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CT Did Lucas know Darth was Luke's father in ANH?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Mooncake, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
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  2. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    The fact that Vader being the father wasn't planned all along isn't an atempt to discredit Lucas at all! In fact, it can be said that it was brilliant to incorporate that new twist into an ongoing Saga; a true reflection of Lucas' love for editing and how he likes to work, adding and changing the material contantly.

    What's on screen is what matters... agreed. On screen it's said that Luke's father was killed by Darth Vader, right? Anyway, if you want to guess if Lucas (a guy who's not on screen) knew that Vader was Luke's father (which is the topic of this thread), then you have to look at all the available material, scripts, notes... to guess whether he knew it or not.
  3. Master Aizakku Rorensu

    Master Aizakku Rorensu Jedi Padawan star 1

    Feb 1, 2013
    Sure, it can be the reason, but that's looking for something other than the obvious.

    I wasn't aware of that. You gathered this from the movie or from some other source?

    In the movie all I saw was that Uncle Owen said that he thinks Luke's father died around the same time as Obi-Wan, and when Luke asks if this "Obi-Wan" knew his father he told him to forget it and that he didn't want to talk about it. So where in A New Hope was Luke lied to about exactly how his father died, other than by Obi-Wan? :cool:

    Of course, when you say "what happened," are you referring to the being a navigator on a spice freighter? If so, then yeah, that's being lied to (until the Clone Wars cleared that up). So if you're not using "what happened" as in how his father died, then fair enough. And just add another person lying to Luke.

    Back to scripts and novels again. And now private conversations?

    The screen. The movie. Not a script, not a novelization, not private conversations. What was on the screen?

    Just out of curiosity, where were these private conversations published, in what book? I'd like to check it out.

    We knew in 1977 that Uncle Owen knew that Anakin left on an adventure and got himself killed? Or do we just know that Obi-Wan had said that Uncle Owen didn't want Luke to follow Obi-Wan "on some damned fool idealistic crusade like your father did."

    Check the scene again where Uncle Owen is talking to Luke about his father. Because I didn't get any indication from Uncle Owen that Obi-Wan was the reason Luke's father was dead.

    I took Obi-Wan smiling as him remembering the good in Anakin. As in, yes, he was a good person, but he also turned to the dark side, but I'm only going to tell Luke the good things about his father.

    Or, he doesn't want to tell Luke that Darth Vader is really his father so he concocts some other story. :cool:

    Yes, I left out the qualifier on when he decided, so my mistake there.

    And yes, I aware that's what's being argued. So sorry again for leaving out that qualifier.

    Yes, all evidence except for what was on the screen.

    I disagree, there's one set of evidence. And then there's the evidence on the screen, which is the most definitive, is it not?


    Yes, I apologize for leaving out the "when" qualifier.

    Why wouldn't I just look at the final product, A New Hope? I don't have to guess then do I?
  4. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    No, you are looking for something other than the obvious. Luke's father is dead but you somehow want to read body language into that he really is alive.

    Owen has not told Luke that his father was a Jedi and fought in the clone wars, instead telling him that he was a navigator. So it is very unlikely that he told Luke that his father was murdered by a jedi pupil by name of Vader and that Vader was trained by Obi-Wan. Luke does ask "How did my father die?" That alone indicates that he has been lied to or that Owen has never told him anything about how his father died.

    You want to go with what is onscreen? Fine, three people say that Luke's father is DEAD and we see Vader alive. That means that Vader CAN'T be Lukes father as one is alive and the other is DEAD.
    You are trying to use body langauge and pauses to overwrite what is actually said.
    So going by onscreen, Lukes father isn't Vader, case closed.

    Since this thread is about what Lucas THOUGHT around the time when ANH was made, scripts, novels and private conversations ARE relevant as they shed light on his thought process.

    Obi-Wan told Luke that Owen did not hold with Luke's fathers ideals and "thought he should have stayed here and not gotten involved." Luke's father went with Obi-Wan and was later killed, Owen would know this.

    Owen is adamant that Luke should not have anything to do with Obi-Wan, calling him "A crazy old man." That alone indicates some hostility. Second Owen quickly drops the subject and tells Luke to forget it.

    Again the smile and comment is mostly to himself and neither fit with him thinking about the evil monster that used to be his friend.

    Since nothing onscreen in ANH shows that he is lying then you have no basis for this.

    What is onscreen is three people all saying very clearly that Luke's father is DEAD. Vader is not dead so Vader CAN'T be Luke's father.

    And again onscreen says Luke's father is dead so onscreen disproves your reasoning.

    So to sum up, scripts, novel, Lucas private conversation and onscreen does not support the idea that Vader was Luke's father, rather the reverse.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
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  5. Lars_Muul

    Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 2, 2000
    It's probable that GL's view at that time was that Luke's father was truly, physically, dead. It's possible that the idea of Vader being the father had visited his mind at some point.
    The only person who really knows is George.

    - He told me enough!
    - Don't be so sure, my young Jedi.

  6. Jarren_Lee-Saber

    Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 16, 2008
    Of course Lucas didn't know! He had to wait til Vader told Luke! :D
    Ord-Mantell70 likes this.
  7. Master Aizakku Rorensu

    Master Aizakku Rorensu Jedi Padawan star 1

    Feb 1, 2013
    What in the world... ?

    No, obviously in hindsight, which I said in an earlier post in this thread, what Obi-Wan was telling Luke was that his father was dead, figuratively speaking.

    Okay, first you said Luke was lied to in regards to what happened to his father. No you've amended that to "or that Owen has never told him anything about how his father died," which now makes more sense and fits with what we saw on screen. So that's that.

    No, I'm not using body language to overwrite what was said. I fully acknowledge what was said. Obi-Wan was just lying to Luke to protect him from the truth, that's all.

    I mean, it's pretty simple.

    Yeah, I never said they weren't relevant. They are relevant. And George Lucas' thought process is totally relevant. And his final thought, which is what ended up on screen in A New Hope, is that Darth Vader was Luke's father. But Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru didn't want talk to him about it, and Obi-Wan Kenobi lied to him about it. And in the next movie the truth was revealed.

    Yes, I've already stated that. And that gives us no indication that Uncle Owen is suggesting that Obi-Wan Kenobi is the reason Luke's father died. He just said that he thinks his father died around the same time that Obi-Wan did. So yes, lies all around, but it's not saying Obi-Wan is the reason.

    Yeah, that's what the pause was. Luke asked him if he knew how father died. Obi-Wan pauses because he knows all about his father, the good and the bad, and decided to put a positive spin on it all and just tell Luke the good things about his father, and lies about the bad part.

    Again, it's pretty straight forward to me. In hindsight of The Empire Strikes Back.

    Yeah, as I said before, in hindsight it's all clear. And that's why it was a plot twist.

    It wasn't clear before, but now we see what Obi-Wan was talking about.

    No, they were just lying to him in A New Hope.

    Why is that so hard to accept?

    All in all, and this is the most important part, and I hope you just reply this, because I'm tired of doing long posts, because we're obviously not going to change each other's mind on any of the above and we'll just be going around and around, saying the same thing over and over again...

    Anyway, all in all, to suggest that George Lucas didn't have it planned in A New Hope that Vader was Luke's father, but came up with it after the fact, and just lucked into the fact that what was presented in A New Hope just happened to be vague enough for him to be able to pull it off... ? That, I don't know...

    Yes, he got lucky that Star Wars was/is as big as it is. But to suggest that he got lucky yet again... I don't know, I guess George Lucas must be one of the luckiest people in the history of cinema.
  8. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    A lot of people on here are using Owen's fear of Luke being like his father as an arguement...
    Did Owen even know who Darth Vader was? Let alone that Anakin had turned to the dark-side?
    TOSCHESTATION and Lady_Misty like this.
  9. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    []quote="Master Rorensu, post: 50429713, member: 1377369"]What in the world... ?

    No, obviously in hindsight, which I said in an earlier post in this thread, what Obi-Wan was telling Luke was that his father was dead, figuratively speaking.[/QUOTE]

    No Obi-Wan was telling Luke how his father was killed since that is what Luke asked about.

    Luke obviously knows that his father is dead so he must have been told something.
    We know that Owen lied and said that Luke's father was just a navigator and not a Jedi Knight and that he fought in the clone wars. So obviously Luke wasn't told that his father was murdered by a fallen jedi by the name of Darth Vader. In other words he has been lied to. Obi-Wan has revealed a lot of thruths to Luke and Luke now knows that his uncle has lied to him about many things.
    So he asks how his father died. This implies that he has been told something but he now knows that whatever he was told are most likely lies. So he wants to know the thruth.

    Since ANH never establishes that Obi-Wan is lying you have no basis for your claim.
    So again, if we go only by on-screen as you say then on-screen establishes that Vader CAN'T be Luke s father as he isn't dead. Sorry but you can not pick and choose among the evidence. Dialogue disproves your theory and since ANH doesn't establish that this dialogue are lies you can't ignore it.

    What version of ANH did you see? I have never seen any version of ANH where it is established that Vader is Luke's father. In fact the absolute opposite is established, Luke's father is DEAD, at least three people say this but we also see that Vader is alive. So that makes Vader NOT Luke's father as he isn't dead.

    If you want to bring in the sequels then first, they did not exist when ANH was made. Lucas wrote them AFTER ANH. Second, if we are to determine what Lucas THOUGHT around the time ANH was made then scripts etc are relevant and they all show the opposite of what you claim. Many ANH scripts clearly contradict Vader as Luke's father and the first draff of ESB also totally contradict it.
    So ANH the movie does not show Vader as Luke's father, it shows the total opposite. The scripts of ANH are in total agreement of this and the first draft of ESN also fit with this. And Lucas own comments from that time also totally fit with this. He talks about ONE prequel movie that focused on the young days of Obi-Wan, Vader and Luke's father and the battle where Luke's father is killed.

    If you want more info Darth_Nub has got a good thread here:

    From what Obi-Wan said it seems that Luke's father left because of him and because he left, he ultimately wound up killed. Owen knows at least this much, if he knows the specifics is unclear. But given his hostility to Obi-Wan and his lies to Luke and stopping Obi-Wan from giving Luke his fathers lightsaber then it is very likely that Owen in part blames Obi-Wan for this.

    Also, as others have pointed out, how would Owen and Beru know that Luke's father is really Darth Vader? They could not know this unless Obi-Wan told them and why would he? If it was so important to lie to Luke about what really happened to his father then why tell Owen and Beru and run the risk that they slip up? No if secrecy was that vital then the fewer that know the better. And Owen/Beru don't really seem worried that Luke is an evil despot in the making. Their worry is rather that he could run off on a foolish adventure and get himself killed like his father did.

    The smile and the comment about "good friend" is BEFORE Luke asks about how his father died.
    Luke asks if Obi-Wan fought in the clone wars and Obi-Wan says yes and explains that Luke's father also fought in the wars and that he was a Jedi like Obi-Wan. Luke then comments that he wished he had known his father, then Obi-Wan gets nostalgic and talks almost to himself about the good friend Luke's father was. And again his body language and tone of voice doesn't fit with him thinking about the evil monster his friend turned out to be.

    Which wasn't written at the time ANH was made so not relevant. And the first draft of ESB has Luke's father as a Force Ghost so that further disproves your theory.

    Since ANH does not establish that they were lying there is no basis for this claim.

    Because given the other information from when ANH was made, they WEREN'T lying. Obi-Wan was telling the thruth. Lucas later changed his mind and was lucky that ANH was vauge enough that he could make this plot twist.

    If you read the previous script then the father character is shown less and less. Early on he is alive and shown, in one he is killed on-screen. Later versions have him as alive but only appearing at the end. Later still he is dead but the "Luke" character knows him so he obviously isn't Vader.
    And later still he is dead and the "Luke" character has no memory of him. Likewise the Vader character have grown in prominence. From not existing, to being a human general that died, to a Sith Lord that died, to a Sith Lord that managed to escape with his life. In short the evolution of the characters is pretty clear and straightforward.

    I don't see why Lucas being "Lucky" is reason enough to reject the idea that Vader wasn't Luke's father when ANH was made. There were a great many things Lucas didn't plan but that worked out in the end. When filming started Obi-Wan wasn't supposed to die, so no Yoda. Leia most certainly wasn't Luke's sister but he managed to get that to work, despite Luke obviously having a crush on her.

    So to sum up, the ANH movie, the scrips of said movie, the novel of said movie, the first script of ESB and Lucas own comments from around the time ANH was made, ALL clearly indicate that Vader wasn't Luke's father. You are simply using hindsight to read in something that did not exist at the time. There is a clear and plausible alternative to Obi-Wan pause and all that. He simply feels guilty about what Vader did and has to tell a painfull thruth to Luke.
    So sorry but you can't simply reject all this evidence for Lucas later day claims.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  10. Master Aizakku Rorensu

    Master Aizakku Rorensu Jedi Padawan star 1

    Feb 1, 2013
    Sorry to cut through your post and jump to this, but this is all the matters.

    Anyway, yes, that is exactly what I'm doing. That's why I said "In 1977, Aunt Beru's and Uncle Owens' exchange, and Obi-Wan Kenobi pausing when Luke asked how his father died is as clear an indication as any to me (and obviously in retrospect because I was only 7 at the time and there was no such thing as The Empire Strikes Back)."

    So, yes, you are correct in that I'm using hindsight. However, you say it did not exist. I obviously say in hindsight it did to me.

    So I guess we're at the end of another chapter of the endless "Vader was Luke's father since A New Hope/No he wasn't" debate. And I imagine this one ended just like all the others. One person clinging to their truth, and the other person clinging to theirs. :cool:
  11. DRush76

    DRush76 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 25, 2008

    All it did was make Obi-Wan a more ambiguous character. Which was an improvement from my point of view.
  12. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    The question that started this thread was "Did Lucas have Vader as Luke's father when he made ANH?" Using all avalible evidence such as the actual movie, scripts, novels, Lucas own comments, the simple answer is NO.
    So the question wasn't about wheter you can use hindsight to see something that wasn't there. It was simply, Did Lucas make ANH with the clear idea that Vader was Luke's father? And again, based on the evidence, the answer is, No he didn't.

    I know people that swear that the Episode IV title was present in 1977, but it wasn't. Some say that the deleted scenes with Biggs and later Red Leader was a part of the film back in 1977, it also wasn't.

    When I first saw TPM and after some of the Qui-Gon/Shmi scenes I thought that there might have been a brewing romance between them.
    But from what I have read and heard, that was never the idea. I was also certain that Maul was not cut in half at the end and this was changed for VHS/DVD but that was also wrong.

    So if you want to read things from Obi-Wans pause etc then go ahead. But based on the actual facts, Lucas didn't have Vader as Luke's father back in 1977. Case closed.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  13. I Are The Internets

    I Are The Internets Force Ghost star 9

    Nov 20, 2012
    I don't think Lucas knew back then, but I don't suppose we'll ever know the truth.
  14. Master Aizakku Rorensu

    Master Aizakku Rorensu Jedi Padawan star 1

    Feb 1, 2013
    Okay, fine. You're right and I'm wrong.

    Wow, that was easy...
  15. Master Aizakku Rorensu

    Master Aizakku Rorensu Jedi Padawan star 1

    Feb 1, 2013
    Okay, now that this has sat here for a few hours...

    So, was I saying that you're right and I'm wrong just to end the debate? Or did I truly believe it?

    Obviously I was just saying it to end the debate and don't believe it for a second. Much in the way that George Lucas had Obi-Wan pause for a beat before telling Luke that Vader "betrayed and murdered" his father.

    See how it works?

    Now, did I have this planned all along, or did I make it up after the fact? :cool:
  16. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012
    As someone pointed out earlier; you would think that if he had Vade and father Skywalker in mind as the same person from the beginning he might have passed that rather imprtant nugget of information onto the person he paid to write the screenplay to the second movie (originally concepted as Episode 2 - this is important). But he didn't. The first screenplay has an appearance by the Force-ghost of Luke's father - a pretty sure sign that he is no longer bodily 'here', whereas Vader very clearly is.

    Also, when the idea of properly budgeted sequels were first talked of GL stated that he had a backstory in his mind but that he had no intention of making movies of that - that the backstory was simply a background to tie future movies together. So, the idea that it was always intended to be a series covering the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker is not true. When he did talk of making prequels, he talked of the final one being the set-up of Vader killing Luke's father and then their battle (Vader and Obi-Wan) - in other words Vader and Luke's father are talked of as separate people, one killed by the other - exactly as Obi-Wan says.

    As for the scenes 'perfectly fitting' the Vader=Anakin frame, they don't. There are discrepancies that we either have to ignore or justify in some way. The most telling of these is (as already pointed out) the fondness and affection that Obi-wan portrays when talking of Luke's father... you know the mass murderer who helped hunt down and kill the Jedi. We justify that as Obi-Wan remembering only the good Anakin, but that really doesn't hold up to too close an examination. Secondly there is Obi-Wan's "Only a master of evil, Darth" So Darth, here, is clearly his name. GL tried (I think) to cover this off with Luke's sarcastic "Your Highness" in ROTJ but....there simply isn't the sarcasm in Obi-Wan's delivery to add that up.

    Just because you can look in retrospect and see how 'obvious' it is, to do so you must ignore the even clearer cues that it was not so - not the least of which is what is said in the movies, which is that Luke's father is dead.
  17. Grand_Moff_Jawa

    Grand_Moff_Jawa Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 31, 2001
    The pause Ben gives before telling Luke his father was betrayed and murdered came across to me as the breaking of really bad news. Not that he was trying to cover up something. If you were about to tell someone how their father died, would you just blurt it out? Ben was uneasy, not hiding anything. Luke's father, Anakin, and Vader were two separate people until George changed his story for TESB. And why is that such a big deal? So he changed his story! Even though he lies about doing so, it really doesn't matter and George doesn't need to save face about it. If George wants to keep lying about it, fine by me.
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  18. Heero_Yuy

    Heero_Yuy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 28, 2000
    I'm genuinely shocked there are still fans who buy into Lucas' BS about planning everything in advance.
  19. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002

    Jumping in to this interesting conversation, I saw this post and my immediate thought was YES!

    Now I know it was said jokingly, but as someone who's played with George's toys for over 10 years as a writer, I can tell you first hand that sometimes, characters 'do this!' You'll be toodling along, writing a story, or in some cases it feels like you're just 'transcribing what you see'. You go along until the tale is told, and move along...

    Later, said same characters will come along and pull you aside, and say 'By the way...' - They will tell you secrets, and you'll find yourself going 'Holy ****! Is THAT why you did/acted like this? Why the hell didn't you tell me then?' And they will just shrug and look at you as if to say 'You didn't ask...' :oops:
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  20. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Best answer ever in this debate. Love it.

    Kane Starkiller (SW Draft 1), The Starkiller (SW Draft 2), Annikin Starkiller (1977 IV with GL), and the ghost of 'Skywalker' (ESB Draft 1) might object in a paternity suit, but I imagine Judge Judy would just say, "So where the hell were you after your son went and blew up that Death Star and could have done with a pat on the back?" - and award custody to Darth Vader.

    Seriously, though, it's probably exactly what happened in GL's mind. With each draft of SW, the hero's father receded further and further - present in the story of the first draft, a mythical figure only revealed at the end of the second, dead in the third and fourth drafts, replaced by his Jedi mentor, Ben Kenobi, then Ben/Obi-Wan gets killed off during revisions mid-shoot of the film.
    And all along, the fallen Jedi become Sith Lord assumes more and more importance, to the point where he has an epic, powerful backstory of his own - he murdered the hero's father and was involved in a duel on the lip of a volcano which condemned him to imprisonment in a 'walking iron lung' - and captures the public imagination despite his mere nine minutes of screen time.

    It's no wonder Darth Vader came knocking on the door of George Lucas' mind and insisted, "I AM HIS FATHER!!!"
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  21. MatthewZ

    MatthewZ Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 21, 2003
    Only the Master sees the entire picture. Everyone else glimpses but pieces of the whole.
  22. Anaokar

    Anaokar Jedi Youngling

    Feb 23, 2010
    The answer is no.. I read an early draft of the Empire Strikes Back script where Luke has a conversation with his dead fathers ghost on Degobah. Lucas never intended Vader to be Lukes father...or Leia as his sister for that matter...but that's a topic for another thread.
  23. kubricklynch

    kubricklynch Jedi Knight star 3

    Dec 10, 2012
    Yes, people who make logical inferences based on evidence are soooo arrogant
  24. kubricklynch

    kubricklynch Jedi Knight star 3

    Dec 10, 2012
    Owen pausing before telling Luke is absolutely NOT evidence that Vader was Luke's father at the time. If you think that, you're just reading it to with your current knowledge,
  25. Count Yubnub

    Count Yubnub Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 1, 2012
    No offense, but what "logical inferences based on evidence"?
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