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Saga The Origins of Luke's father - Annikin Starkiller, Anakin Skywalker, or Darth Vader?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Tosche_Station, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd The Mandalorian / Manager of WNU/CT/Saga star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 1, 2012
    Its one thing to post back to back comments to revitalize a thread that has been dormant, but its another to openly admit you are bumping a thread, which is analgous to spamming a thread. @anakinfansince1983
  2. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    I've been thinking over the family dynamics/relationship between the Skywalker/Kenobi/Lars families. How were they related? Is it possible that they were one large extended family? What if the Skywalker surname originated as an epithet within 'recent historical' times (in terms of in-universe SW)?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  3. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    I've come around on the whole "certain point of view" thing. I can justify it as a vestige of the original story persisting within ROTJ. Whether or not it was Vader or actually the Emperor who administered the killing blow to Annikin/Anakin in the original version of the back-story (pre-ROTJ), Obi-Wan genuinely believed that it was Vader who did it, and more importantly, he genuinely believed that Annikin/Anakin was Luke's biological father - even though he might have been mistaken in that belief (as were Yoda and the Emperor). On the other hand, if Obi-Wan did know the truth about Luke's true parentage, his point of view is still valid as one of a friend who believes that his fallen comrade was more worthy of being Luke's father than perhaps his fallen student was.

    So no, it's not the linear answer to the question that Luke asked in the first film, but it is an indicator of Obi-Wan's mindset and of Lucas' original scenario for the back-story.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  4. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    Luke: '"He told me enough! He told me you killed him!"
    Vader: "No, Luke! I am your father!"

    Vader's line doesn't technically sound like a denial - iow, denial that he in fact did kill the (presumed) father of Luke. "I (emphasis) am your father - not that guy that Ben told you about!" ;):D

    Then there's that line before Luke's: "Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father!"
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  5. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012
    And, in terms of that last line you quoted; how would Vader know what Obi-Wan had told him - perhaps because he knew that Obi-Wan didn't know the truth?
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  6. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    I have said this in the past.
    How could Vader know what Obi-Wan did and did not tell Luke?
    Yes Luke at no point acknowledges that Vader is his father but they aren't really talking very much.
    At least not until after Luke has been disarmed.

    One might argue that Vader did a bit of gamble when he first said "Obi-Wan never told you.."
    Had Luke responded with "He told me enough, you are my father."
    Vader would go "Crap..oh but did he tell you about your mother?"

    It could be as you said, that Vader knew Obi-Wan could not tell Luke because Obi-Wan didn't know the truth.

    I said before that this could be taken to mean that Vader is Luke's father but still separate from father Skywalker. And Luke's mother had an affair or whatever and Vader is the father but only she and Vader knows about it.
    Doubt that Lucas was seriously considering this but it would be an option.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  7. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    I think it appropriate to add the name "Tan" - as in Tan Skywalker - to the list of names for the father character of Luke. This name came from the Russ Manning Sunday comic strip published around the Spring of 1979. Black Falcon Ltd was the licensing division of LFL at that time and was responsible for the content of the strip. Curious that Lucas would give the name Tan, when he is supposed to already have had the name Anakin - actually spelled Annikin at that particular point in time* - for the name of Luke's father. What gives? But in all of the development story material for ESB that we've seen, Luke's father isn't given a name at all. Do you guys think that this points to something re: Lucas's intentions back then? Best I can come up with is that the particulars of the story were still in flux until ROTJ.

    *The name he gave to Carol Titlemann in world-building interview/sessions around July/August 1977. The name was also given as the father character's name in the third draft, but then the subsequent drafts - the fourth and the revised fourth - left him nameless.

    edit to add:

    It has the added bonus of providing an alternate in-universe explanation as to why Obi-Wan and Yoda don't tell Luke the truth before he leaves Dagobah, and why the hologram Emperor (TESB) talks about them as though they were separate characters.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  8. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    This is an interesting idea, that even the Emperor did not know about this.
    That could be an ace up Vader's sleeve, that he has a bond to Luke that no one else knew about.
    And he counted on that bond being strong enough that Luke would ally with him as opposed to the Emperor.
    That could also explain why the Emperor was so open to the idea that Vader could capture/turn Luke.
    He figured that Luke would have no preference either way and with Vader the one who killed his father and Obi-Wan, Luke would not have any great reason to side with Vader over the Emperor.

    So that would Vader being the secret father even more impressive a deceit on his part. Not even his dark master knew about it.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  9. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    I would add that this scenario works whether the Emperor is a dark side Force user or just a corrupt politician.
  10. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    "Your destiny lies with meeee...Skywalker. Obi-Wan knew this to be true!" - Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

    Mere villainous patter....or, a genuine fear on Obi-Wan's part? [face_thinking]
  11. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    "Much anger in his father." - Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

    I've puzzled over this line ever since I had first seen the film. Perhaps Yoda knew - or at least suspected - that Luke wasn't Annikin's biological son, but was indeed Vader's (or whoever Vader really was beneath the mask).
  12. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    More Alternate-History/Original Trilogy musings -

    addendum to post #136:

    Yoda suspecting that Vader was Luke's true biological father may have fueled his initial hesitation to train Luke. Also, in TESB, why do Yoda and Ben seemingly fear that Luke would follow in Vader's footsteps, rather than in those of his (supposed) father's (Annikin)????
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  13. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    Not really. Not much was known about Luke's father at that point. Meaning that he could have been just as short tempered as his son, during the early part of his training. Obi-wan even saying that he had anger issues as well, seemed to indicate that it wasn't totally uncommon. As to your second post, going by your alternate theory, the idea would be that Vader was probably the only Jedi to actively become a Sith. Recall this from the second draft of ANH.

    LUKE: "During one of his lessons a young PADAWAN-JEDI, a boy named Darklighter, came to know the evil half of the Force, and fell victim to the spell of the dreaded Bogan. He ran away from his instructor and taught the evil ways of the Bogan Force to a clan of Sith pirates, who then spread untold misery throughout the systems. They became the personal bodyguards of the Emperor. The Jedi were hunted down by these deadly Sith knights. With every Jedi death, contact with the Ashla grows weaker, and the Force of the Bogan grows more powerful."

    At the time TESB was being written, something along those lines may have been at play. And that Vader was to be the first in many generations to become a Sith. That and the fact is that Vader is a prime example of a Jedi turning to the dark side that Luke is aware of.
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  14. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd The Mandalorian / Manager of WNU/CT/Saga star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 1, 2012
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  15. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    You're right about Obi-Wan's line. It's the fact that Yoda made a point of bringing it up in the midst of stating his misgivings about training Luke. And even if it was meant to be an accurate characterization of Annikin's temperament, coming into the story now, in the middle of the second film, still seems sort of left field, being that it was not even hinted at in the previous (first) film.

    Even so, why would this presage Luke following in the path of his father's killer, rather than the path of his father? I suppose I can understand some fear on their part. But their actions and words with Luke in TESB have implications that to me, don't quite square with what ROTJ ends up revealing to have been the case.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
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  16. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 8

    May 18, 2017
    I agree. When watching ESB as a kid I remember wondering why they were being so hard on Luke for wanting to save his friends. And if Leia is the "other" should he really sacrifice her for the cause? After watching the prequels however this made more sense.
  17. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    That's because it was meant to foreshadow the Father Vader revelation. Remember that Lucas didn't have them as the same person when ANH was made and wasn't sure he could do more films. I'll expand on this in a second.

    Their concern is established in this film and owes its roots back to the second draft as I noted. Remember, Darklighter was a Padawan at the time he fell to the dark side. Meaning he hadn't completed his training and thus was not strong enough to resist the temptations of the dark side. Vader was later established as being the student of Obi-wan at the time he fell.

    OBI-WAN: "A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights."

    YODA: "If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice."

    OBI-WAN: "This is a dangerous time for you, when you will be tempted by the dark side of the Force."

    So the set up was clear that a Jedi in training would face the greater temptations of evil, which is evident in the tree cave scene and in the confrontation with Vader. The only thing ROTJ changes is that it the film establishes that Anakin was the Padawan and not a full fledged Knight, the way it seemed to be in ANH. Lucas and Kershner are both clear that Luke is weak when he arrives on Dagobah and that he needs to train in order to become stronger.

    "He's still weak. He's gotta be strengthened. And Yoda's the one to do it. That's his job. Now, he has to go and explore a cave, because he's in training and this is what Yoda tells him to go. And there's a seriousness to Yoda's face here because he knows what's going to happen because actually he's setting it up, what's going to happen in the cave, because Luke is going to have to face himself. "

    --Irvin Kershner, TESB Commentary.

    "Part of the going into the tree is learning about the Force. Learning about the fact that the Force is within you, and at the same time, you create your own bad vibes. So, if you think badly about things or you act badly, or you bring fear into a situation, you're going to have to defend yourself or you're going to have to suffer the consequences for that. In this particular case, he takes his sword in with him which means he's going to have combat. If he didn't, he wouldn't. He's creating this situation in his mind because, on a larger level, what caused Darth Vader to become Darth Vader is the same thing that makes Luke bring that sword in with him. And so, just as later on we find out Darth Vader is actually his father - so he is part of himself - but he has the capacity to become Darth Vader simply by using hate and fear and using weapons as oppose to using compassion and caring and kindness. But that's the big danger of the series, is that he will become Darth Vader."

    --George Lucas, TESB DVD Commentary.

    "In coming back to see Yoda, we have to figure out Luke’s training and the fact that he never finished his training, and that obviously now he’s got a big question he wants answered. There is a point where the hero has to be left alone on his own two feet without anybody there to help him. And you can sort of have him be in a different place or something, but at some point you have to say well now all the props have been taken away, and he has to face the evil monster alone. In this case, the scene establishes that the evil monster is actually his father, and he’s going to have to do it upon his own, and that he’s really not equipped to do it. That he was too impatient, he didn’t finish his studies, and now he’s going to be half trained to face a difficult physical and emotional challenge."

    --George Lucas, DVD Commentary, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, 2004.

    This is why the retcon works.
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  18. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    I agree about the foreshadowing, and also about them not being the same person when ANH was made, difference being that I believe they weren't definitively made the same person until ROTJ. In addition, I believe that Vader was meant to have a 'secret identity' under the mask already going back to the first film, possibly even as far back as the third draft (with there being several possibilities as to the identity in question).


    I think it "works" if one considers ROTJ in isolation, i.e. as a stand-alone (more on that later).
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  19. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    So here's something I never heard before. I was recently reading one of the older threads of this sort just for fun, and I came across some posts by @Darth_Nub about an article in a magazine from 1977 which stated that Darth Vader being revealed as Luke's father was a plot point being considered for the next movie. Given the extreme unlikelihood that this was simply a lucky guess by someone, this definitively indicates that Lucas came up with the idea significantly earlier than the likes of Michael Kaminski would have us believe--at a point before Leigh Brackett even finished her initial draft. This plot point is apparently presented as one of two alternate paths the story could take, one being the Vader-as-father path and the other being the Vader-killed-Luke's-father path. Lucas has stated in the past that he actually went back and forth on whether he should actually commit to the Vader-as-father idea rather than simply sticking to the version of events related by Ben (I know I remember him saying something like this, though I unfortunately can't recall where), and this would fit perfectly with that version of events. It would easily explain why Brackett's draft contains no trace of the plot point and in fact features an appearance by the ghost of Luke's father as a character separate from Vader. It also, strikingly, easily explains an oddity that strangely never seems to be seen as an oddity: the fact that after the failed Brackett draft the Vader-as-father twist seems to immediately emerge from Lucas fully formed as if from the ether.

    So given all this, and given that the dismissal of Lucas's claims that he had the father twist in mind during the filming of A New Hope is predicated largely on the Brackett contradiction which apparently is not really a contradiction--is there actually any reason to even doubt him anymore? I've long been suspicious that Lucas could have been more or less telling the truth about the timeline all along, based largely on the connections between the Kane Starkiller character of the rough draft and the Darth Vader character of the film. There are so many elements in the film that seem to strangely line up: Owen's portentous fears about Luke's similarities to his father, Ben's nervous hesitation before telling Luke of his father's death, Vader's lightsaber being near-identical to Father Skywalker's lightsaber, Vader possessing the same superior piloting abilities attributed to Father Skywalker, the fact that Darth Vader is portrayed as the opposite number to Ben in a bad father/good father dichotomy. Of course there are also innocuous explanations for all these fortuitous correspondences, but it all fits so perfectly that I fail to see why we should doubt the presence of intentionality unless for strong evidence that intentionality was lacking. And more and more I just don't see that. All we have are a few press interviews where Lucas states Ben's version of events as the truth--but that doesn't really mean much, for obvious reasons. Especially if he was still reserving that version of events as an option.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  20. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    I don't know which article you are referring to but let's assume that it wasn't a lucky guess and it instead was something they had been told.
    By whom? Lucas?
    Below you say that Lucas has said that Ben's version of events is true when talking to the press but here he blurts out the truth?
    If he wanted this to be kept a secret, why would he reveal it in an article?

    Also, did Lucas tell Brackett?
    She was writing the script and of all people, she would need to know this.
    Telling her lies is stupid and the idea that at no point in their story meetings did this ever come up is far fetched to say the least.
    She wrote a scene that totally contradicts the Vader as father idea.
    Did she talk about that with Lucas during their meetings and got his ok?
    I find it very hard the think that she made up this scene on her own and never talked with Lucas about it before putting it in the script.

    And if we assume that Lucas had both ideas in mind and had not decided which way to go yet. Don't have a scene that makes one idea impossible.
    Lucas would have told Brackett about this and that he was still undecided.
    Even if he for some reason kept his writer in the dark, which makes no sense if he told a magazine, then tell her to not use the father character at all.

    Deliberately having her write scenes that could not be used and would have to be dumped or greatly re-written, that makes little sense.

    As to why Lucas could come up with the idea so quickly?
    Inspiration can come very quickly and Lucas was in a bind.
    The first script was not to his liking and when he called Brackett to talk to her about it, she was now very ill and could not work anymore.
    So he had a script that he didn't not like and no writer.
    And Lucas has said that writing is not his strong suit nor something he really likes doing.

    But he had a big problem and a ticking clock plus he had all his big plans for the future, the ranch, Lucasfilm, his independence and all that.

    Desperation can be quite stimulating and limitations can make one more creative.

    The father character was redundant, he served no real purpose and took up valuable screen time.
    With Obi-Wan, you had one ghost, why have two?
    So by eliminating the redundant father character by combining him with Vader, Lucas solved his problems and added a lot more complexity to the story.

    I can totally buy that it was an idea that Lucas had when he was this much under pressure.
    And from what I've read, Lucas wrote a second draft on his own and in quite a short amount of time.
    So what had been a chore for him before was now going very smoothly.
    So I see no reason to not think that it was simply inspiration and a great idea that made Lucas work this fast.


    I can bring up the way Beru speaks of Luke's father, with a slight smile on her face.
    Does that fit with her knowing he is now an evil monster?
    As for Owen, how would he know?
    Did Obi-Wan tell him? Why?
    Keeping this a secret from Luke was crucial to Obi-Wan so why tell Owen and run the risk of him telling Luke or accidentally blurting it out?

    I could bring up Obi-Wan's smile almost to himself when he talks about Luke's father.
    And it is subtle, but to me, the way Obi-Wan about Luke's father in ANH is different from how the talks in RotJ. In ANH there is a slight smile, warmth and fond remembrance.
    Much less so in RotJ, where his tone is more neutral and matter of fact.

    I could bring up the ANH novel, with Lucas name on it, where it made clear that Obi-Wan is not lying to Luke.

    And his hesitation to Luke could simply be that he feels guilty, it was his pupil, Vader, that murdered Luke's father. Had he not trained Vader or perhaps been more attentive to the darkness inside him, Luke's father might be alive.

    I could bring up the fact that Obi-Wan makes a distinction between himself/Luke's father and Vader.
    He refers to himself and Luke's father as Jedi Knights but Vader simply as a young Jedi.
    Implying that Luke's father's training was complete but Vader's was not.
    Something Vader kind of confirms when he says he was but a learner when he left Obi-Wan.

    As for being a good pilot, Han is a great pilot as well and he is not related to Luke.

    In closing, was Vader the father character from the get-go?
    No, that we can say for sure as the father character is in a few of those drafts and also Vader dies in a few of them.
    So Vader was not the father from the start.
    So at what point did Lucas change his mind?
    Well given that we have instances when Lucas talks about Vader and Luke's father as separate around when ANH was made and written evidence in the form of Brackett's draft then the simplest conclusion is that Lucas changed his mind after that.
    Is it possible that it was an idea that he had earlier?
    No way to totally disprove that but if it was, it was one that he had rejected as the evidence that we have very much suggest that Vader was separate from Luke's father.
    In all, the simplest explanation is that Lucas made Vader the father during the writing of ESB as that fits the most amount of the evidence and does not require Lucas doing foolish things like lying to his writer.

    The other option, that has been talked about here before, is that Vader is Luke's father but not Father Skywalker.
    That way, Obi-Wan can think fondly of his friend and he isn't lying to Luke and that way Vader can be sure that Obi-Wan could not have told Luke the truth as he didn't know it.

    But I have no come across much that suggest that Lucas was planing this.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  21. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    I have no idea, man. Apparently the leak may have come from David Prowse. Here's the link to the thread page where @Darth_Nub discusses it:

    Here's the passage in question from the magazine:

    Here's @Darth_Nub's analysis of when the article must have been written:

    Dave Prowse had apparently also been going around in the latter months of 1977 telling fanzines the same thing. The idea that these were simply lucky guesses rather than genuine leaks seems to me to strain credulity far more than the idea that Lucas came up with the idea earlier than the Kaminski camp claims. I don't know how such a major leak happened, but it definitely did happen somehow.

    It's impossible to know if he told her. I'd say probably not. But what we do know is that he didn't tell her to write it that way in her draft. Which is explained by the Future magazine article explaining that two alternatives were being considered, and is also consistent with Lucas's statements about not being sure if he wanted to commit to the idea.

    This objection makes no sense. He told her to write it that way in the draft because at that point he was thinking of going with the simple Vader-kills-Luke's-father plot. He clearly didn't intend to go with the Vader-as-father plot at that point. Then when he went to write his own draft he changed his mind and decided for sure to go with the Vader-as-father plot.

    He didn't tell a magazine. It was obviously a leak.

    Because at that point he obviously wasn't planning on dumping or re-writing anything.

    If he could have come up with the idea then why couldn't he have come up with it before? Since he says he did, that should be the default assumption in the absence of evidence precluding it. Unless there's something I'm not aware of, there doesn't really seem to be any evidence precluding it anymore.

    I can bring up the way Beru speaks of Luke's father, with a slight smile on her face.
    Does that fit with her knowing he is now an evil monster?
    As for Owen, how would he know?
    Did Obi-Wan tell him? Why?
    Keeping this a secret from Luke was crucial to Obi-Wan so why tell Owen and run the risk of him telling Luke or accidentally blurting it out?[/quote]

    Why wouldn't Owen know? There's any number of ways he could know. That's not a reasonable objection. As for Beru, she's obviously remembering the good man Anakin was whom Ben also speaks about.

    Again, I find this objection nonsensical. Why can't Obi-Wan remember Anakin warmly?

    But Lucas didn't write it. It's Alan Dean Foster's interpretation of a script, and while Lucas approved it, I don't consider a slightly inconsistent choice of phrasing made by Foster in a tie-in novel particularly strong evidence either way.

    I'm not convinced Vader and Father Skywalker were originally supposed to be the same individual. Most people these days theorize that Lucas had the father idea when he was visualizing the volcano fight backstory and realized that he could simplify it by combining two characters into one. I'm saying that could be true, but it might have nothing to do with Vader being Luke's father. I'm saying maybe the Vader-as-father backstory came first and the character conflation was a later byproduct of going with that idea. But since he was keeping his options open he kept the original backstory in the film with the rationale that he could always reveal Ben to be lying if he went with the other idea. Since we know for a fact he went through something like this thought process later, I don't see why he couldn't have gone through it earlier.

    But I think the rank distinction you're making between Luke's father and Vader is illusory. Even in interviews where Lucas goes with Ben's version of the story, he describes both Luke's father and Vader as "young Jedi Knights."

    The rational assumption is that they were both intended to be concurrent pupils of Ben, which is indeed how they were described in at least one storyline in the Marvel Comics series, presumably because that was part of the compendium of background information Lucas gave licensing in mid-1977. So they were in that way essentially interchangeable, which is in itself interesting. Both of them were young students of Ben, both of them were great pilots, they wielded near-identical lightsabers, etc., etc.

    Yet we have pretty clear evidence that the Vader-as-father plot was in the mix even as he was having Brackett write a draft where Vader is not the father.

    Again, I don't see why we need evidence to suggest that Lucas was planning it. I figure that should be the default assumption and we should instead be looking at evidence that he wasn't planning it. But all the evidence people have provided seems to be faulty in various ways. And there is much evidence to suggest that the idea should have been so natural to Lucas that it very plausibly could have come almost immediately to him. Darth Vader is the cyborg just as the Annikin Starkiller's father was a cyborg, he is a Sith Lord just as the to-be-redeemed Prince Valorum was a Sith Lord, his character attributes are essentially identical to Father Skywalker's in all respects save for being evil.

    I think the idea that Lucas has obviously been lying all this time has taken such hold that it's difficult for people to look at the evidence using a different set of initial assumptions, which means people have missed a lot of relevant evidence and lines of reasoning.
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  22. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    The conversation in ROTJ is different from ANH. In the first film, Obi-wan talks about the good times with Anakin and the bonds of friendship that they formed. In ROTJ, he is telling Luke about his failure with Anakin. The conversations are meant to be different because they're about two different events.

    Not to mention that Foster wrote the book in 1976 and it was published in December of that year. Lucas would have started thinking about Vader being Anakin by at least June of 77, so Foster not knowing about the possible sequels and revelations is not an indicator of a late change to Vader's origin. In fact, Lucas wasn't sure if he could make more films. Fox was debating about putting the film on television, rather than in theaters.
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  23. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    I have taken a look at the thread and to me, this is far from the "smoking gun" you think it is.
    The article was published in april of 1978 and the various quotes are undated. They make some mention of things said in nov/dec of 1977. But what comes from where is unclear.
    So speculation from either the writer or whover the "leak" was are quite possible.

    As Darth_Nub says, it can't be taken as solid proof.

    First, the idea that no one could make a guess and come up with this.
    Ex, I saw ESB in 1981 and I was 11. And me and my friends talked a great deal about who the "Other" could be. And me and several others figured that it was Leia.
    Not that she was Luke's sister as such but that she was the other hope.
    So an 11 year old can make that guess.

    Second, if we assume that Prowse was the source of this leak and it was an actual leak and not Prowse either speculating or telling a tall tale in order to make it look like his character was more than what the first film had implied.

    How did Prowse know?
    Did Lucas tell him?
    If yes, did Lucas tell other people?
    Since you want to use Owen's line and Obi-Wan's hesitation as proof of Vader the father, did Lucas tell those actors as well?
    If so, then we have at least three or four people that he told.
    If he told them, did he tell Kurtz?
    Have any of them come forth and supported this? Not that I know.
    This strains credulity.

    So Prowse was the ONLY one he told?
    Why tell Prowse at all when other people such as Alec Guinness or James Earl Jones would be more logical people to tell of this?
    Again, this strains credulity.

    And when was Prowse told of this, before or after ANH was made?

    If Prowse did talk about this in nov/dec 1977, it is still after the first film was made and was now a huge hit.
    So even if we assume all this to be correct, it still does not prove that father Vader was in place when ANH was made.

    In Laurent Bouzereau's 'Annotated Screenplays' Lucas says that he had the idea of father Vader but didn't tell her as "he didn't know whether to reveal it in the second or third film.".
    This however makes no sense as you have a scene that directly contradicts your idea, even if you haven't decided to use in film 2 or 3. And from what I've gathered, there is evidence that suggest that this wasn't just an invention by Brackett but was based on Lucas material.

    And from what Lucas said, the father Vader was the ONLY story line, not just an alternative.

    So we have a situation where Vader is the father and yet a script is written where that is totally contradicted.
    This is way more far-fetched that Prowse making a lucky guess in his speculation.

    Leaving aside that Lucas has said that father Vader was ALWAYS the direction and there was no serious alternative. Or that that what he was debating was to include in the second or third film.
    If father Vader was an idea that he was considering or debating it to use or not, the sensible and logical thing to do is to leave options open.
    So tell Brackett NOT to include any specific things about the father as then Lucas can look at the first draft and see how well it works. And if he decides that father Vader would improve the script, it is easier to add that and not have to remove bits and pieces that no longer fit.

    Having a scene that makes one option impossible is not very smart.

    Again, based on what Lucas have said, father Vader was in place and the only question was whether it would be used in film two or three.
    So a rewrite would be needed.

    First, we do have evidence that Vader is NOT the father, earlier scripts of ANH, things Lucas said in private to Foster and others and the first draft of ESB that has the ghost of Luke's father.
    We also have direct evidence that Vader was the father in the second and subsequent drafts of ESB.
    So we have a date when the idea was put down on paper.
    So Lucas saying that he came up with the idea much earlier but never wrote it down is both in-falsifiable as there is no way we can prove or disprove it and it contradicts other evidence.

    Second, what Lucas has said at times contradicts itself. He has said that father Vader was the plan for ESB and he just didn't tell Brackett. Or he was still considering both plans and had committed to the Vader the killer of the father plan.

    Taking Lucas much more recent statements and dismissing all other evidence is not good science.
    Look at all available evidence and see what explanations fits the most amount of the evidence.

    Lucas did come up with the idea yes, no question. But let's look at WHEN it would make sense for him to really work at the Vader/Father plot.
    In ANH, the father thing is pretty minor. It adds a bit of back story to Vader and serves as a part of a motivation for Luke to leave Tatooine. But it is not the focus.

    In ESB it does become the focus, either in that Luke would be confronting the man who murdered his father or his actual father.

    So that Lucas, when faced with a script he had problems with, would look much harder at the father/Vader thing, that makes sense.

    Or, if we want to use the above mentioned leak, ANH being such a huge hit changed a LOT about SW.
    Before and during the making of ANH, Lucas said that his plans was for two low budget sequels and, maybe, one prequel.
    So with just one prequel, which story is easier to do in one film, Vader the murderer of Luke's father or Luke's father, a good man becoming seduced by evil?
    I would say the former, so that makes it very likely that Vader was not Luke's father when ANH was made.
    Which is supported by Splinter in the Minds Eye, which was an early idea for a low-budget sequel.
    It was finished just before ANH was released so it was not affected by the huge hit that ANH was.
    In it we have Vader and Luke fighting but no father revelation.

    However, after ANH was the biggest hit ever, now Lucas knew he could make many more films.
    And at one time, ANH was to be ep VI, then we had the trilogy or trilogies.
    At that point, when he knew he could make several prequels, then him start to think about father/Vader makes sense.

    No, it is a very reasonable question. Vader being Skywalker was NOT common knowledge, that is clear.
    And ANH also makes it clear that Owen was all about "staying here and not getting involved".
    So he did not fight in the wars.
    So the only way he could know is if Obi-Wan told him and why would Obi-Wan do that?
    Since secrecy was to vital, why risk it by telling Owen and Beru?

    You are not being consistent with your argument, you take a hesitation from Obi-wan as proof but then ignore or dismiss other things. Same with Owen, that you accept but Beru you dismiss.
    If you want to micro analyze details in the film then ALL details are valid, not just those that fit your narrative.

    And as I said above, if this was intentional by Lucas, did he tell the actors that Vader really was Luke's father?
    If not, then their hesitation, looks etc is not proof of Father Vader.

    Lucas worked with Foster and he talked about the back story with him, and he had him write scripts that could be used to make low budget sequels to the first film, again SotME.
    Which again has no father Vader.
    So he would have a decent idea about what Lucas was thinking.
    So this is evidence and should not be dismissed out of hand.

    TOSCHESTATION wrote this in the old thread:
    And we KNOW that Vader was not always the father as first we have Vader as an imperial general, who dies at the end. Plus the father is shown as alive and another person.
    Then we have Vader the Sith Lord, who still dies in the end. So not the father there either.
    Then we have Vader surviving but Luke has clear memories of his father, which makes Father Vader unlikely.
    The final script has Luke not knowing his father and Vader is alive at the end.

    So we can say for sure that the Darth Vader character was NOT the father from day one.

    But as I said, we have scripts where Vader is present and is clearly NOT the father.
    So Vader was not the father, then became the father when ANH was made, then back to not being the father afterwards and back to being the father again.
    How is this more plausible than Vader is not the father until the development of ESB and then stayed that way?

    Again you are dismissing parts of the film that doesn't fit your narrative. A distinction is made, that is clear.
    And if we go with what Lucas says, then Vader is clearly not the father as that is a separate character.
    And picking and choosing about what parts to use in what Lucas said is picking and choosing your evidence.
    The "young Jedi" is relevant but that he speaks of two separate people is not.

    Also, consider the ages of Owen and Beru, the actor that played Owen was 60 and the actor that played Beru was over 55.
    And they knew Luke's father and likely before Luke's father left with Obi-Wan. And given that they were Uncle and Aunt to Luke, the logical assumption is that one of them was the sibling to Luke's father.
    Owen seems the more likely option. So Owen is the brother of Luke's father.
    And he is 60. So Luke's father could then be a few years younger, say in his fifties. Assuming he was alive at the time.
    Obi-wan was supposed to be 70 in ANH.

    As I said above, I don't think the evidence from that article is all that "clear".
    It could be speculation or guess work.

    And even if we assume that it is true, it does not prove that Father Vader was in place when ANH was made, which is what you are arguing.

    Again, we have evidence that shows that Vader was NOT the father.

    Also, Vader was NOT a cyborg in the first script where he appeared. He was a human general.
    And the cyborg bits in part came into play in production and post-production of ANH.
    The heavy breathing came in post production what I know.
    The Vader suit was originally just a space suit that he used to get between ships.
    Even quite later version of the script had Vader take a drink during the DS conference scene.


    No, some people, myself included, simply don't view Lucas as an infallible gospel of truth and ignore all other evidence. And we have quite a lot of that, scripts, old Lucas quotes, quotes from other people etc.
    I look at all available evidence, scripts, what Lucas said back in the 70's and what he says now.
    And I try to see if it all fits.
    If it does not, which I think is the case here, I try to find the explanation that fits the most amount of evidence.

    So it isn't about "Lucas is a liar!", it is simply that Lucas, like most people, can have their memory affected by later events or what he is currently thinking.
    Vader the father has been in Lucas mind so long now that he figures it was always there.
    Not malicious lying on Lucas part but simply that his memory has been colored by time.
    Same with Leia "Always" being Luke's sister.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
  24. MatthewZ

    MatthewZ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 21, 2003
    Is it possible Lucas had always been playing with the Prequel era notion that when Darth Vader was born, Anakin Skywalker died? So having "father Skywalker" appear as a Force Ghost would work in that continuum.

    Also, ESB was obviously the first sequel. Lucas had this grand "serialization" notion for Star Wars. Different writers and directors for all the subsequent movies. Just hand off the ball to someone and see where they run with it. So feeding Brackett very little information wouldn't surprise me. I'd probably do the same. See what they come up with on their own and reign it in when need be.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    Tosche_Station likes this.
  25. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    That was indeed the idea, but he never put in into practice for Empire. Lucas felt that, for the first sequel, he had to be the one to provide the story and guide the process, at least at the beginning (similar to how he would work in Raiders). He devised the story and had a very clear structure in mind, which he told Brackett (as you can see in the transcriptions of the story conferences). He was very specific about where the story was headed and what he wanted. He spent a few days with Brackett working on the story, characters… and he wanted something very specific (and as he didn't get it, he rejected the script).

    So no, even though he said the idea was that he would hand off SW to other writers and directors, he never did that (until recently!). I do believe he meant to do that (that's why he hired Kershner), but for different reasons (the need to control an epic story that became much more than the original concept of a simple space adventure + the need to make sure the movies were succesful) he never "handed off the ball".
    Samuel Vimes and Tosche_Station like this.