CT Why is the "I am your father scene" so DAMN POWERFUL TODAY despite being cliched?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Barkey Foreman, Mar 10, 2014.

Moderators: Darth_Nub, MOC Yak Face
  1. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Just Obi-Wan, unless Yoda put him up to it.
  2. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
    Cause it's one of the biggest plot twists to happen in a movie
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  3. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4

    Fair point, but Yoda knew the situation and said nothing, so he manipulated Luke by omission.
    Last edited by MOC Yak Face, Mar 13, 2014
    Lady_Misty likes this.
  4. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Considering Yoda's reaction to Luke's revelation that he knows about Vader . . . perhaps both.
  5. Cyreides Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2014
    star 1
    When I was little and watched it, I thought it was fine, but really, it only works once and now that I've grown up it just kind of seems dumb. I'd probably give the scene a pass if that was the whole scene, but unfortunately it's immediately followed by the most painful and hard to watch over-acting in the entire saga.
  6. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    @MOC Yak Face I see what you mean and I fully agree. Hopefully the ST will give us a story that'll focus way more on Luke.
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  7. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    [face_laugh]
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  8. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4


    Oh God! I hope not.
  9. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Anakin was in both the PT and OT, so Luke will be too.
  10. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I don't care one way or another about that. I don't hate Luke but don't love him either, and in the EU, that godawful excuse for a romance with Mara Jade ruined his character...so if he is in the ST, I hope he's soloing. Dude apparently can't fall in love without acting like a ****ing idiot and leaving the audience in need of ipecac.

    Like his father before him.

    I'm fine with a Skywalker family story for the ST (keeping this on the "I am your father" topic) but I hope there is no mirroring in the way of soap-opera-ish family surprises.

    Let that line remain iconic and left alone, not as a line that started a lot of ST movie copycat lines.
  11. Garrett Atkins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2013
    star 4
    A Luke romance could work if it were executed well, but that's unlikely.
  12. fuzzbox77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    star 1
    Luke doesn't really need any romantic interest. It's already been established in the EU (and that was bloody awful). Why copy writing from a book because a number of fans will cry to their parents and the internet about their "retcon" theory (I don't know why people can't say 'contradict' these days - unless they can't spell?)
  13. TX-20 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2013
    star 4
    Random New Jedi Master: "You speak of the prophecy of the son of the Chosen One who will restart the Sith and bring unbalance to the Force. You believe it's this old man?"
    anakinfansince1983 and Iron_lord like this.
  14. Doom Trooper Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2014
    star 1
    It was a huge shock back in the day and probably the last thing anybody expected for Luke and Vader to be connected like that. I think with the full story in effect, it's also tragic since it's essentially a father trying to re-connect with the son he never knew, showing there's still a hint of goodness in him despite the evil path he took.
  15. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    Yeah, it was the beginning of the "incredible shrinking galaxy/universe" phase of Star Wars.....
    MOC Yak Face likes this.
  16. mikeximus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2012
    star 3
    For me I think it still has an impact because of the Father/Son Story Arc. Most of us males can relate with the Father/Son story arc at some point. We grow up admiring our fathers, then at some point we don't want to be under their control anymore, and then after that we realize we aren't very different from our fathers. So I think that when the revelation happens, most of us can relate with Luke as to the thought of if this is my Father, what does that make me.
    Son of a Bith and Iron_lord like this.
  17. Chained Prometheus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2013
    star 2
    I was five or six years old when The Phantom Menace was released in theaters and I remember all too well being a Star Wars fan long before that. It didn't really shock me, at least in my earliest memories of being a fan, because I somehow already knew it. I'd probably already been watching and loving the OT for awhile before my memories start coming into play, so in the farthest reaches of my memory, it's just a detail I took for granted.

    However, the scene is most certainly iconic, as I've always gotten the reference whenever I saw it in pop culture. As I've matured and grown up, I have come to appreciate that scene more and more. Hell, I actually wrote an essay on it and Luke's struggle throughout TESB for a film class last fall and got an A on it.

    The whole sequence of Luke's confrontation with Vader in that film is cinematic gold. It builds up to that moment so wonderfully. Luke's entire world is deconstructed and thrown overboard. Through out the fight, Vader taunts Luke and presses all of the right buttons that he needs to press to break him mentally. From not recognizing him as a Jedi (Luke's dream), to referencing Obi-Wan (Luke's mentor) and trying to tempt him over to the Dark Side (Luke's fear), Vader plays a chilling mindgame on Luke and finishes it off with the Wham! card: the true identity of Luke's father (Luke's idol). Hell, even Luke's over-the-top "NO!" works. He builds up to that moment, trying to resist the truth. Furthermore, that big "NO!" is just so ugly. Luke looks like a puddle of Playdough and his voice cracks. It is not a pleasant sight to behold by any means, and it shouldn't be: Luke is broken here.

    There are very few moments in film history that are as effective as that sequence is. Everything about it is perfect. There are only a couple of other moments in the entire saga which I rank as highly as this (The Opera House scene in RotS, Luke vs. Vader in RotJ).
  18. KeithyT Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2014
    star 2
    Although it was a revelation, don't you think Luke's failure in the cave on Dagobah is a very subtle hint to it earlier in the film.

    Of course it's a trial and about facing the thing you fear most, and perhaps recognising the darker side to your own personality but when the Vader mask explodes and Luke's own face is revealed, well ...did this cross anyone's mind back in 1980?

    I distinctly remember seeing the cave clip on UK TV before the cinema release date (I'm sure it was previewed on something like Nationwide - a BBC1 early evening news magazine show) and wondering why the clip looked all grainy, murky and dreamlike and then why Luke's face appeared in the mask. I'm sure kids had also written in to the UK Marvel Star Wars weekly asking if Vader was his father prior to the film's release. Nothing would have been given away in any answers but I seem to recall some smart alecs thinking they had guessed it correctly.
    Chained Prometheus likes this.
  19. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    That's it for me exactly.
  20. Chained Prometheus Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2013
    star 2
    It's definitely a foreshadowing moment. I'd forgotten to mention it as one of my favorite moments, it's right up there with Luke's confrontations with Vader and the Opera House scene.
    KeithyT likes this.
  21. Darth Palpadious Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2013
    Okay, first of all, it isn't cliched, because it set the cliche. So many examples of this in Star Wars.

    Here are the reasons why I think it's so iconic:

    1) It's so utterly unexpected. It comes out of sweet Jesus nowhere, and is probably one of the most unpredictable, genius twists in movie history.

    2) It changes EVERYTHING. Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin's mythic parents can no longer be trusted. We can't be certain of anyone's relationship to anyone else, such is the shift in the web of characters that takes place with that line. The impact of the line is enormous, and is without doubt the turning point of the whole trilogy narratively.

    3) The execution is just perfect. Mark Hamill's reaction speaks for the audience with absolute precision - I had just seen TPM when I was introduced to the OT, and didn't know the twist, and the line followed by Luke's reaction broke my heart. It feels so real and so significant. It makes you feel like you will never look upon these movies in the same way again.

    4) And on that note, it should never be forgotten that the line is almost single-handedly responsible for the entire prequel trilogy, most of the resolution of ROTJ, a whole bunch of EU material, and elevated Star Wars to a new level of iconic cinema by acting as such an effective twist. It's one of the most important moments in Star Wars history and always will be, and without sounding cheesy, I feel like I can sense history unfolding every time I watch the scene.
  22. Bobatron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    I was so young I barely knew what was going on when I saw TESB when it was new, so I can't recall not knowing Vader was Luke's father. I didn't see Star Wars before that but was aware of it through toys, other kids, and maybe the read-along book at that point. When I watch movies I always try to place myself in the time they were new and I can try to feel the cultural impact (or if it's something I did see when it was new, to remind myself of what that was like). I don't compare Dr. No or A Clockwork Orange with the culture now and what's happened since and can still feel fascinated. Anyway, feeling the emotion of something in a movie has nothing to do with being aware of the plot but everything to do with how it is crafted in the movie. It's no different from laughing at something time and time again. It's still funny.
    Last edited by Bobatron, May 4, 2014
  23. Darth Cyn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2014
    star 1
    It's not cliched because it originated from before it became overdone, also, no one can beat James Earl Jones.
  24. AndyLGR Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2014
    star 3
    I think it was shocking because Vader was seen as one of the scariest villains ever, and it turns out that the hero who minutes before you were hoping killed said bad guy turns out to be his son. I thought it was so unexpected too. How can a wholesome character like Luke be his son?

    Now it seems a bit cheesy and cliched I agree, but remember that everyone knows the story now. Back then it was just out of the blue. Plus on top of that there were no real way of easily spoiling stuff like there is now with the internet and social media.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  25. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    It is shocking because we thought, like Luke, we could trust Obi-Wan to tell us the truth. Then Yoda seemed to back up what Obi-Wan said but note that Yoda dropped a hint about Luke's father: "much anger in him; like his father". Also Yoda as far as I remember only said Vader once in ESB and maybe says it twice in RotJ. He did say that Obi-Wan's apprentice had been consumed by the Dark Side.

    During the fight in ESB Vader taunts Luke and in the second round throws things at him before the grand-finale(sp?) kicks Luke's butt and than slices off Luke's right hand. Offers him a chance to rule the galaxy, implies that Obi-Wan didn't tell Luke what happened to his father and when Luke shoots back "he told me you killed him" Vader dumps the truth on him.

    In the commentary George says that one of the reasons, if not the only one, that Luke lost his hand was to make it so traumatic that everyone in the audience as well as Luke would be asking themselves if Vader was lying to Luke or he had spoken the truth and if he did than why had Obi-Wan lied to Luke?

    Than it becomes if Vader had told the truth why had he maimed his own son? Why was Luke with Owen and Beru and was he even related to them? And why had Obi-Wan lied to Luke about his father's fate?
    BigAl6ft6 likes this.
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