, to be easily sensed. Hence, as Luke is listening to Ben, and beginning to draw on the Force as he flies, Vader says "The Force is strong with this one".
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Apr 29, 2013
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  11. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2013
    star 3
    Both twins went 19 years without any detection. I do agree that they are inconsistent with how force detection goes. I know that dark side users can sense each other extremely well, so using that logic- maybe the light side of the force is strong in Leia and ‘clouds’ and obscures Vader’s vision, the same way the Dark Side clouds Jedi’s vision.

    Well it’s either that or Leia is so terribad at the force she doesn’t even register as force-sensitive. Which I don’t think makes much sense, because it’s Vader’s job to hunt force sensitives and Jedi, no matter how little they use the force.
    Last edited by VanishingReality, Apr 29, 2013
  12. Kev Snowmane Jedi Grand Master

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    Jan 1, 2013
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    The novelization makes it clear that she was using the Force to help do that, if only subconsciously...
  13. darth ladnar Force Ghost

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    Yeah, that certainly does occur. I wish the book developed that more. I'm sure Palpatine would have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why he couldn't sense that, but the book doesn't really include that. What do you think the explanation is? Do you think Qui-Gon and maybe other Jedi were using the Force to hide little Anakin's Force potential like how Palpatine and Plagueis keep their own Force powers concealed? Or have you come up with another theory?
  14. Darth Valkyrus Force Ghost

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    Apr 12, 2013
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    It's possible Vader did sense it, but said nothing of it to hide the fact from the emperor, and from the likes of Tarkin who would make leverage out of it.

    It's interesting to note that Tarkin gloatingly sentenced Leia to death, and then later got mad and ordered Vader to "terminate her, immediately!" But a while later this had still not been done... Was Vader protecting her? Food for thought.
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  15. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    Jul 2, 2004
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    No, I don't think that, but it's an interesting concept. I'm not sure what the writer was going for there, since elsewhere he depicts the ability to sense another's Force potential as somewhat dependable. If it was up to me I would just say that Force sensing is not so automatic as all that, but I don't know if that fits with the rest of the text. I do recall that in Palpatine's case it was suggested that the Force ( potential ) had somehow hidden itself, so maybe that applies to Anakin as well. Palpatine not sensing anything from Anakin on the landing platform totally fits with Qui-Gon showing no indication whatsoever that he feels anything special about Anakin while in Watto's shop. Qui-Gon certainly believes later on that the Force is strong with Anakin, but by that time he's spent more time around Anakin and has heard about the podracing.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, May 6, 2013
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  16. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
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    According to the RotS novelization Anakin and Padme communicated through the Force which is why he decided to leave.

    It should be noted that Vader didn't truly torture Leia. What he did was inject her with a drug that would cause her to hallucinate. Once it was in her system he told her that she was in pain, that he was truly torturing her and that her trusted friends had either betrayed her or confessed.

    A side effect is that those under the influence of the drug can die of heart failure so Vader stopped.

    I believe that Vader thought that Leia was Force Sensitive but for whatever reason decided not to say anything.


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  17. Obi-Wan21 Force Ghost

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    Aug 27, 2002
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    Leia was not a force-sensitive, nor had she ever been informed of any potential so she had nothing to bury, and Vader therefore had nothing to sense.
  18. Samuel Vimes Force Ghost

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    From what the films show, Force sensing doesn't appear to be an exact science.

    Vader senses Obi-Wan only when he is really close by, not when he is in orbit over the planet.
    Vader doesn't sense Leia and there is no indication he sensed Luke until Luke used the Force right in front of him.
    In ESB, both vader and Palpatine sense Luke and his growing power, despite neither of them being near him, nor have they ever met him.
    Then in RotJ Vader is able to sense Luke but Palpatine doesn't.
    In RotS Anakin apparenly did not sense the hidden Obi-Wan.
    In AotC, did Dooku sense Obi-Wan? If so he took a bit of a risk by letting him leave.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  19. MRCynical Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 7, 2008
    star 1
    It's probably an attempt at a retcon of this issue, but Timothy Zahn's recent-ish 'Choices of One' says that Skywalker was a fairly common surname in that part of the galaxy. So knowing that the rebel was called Skywalker wouldn't necessarily indicate that he knew that it was his son.

    Actually (and I sense that you dislike the EU, so I'll avoid the obvious):


    So while she didn't know she was Force sensitive in ANH, she certainly was Force-sensitive even from a films-only POV.
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  20. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

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    Mar 21, 2007
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    My whole take on the Skywalker name is that it isn't super common like "Smith" is on Earth (know at least four/five families with that name and that aren't related at all). It's mostly likely an uncommon name. When I open the phonebook and look under my last name the only people listed there are family members; one of them is a widow but she still has the last name. My dad has only heard of someone else with our last name and I am pretty sure he said a letter was missing. However I haven't done a massive search so I don't know just where my last name fits into the scale of "you hear it EVERYWHERE" and "wow, I can't find ANYONE with that last name!"

    Vader might have assumed that since the boy was somehow connected to Obi-Wan that Obi-Wan either told Luke to use the surname "Skywalker" or Luke grew up believing that he was one.

    Remember we aren't told exactly why Vader decided to turn the Galaxy upside down to find Luke. All the Title Crawl says is that Vader is obsessives in his search for Luke.


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  21. Obi-Wan21 Force Ghost

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    Aug 27, 2002
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    Well, yes, I know that she was force sensitive. I mis-spoke. I was simply saying she had no training or no knowledge of this during ANH, so she therefore had nothing to hide and no feelings to bury, so Vader sensed nothing.

    As for EU, I love it when it's good. You assume too much. I simply don't feel the films should cater to anything other than the other films, same goes for the cartoon. They may each tell their own story, and let the consumer decide what matters to them.
  22. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    The EU needed a damsel in distress and since they were too darn lazy they used Leia.

    This is the woman that in a very round about way called Vader stupid, outright insults Tarkin who decides just how painfully she dies, she helps rescue herself and her rescuers after they get trapped in the Cell Bay and she does a few other things, tells Chewie to turn around at Bespin so they can rescue Luke and to Chaos with what Lando thinks, strangles Jabba the Hutt with a chain and with some help of the Force, chases after two Imperial scouts even though Luke is yelling for her to wait, she stays calm when captured by a scout and then takes himm on and then she shoots and kills at least one storm trooper with an injured arm.
  23. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Most times when Leia's in the "damsel" role in the EU, she does her own rescuing.
  24. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

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    Still @tron_lord they needed her to not be trained so they could use her in those roles.
  25. L110 Jedi Master

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    Oct 26, 2014
    star 1
    Well, first and foremost, he didn´t have a clue that his children were alive since he thought they´re dead.