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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. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    Quite a lot was riding on ESB, Lucas was gambling big time as he took a loan to finance this film himself and he also had big plans for Skywalker Ranch, Lucasfilm, ILM etc.
    Had ESB failed, Lucas would not be ruined as a person but all his grand plans would have crumbled.

    Lucas could see this with his friend Coppola, who was doing Apocalypse Now and put a lot of own money into that and that was a very stressfull time for Coppola. And had that failed, it would have cost him a lot.

    Plus he had seen with the Holiday Special that SW could become a joke, and a bad one at that.

    So he did not hand over the keys and see what would happen, he worked with Brackett to get the first script.
    But he had a lot of problems with it but I think he would have kept working with Brackett to reshape it into something he liked better but her illness made that impossible.
    So Lucas had a script he didn't much like and no writer and a ticking clock.
    So he went at it himself.

    Lastly, I won't say that Lucas totally rejected the Brackett script. The basic story is there, Ice Planet, Luke going off to train, Han and Leia are together and get captured. Vader and Luke fight, with Luke loosing but him managing to get away.
    A lot changed true, Han wants to leave because of the bounty on his head and not to find his adoptive father and he is a prisoner at the end. Vader is the father and this changes a lot for Luke.
    The Brackett draft also had more about the political situation and more about the Empire vs Rebels plot.
    We hear about that some planets have rebelled and Han is leaving to get his adoptive father to aid the rebels vs the Empire.
    It does have issues but that is quite normal, it is a first draft.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  2. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    The basic story came from Lucas and his outline (which was created as a RESULT of the story conferences), so Brackett's draft didn't add anything new to it that was kept. Therefore, saying that the draft was rejected is appropriate, in my opinión.

    In any case, Brackett COULD have had some influence in the shaping of the story. We don't exactly know how much Brackett contributed during the story conferences (she could just be recieving information from Lucas, or helping him to create the storyline). But if she made any contribution to the movie at all, it was in the conception of the story, not in the actual writing of the screenplay.

    If I had to decide the credits for the movie, it would be something like this:
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  3. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    Actually, as far as I can tell, what @Darth_Nub says in that thread is that he thinks the Future magazine article was almost certainly written while Brackett was still in the process of writing her draft. Which I agree with, since it talks about her as if she is alive and well. Now, he doesn't make the same claims I am making now about this potentially vindicating Lucas's claims, but as far as I can tell only because he believes Vader wasn't even conceptualized as a cyborg until post-production on Star Wars, which is something I don't quite get. Hopefully he'll pop in by-and-by to give his two cents'.

    That's because the "other" line was specifically dangled out there for people to speculate on who it referred to. Given that there are only so many characters in the films, it isn't surprising that some people hit on the correct answer by chance. But there is absolutely nothing in A New Hope to indicate to a naive viewer that there even is a plot twist coming, let alone that it's about Vader, let alone that it's about Vader being Luke's father.

    How could I possibly know the answers to any of these questions? What strains credulity is the idea that someone somehow hit upon the Vader plot twist out of thin air despite it being astronomically unlikely that anyone would come up with the idea on their own by complete coincidence, and that the one person who coincidentally hit upon the idea just so happened to be the actor playing the character, and that this actor would then go on to speak about the idea with authority despite having completely made it up himself. As opposed to the more economical idea that the actor playing the character was somehow made privy to a fact about his character to be revealed in an upcoming film and blabbed about it, earning the ire of his employers as is public record. You're actually the one going to preposterous lengths to ignore the more plausible explanation. Occam's razor, my friend.

    No, but you've once again got everything backwards. The primary reason Lucas's claims about the story development timeline were rejected in the first place was because of the contradictions that were discovered in the Brackett draft when it was made public. Without that, no one had any solid reason to doubt Lucas's claims. If the contradictions in the Brackett draft don't actually serve to falsify Lucas's claims, then there's no reason to doubt Lucas in the first place. In fact, there never would have been any reason. I don't think you're quite grasping the history of cause and effect here.

    I'll try to respond to the rest of your post later when I have more time.
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  4. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    I agree that it's virtually impossible to pinpoint exactly when Lucas decided that Vader was the father. It's very likely that Lucas thought about it after Brackett's draft (that's what all written documents would tell us), but it's also possible that he did have the idea in his mind before that. As I said, it's literally impossible to know.

    I have to ask, however, are you referring to any specific claim that Lucas made? You say there is no reason to doubt Lucas, but I'm not sure I get what you mean. Lucas has been very misleading about the writing process of the OT, and the fact that it's possible that the "Vader as the father" twist was an earlier idea doesn't change that.
  5. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    RE Vader not being a confirmed cyborg prior to ANH.
    I think it due to several reasons;
    1) The design of the Vader suit was as a space suit. In the earlier drafts, Vader and the other imperials enter the rebel ship from the outside, so they would need space suits.
    So it wasn't made with the intent to be a walking iron lung.
    2) In another early draft, Vader has a drink during the DS conference scene. He makes a cup float towards him and presumably drinks from it.
    3) The heavy breathing was added in post-production and was not planned initially.

    I have seen one article, that I think is talked about here, where Prowse talks to a gathering of fans and says several things, among them the bit about Vader being the father.
    These bits;
    He says that filming would begin in February and it would be released in may 1980 so they had two years to wait.
    Filming began in march of 1979, so this is then from 1978 and it would likely be mid-late 1978 as the script was nowhere near ready early 1978. Brackett finished her draft early 1978 and Lucas did not like it. And Kasdan was brought on May/june 1978.

    So it would seem that Prowse did not say this in late 1977 but mid-late 1978, at which point Lucas had decided to have Vader as the father.
    So now we have Prowse talking about father Vader AFTER Lucas had made the change.
    So now it is more likely that he was told by Lucas.
    There is still the matter of why, since Lucas was very keen to keep this a secret and had fake scripts be made to hide it.

    Plus some of what Prowse said is incorrect, he says that Luke finds out in ep II, but the fight is not until the next film and Vader lives on to the next film after that.

    See above, Prowse talking to fans was from 1978, not 1977.
    And by early 1978, Lucas had made Vader the father. So now the explanation that Lucas told Prowse fits with him having written his own second draft with Vader as the father.

    First, which makes more sense, that Lucas had decided to make Vader the father and he tells one of the actors this but keeps it from his script writer?
    Or Lucas had not yet made Vader the father and thus him having the writer having a scene with Luke's father as a ghost.
    If you want to apply Occam's razor, the latter makes much more sense.

    But as I said above, it seems that Prowse talking to the fans about this is from 1978 not 1977 and by march/april 1978, Lucas had made Vader the father and thus him telling Prowse no longer conflicts with him NOT telling Brackett.
    It does cause a slight problem with the security Lucas had during shooting of ESB.
    But he might have told Prowse this and then Prowse blabbed and now Lucas became more concerned with security.
    Still why just Prowse? Mark was not told until quite late in filming.


    Nope, the claims that Lucas have made that Vader was ALWAYS the father does not match some of the early drafts on Star Wars (ANH)
    The first time we see Vader is as a human general and is in the first draft. He dies at the end.
    In the second draft, we now have Darth Vader the sith Lord. He still dies at the end.
    In both these drafts the father character is clearly NOT Vader. The second draft has the Starkiller as the father and he is clearly NOT Vader.

    So we can look at the early drafts of the first film and see NO trace of Vader the father and several things that totally contradict it.

    So even with no Brackett draft, idea that Vader was the father during the making of ANH is not supported by any evidence and does not fit with some of the early drafts, nor does it fit with things Lucas said in private at the time. Like talking about the battle where Luke's father is killed and talking about Annikin and Vader as separate people.

    The first time that Vader the father ever appeared in writing is Lucas later drafts of ESB.
    The Brackett draft only confirms this.
    It has the ghost of Luke's father and this scene was, as far as I know, based on Lucas materiel and not something that Brackett totally made up her self.

    So the timeline is pretty clear, the Vader character was introduced but was a fairly minor character and not the father. Then he becomes more prominent but still dies at the end and is still not the father.
    Then he survives at the end and the father character is now dead but the Luke character knew his father so it is unlikely that Vader is this person.
    Finally we have the shooting script, Vader lives and Luke now has no memory of his father.
    Then the first draft of ESB has the ghost of Luke's father.
    We can even add SotME, the first idea for a sequel to Star Wars. Luke and Vader fight but no father revelation.

    At last we have Lucas own drafts after he was unhappy with Brackett and now Vader is the father.

    So that Lucas made Vader the father at that point in time fits most available evidence, makes sense and is the simplest explanation, if you want to use Occam's razor.
    What makes less sense is the idea that Lucas had Vader as the father the whole time but never wrote it down and in fact wrote down and said the exact opposite.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  6. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    Lucas has always maintained that A New Hope was created with the Vader plot twist in mind. Unless there's specific evidence disproving that, why doubt it? Especially when there actually is evidence in favor of it (Darth Vader being an amalgamation of both the cyborg father character and the redeemable villain character from the rough draft).

    I'm not sure I'd agree that Lucas has been "very misleading" about the OT writing process. Most everything he's said is based in truth. People just quibble over the vague, simplified ways he describes things in interviews, as if he's under oath at a deposition giving prepared statements or something.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  7. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    No. He has literally said that the original script for SW was huge and included all the OT, and that he took the first third and made a movie out of it. That's false.
    And he has literally said that the original script was about Darth Vader, who started as a Monster and was redeemed at the end. And that's also false. SW didn't start as "the tragedy of Darth Vader" at all. Even if the twist was in his mind as a possibility at the time, it wasn't the core of the story.

    I love his interviews because, once you eliminate the misleading statements, he gives very interesting insight to the writing process. But let's not pretend that he has always been accurate in describing it.
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  8. darth-sinister

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

    Jun 28, 2001
    The thing is that there were story elements in the first draft, such as Valorum being a Jedi turned Sith who is redeemed and becomes a Jedi again. That's true. Lucas wasn't entirely misleading when he said that Vader was a Jedi who became a Sith and becomes a Jedi again. The_Phantom_Calamari is correct, but insofar as Lucas wasn't going to go into detail about how this all originally went. Talking about characters who went through so many changes and how the story evolved. Not in interviews. That's why Lucas authorized the release of the script drafts and the behind the scenes story meetings, which allowed the record to be "corrected".
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  9. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    The final version of the Lucas SW Saga is a story about a "chosen" hero who falls to the Dark Side, becomes a Monster, and then is redeemed by his son". In 2005 Lucas very specifically said that this was the original idea for the saga, that this was in his original script. Which is not accurate at all (even if you can trace thematic elements in various drafts).
    Even if we take the final result of the OT, it's the story of a hero who goes to fight a Monster, the Monster is revealed to be his father, and ultimately the hero saves his father. Again, this was not the original story when Lucas started writing, and yet Lucas claimed that he had a huge script that contained all three movies. (with Obi-Wan dying in the third act instead of Yoda, and so on…)

    The problem is, Vader=Father is the basic core of the Lucas saga. It's the pilar that holds the whole story together. And that was definitely NOT the case before 1977. So it's fair to say that Lucas has been misleading because he has repeteadly said that the basic story regarding Vader was always part of his plan. Which is objectively false, even if we consider Valorum, the cyborg father and everything else. The truth is that, for several years, I was convinced, based on what Lucas said, that the story of the whole saga was planned before the first movie was made. And the truth is much more complicated (and interesting!) tan that. But I did believe that, and I was lead to believe that.
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  10. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    There are evidence that disproves this assertion.
    The above mentioned scripts and drafts of Star Wars/ANH.
    In the rough draft you have Vader as a human general who dies at the end.
    The cyborg father is in it as a separate character.
    And you have Valorum, the bad guy who turns good as well.

    The first draft has Vader still as a general who dies at the end but the Valorum character is gone from what I remember. The cyborg father is still there but with a different name.

    The second draft has Vader as a Sith Lord but he still dies at the end. I don't recall if it is made clear if he is a cyborg or not. The father character is now called The Starkiller and is separate from Vader.
    And again I don't recall him being a cyborg.

    The third draft still has Vader the Sith Lord, again not clear if he is a cyborg or not. He does have a drink at one point. This is the first draft where Vader does not die.
    The father is now dead but Luke remembers him.

    The fourth draft which is the shooting script, is close to the finished film. Vader is not clearly said to be a cyborg and there is a mention of Vader making a cup float into his hand in the DS conference scene. So he can apparently still drink.
    The father is dead but now Luke does not remember him.

    To sum up, NO script of Star Wars has Vader as the father and several of them have Vader and the Father character as clearly separate people.
    So they either don't support Lucas claim or totally contradict it.

    The first draft of ESB fits with these script as it still has Vader and the Father as separate.
    Only the later drafts have Vader as the father.

    So what Lucas claimed can be shown to be incorrect by looking at the various drafts.
    We also have Lucas talking in private to Alan D Foster and others, where Vader is still separate from the father character.
    So based on the available evidence, the most likely explanation is that Lucas made Vader into the father after he was unhappy with Brackett's draft of ESB, so early 1978.

    Old Stoneface
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  11. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    As far as I know, what he's said is that the original script for Star Wars was huge (it was, you can read it online) and that he took a third out of the middle for the first movie and then used the rest for the other two. That's essentially true. It's not false. It's simply not going into exacting detail about specifics.

    The original script did indeed feature a tragic story about a cyborg father who redeems himself through an act of self-sacrifice. This motif of dehumanized humans being redeemed is revisited at the end of the film when the villainous Sith laments the lack of honor in the world of droids he has come to inhabit, and likewise redeems himself.

    Again, Lucas isn't intentionally trying to mislead anyone. He's constantly being asked for soundbites and doesn't have time to go into all the various intricacies of the story's development, so he gives people a version that's essentially true and won't sound like complete gobbledygook to them. When he has the opportunity to go more in-depth, like in the Making Of books he oversaw and published, he freely gives a more complete account.

    And he's also openly talked about how Luke was at one point a girl who had to rescue her older brother from an Imperial prison (which is true). You're taking all this stuff too seriously. Lucas isn't calculatedly trying to mislead anyone. He probably doesn't think anyone even cares that much. He probably doesn't remember everything perfectly himself. He did have a lot of early ideas about how things were supposed to happen, some of them written down in the original script, some of them only in his head as he was writing further scripts, some of them developed in the early days after the first movie came out. Some of these probably get mixed up with others in his head.

    When he was making A New Hope and thinking about potential sequels he very well might have had a "script" in his head where Ben dies in the third movie. If he was so intent on making everyone believe he had everything planned out perfectly all along, why would his own fictional version of events include an instance where he drastically altered his original plans? It makes no sense. This is probably how he actually remembers it, and there's probably a reason he remembers it that way.

    So what? Most filmmakers aren't nearly as exhaustive and forthcoming about their creative process as Lucas has always been. You act as if you've been horribly lied to by a public servant or something. Lucas's only crime was in being a bit cavalier in interviews where he had to, by necessity, condense the extremely complex creative history of the saga into digestible soundbites.

    A tragic arc dealing with a cyborg father and a redemption arc for the primary antagonist were integral components of the very first Star Wars script. That's way more important than whether or not the Darth Vader character of the films existed fully-formed from the beginning. That's the essence of what he's trying to get across in those soundbites, that these ideas were there from the beginning. I guess I don't understand why you come across as so personally aggrieved. If Lucas was really trying to hide this stuff, why did he publish books handily highlighting all of it?
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  12. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    This is very simplified and also not terribly accurate.
    The original drafts were indeed long but the basic story in them is what he used for ANH.
    Evil Empire, Jedi are almost extinct, Sith, Empire has big battle station and a fight at the end where that station is destroyed.
    So he took the basic story of those drafts and just shortened the plot by taking stuff out.
    Then he reused some of those scenes or concepts in later films.
    Asteroid chase, primitives helping to fight the empire etc.

    But he did not cut one long script into three parts and made ANH, ESB and RotJ from that.

    What does Kane, the cyborg father, have to atone or redeem himself for?
    He is an old Jedi and has fought long and hard and he has lost a lot of his body.
    He asks another Jedi, Luke, to take over the training of his son because he is too old now and too tired to carry on.
    Later he sacrifices his life to save the others.
    But I didn't get the impression that he had done something bad before, that he has to redeem himself for anything. He fought the good fight for a very long time and at the end he felt he couldn't carry on because he was too old and tired.

    As for Valorum, before the rough draft, you had the short outline where Star Wars was essentially "The Hidden Fortress" in space.
    And in that film there is an enemy general that has some honor despite working for the antagonists and he changes sides during the later part of the film.
    So the Valorum character is likely in part inspired by him.

    But the honorable enemy that changes sides is gone from later drafts.
    When Vader becomes a Sith, he is much more openly evil and not very honorable.

    Well the published version of the fourth draft, the shooting script, has this part at the start;
    However, the ep IV bit was not present originally, it was added to the film when Star Wars was re-released in 1979. Lucas has claimed that ep IV was always there but Fox forced him to remove it.
    Fox has denied that and said the only change in the title they wanted was to remove "The" from "The Star Wars" so that it was just "Star Wars."

    Fox version is supported by the fact that the other drafts of Star Wars, if they have any number, has Saga One has part of the title.
    So this script was altered after the fact and then published.

    Then there is the bit when a quote about Midis was put in with a bunch of much older quotes in one of Rinzler's books, making it look like the Midis concept had been around since the 70's.
    Rinzler then had to make a statement, making clear that the Midis bit was much newer.

    I have been saying pretty much this for a long time.
    That Lucas memory is not prefect and is likely colored by what he thinks about Vader now.

    That Lucas had a lot of ideas and concepts and he moved them around, considered some for a while and then discarded them. He also brought back old ideas and reworked them and so on.
    So after Star Wars was such a huge hit and he knew then he could make lots of films and they could have a higher budget and not a lower one as he first thought.
    Then he got new ideas or started to reconsider old ones.

    And when he got Brackett's first draft and was not happy with it and she became unavailable due to her illness. Then he took a crack at it himself. And I think he saw the problem with the ghost of Luke's father and thought what he could do about it. And the discarded ideas of the cyborg father and the honorable sith that changes sides came back to him and he used some of that and changed Vader from the murderer of Luke's father, to Luke's father.

    So that Lucas took some old ideas and added them to Vader and thus changing him, that I have no problem with and it fits the evidence we do have.
    And this would be almost impossible 100% prove or disprove as it is very vague.

    But you said;
    This is considerably less vague and says that Vader WAS Luke's father when he made Star Wars.
    This can be dis-proven, first the older drafts where Vader provably is not the father and the first draft of ESB, where the ghost of the father appears.

    So if you make this claim and further that what Owen said or Obi-Wan's pause, was done deliberately to service this twist. Then there is evidence that can be used against it.

    Well we do know that the killing of Obi-Wan was not planned for but something that Lucas came up with during filming and had to tell Alec Guinness that he was killing off his character.


    In my experience, the people that tends to get "aggrieved" are those that "defend" Lucas.
    That they can get upset if someone looks at the various scripts and concludes, "Vader became Luke's father in 1978, with the second draft of ESB."
    And they say "Why don't you accept what Lucas is saying, why do you doubt his word?"

    You yourself said this;
    Questioning why people don't just accept Lucas word as truth.
    As I've said, there is evidence that speaks against it and that is why some doubt Lucas word.
    Because it does not always fit with older scripts, what he said back in the 70's and so on.
    Generally not out of a Hate for Lucas or stuff like that.
    Just they, like me, have looked at the available evidence and reached our own conclusion.

    Sometimes after discussion with others, like in this and other threads.
    This is a subject some people are interested in and likes to talk about.
    Nothing more.

    Blackboard Monitor
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  13. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    - "Why tell only Prowse and no one else?"
    I think the working assumption here is that Prowse would have learned of the revelation via a "leak". Something else to think about: when he told Kurtz and Foster during that December 1975 story meeting that at the end of (sequel) book two, "we find out who Darth Vader is", did he also go on to tell them who Vader secretly was under the mask, or at least give hints as to his identity? Which brings me to:

    - Samuel Vimes posted: "Did he tell Kurtz?"
    Brings up something else I've wondered about: when in the (80's and 90's ?) Kurtz discussed "original plans" of how the OT was supposed to go down, does he ever even bring up the whole Father Vader issue at all, even just to contradict Lucas?

    Edit to add:

    To be fair, Phantom, he is technically including Ben as part of "they".

    You're essentially right that this was the strategy in place at the time of ESB's writing development. I think it was even in one of Lucas' re-writes - the type-written version that was done before Kasdan was brought in - where he has Yoda say the he only taught Ben*, who in turn taught Luke's father (in addition to teaching Vader).

    *A change from the previous two drafts, where he had Yoda say that he taught BOTH Skywalker and Kenobi (and Kenobi having taught Vader).
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  14. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    That's my point. Go back and look at the argument I was responding to again.
  15. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    I would combine that with the hint from a few years earlier (Dec 1975) that he was planning for the second film/story to end with there being some sort of reveal as to Vader's (hidden) identity.

    As you yourself concede a few posts later, them being separate characters doesn't at all preclude the possibility of Vader being related to Luke in some manner, and, even actually being his father.

    Hmmm. Could this indicate a sort of "hero-worship"/emulation of Annikin/Ben's Jedi friend on the part of Vader? Not far off from a scenario of young brother (Darth/Anakin?) to older brother (Annikin/Tan?) , Vader as Skywalker's oldest boy (Luke being the younger), or even Vader being Ben's son (but still emulating his "uncle" Skywalker in the area of piloting).

    I don't know. The bit from the Dec 1975 story conference to me indicates that he was planning something. The fact is that we may never know, since full details have not been forthcoming. Rinzler says that there were discussions about Luke's father during the writing development phase of ESB, but we're not told the details.

    Also, the alternate theory doesn't absolutely require that Ben not know the truth, only that him not knowing seems to work better with certain details in how things transpired in ESB.

    To underscore, I think it's fair to say that Lucas hadn't completely committed to Vader being the same person as Anakin/Ben's friend until the early story/script/writing stage for ROTJ, and - uncoincidentally imho - that's also when he finally decided on Luke's father's name (after two films behind-the-scenes info of going back an forth with a named character* and being a nameless character). Given some early (but undated) story notes from ESB's development, he was thinking of having Vader be the result of an evil 'spell' put on Luke's father at some point, that later on Luke (and Ben?) will undo. It's the only scenario at that time where Vader and Annikin/Luke's father/Ben's friend are not two physically distinct persons, but still quite different from the ROTJ scenario, where Luke's father willingly goes to the dark side or is seduced into it.

    *and a different name at one time (eg. TAN Skywalker)
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  16. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    But also, perhaps not. The conclusion that Vader and Father Skywalker must have been two separate people in Lucas's mind is based largely around the idea that the two characters were radically different in age and Jedi rank--an assumption which actually has little concrete basis and, as I've noted, several lines of evidence to directly contradict it.

    The argument that they couldn't have been the same character because "Darth" was originally a first name and not a title is spurious on the face of it and never should have been taken seriously. If Lucas wanted to hide the true identity of the villain character, what did they expect him to have done other than have the character take on a new name? It very well may be the case that the skeptics are right, but this particular argument is not a strong one.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  17. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    My belief that they were potentially two separate people all the way until work started on ROTJ rests more on other lines** of evidence, rather than (squarely) on the difference in age and Jedi rank. I say "potentially", because I am allowing for the possibility of Lucas consciously having alternate options on-hand and not being solely committed to only one of them until ROTJ.

    **Those other lines of evidence being:
    The matter of "who trained who": If Yoda - at one time in the backstory, in both Brackett's draft and in the subsequent hand-written draft by Lucas - was to have been the instructor of both Ben AND Luke's father, and assuming that Lucas hadn't retconned the idea of Ben having trained Vader (which is backed up by dialogue in ESB), then in that scenario the man who was trained by Yoda alongside Ben most likely wasn't the same person as Ben's former student. On the other hand, I've long conceded that Ben teaching both Vader and Luke's (presumed) father - as per Lucas' type-written draft (sometimes called the 'revised' second draft) - doesn't mean that they were same person either. From what I've gathered, Kasdan's drafts of ESB drop the whole matter of who exactly trained Luke's father, as does the final film, but it's still a long way from the scenario revealed by ROTJ being firmly set-in-stone at that point.

    As I had pointed out with the issue of Luke's father having a name or being 'nameless', I am making the point that this could indicate that Lucas may have not fully-fleshed out in detail just who exactly was this Skywalker, Jedi friend of Obi-Wan Kenobi and father of Luke. Edit: There is the 'logistical' in-universe story issue of Obi-Wan being a reliable source of fact in regards to Luke's paternity: how could he be certain of his friend being the father? I've said before that the specific wording of Obi-Wan seems to cohere better under the guise that they were distinct people, leaving the door open for Vader having a secret identity connecting him to Luke (or even connecting both of them with Ben) . There's also lines by both Vader (and the Emperor), both in ESB, that seem to indicate them being separate people.

    I agree. I think that the "Darth-was-only-a-first-name-originally" argument is a non-starter when it comes to the matter of Vader having a secret identity.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  18. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    The recent argument concerned a magazine article where Prowse talks about Vader being Luke's father and suggestions that he said this late 1977.
    This would then be before Brackett wrote her draft and could be evidence that Lucas had Vader as the father when making the first film.

    However, I think I have found the article in question and looking at what it says, it is clear that Prowse said this in 1978 and most likely the late half of 1978. He mentions shooting beginning in February and since the shooting started March 1979, he said this in 1978.

    By that stage, Lucas HAD changed Vader into the father and thus it is no longer evidence that Lucas had Vader as the father when making Star Wars.

    Still the question remains, why tell Prowse and no one else?
    The bit from 1975 about "Who Vader is" is something Lucas talked about with several people and thus could have been talked about in the crew.
    So that Prowse had heard of that is not that unlikely.
    So then he took that and made a guess or told a tall-tale about it.
    Nothing more.

    Or Lucas did tell him once he had made the choice. Which is odd as he was very careful to keep this a secret.

    Well here is an idea that I don't think I've heard.
    What if Vader was the brother of Luke's MOTHER.
    She is never talked about or even given a name.
    She is presumably dead as Luke is living with his uncle and aunt but her real identity is up for grabs.

    So if Luke would see or learn his mother's last name and it is Vader. Then Darth is his mothers brother, or uncle. Quite a shock that.

    And you can do a lot with it.
    Luke is related to Vader, not his father but close enough that it would matter.
    And it could be used to explain why Vader turned.
    Say that Luke's mother died for reasons having to do with Luke's father. Not that he killed her but his actions in some way caused it.
    Then Vader could get really angry at Luke's father for getting his sister killed and thus wants revenge and that is why he makes a point of murdering Luke's father.


    But here is the thing, if Lucas did plan for Vader to be the father and told Kurtz and Foster about it in 1975, why did he NOT tell Brackett when she was writing the script?
    It makes no sense to keep your script writer in the dark about this big twist.


    Unless as I said above, Vader was Luke's mother's last name.

    Also, the Vader character was at first an enemy general but I don't recall if he has a first name.
    And he dies at the end.
    Later drafts has his full name as Darth Vader and yet he still dies at the end.
    So clearly the character at that point had no role to play in future films.
    Even later drafts had him surviving but his name is not changed.
    So I don't think his name is all that much of a smoking gun.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
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  19. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015

    Well, a couple of things:

    1. We don't know exactly what he told or even didn't tell Brackett. Lucas only says he didn't tell her about Vader being the father. Even if that's accurate, one still has the matter of Rinzler saying that the father character indeed was talked about during Lucas and Brackett's story treatment/script meetings, but he doesn't divulge any details. Which I find odd at this point, some almost 40 years after the OT was completed.

    2. Kurtz doesn't say anything either way, about the OT's "original" version of events concerning Vader/Luke's paternity, unlike his candor about how other things had supposedly changed (with ROTJ in particular being the apparent 'sticking point'). Kurtz doesn't even offer alternate viewpoint about the father Vader retcon, or even acknowledge (or dis-acknowledge) it as a retcon either way. As far as I know anyhow, unless someone can find me some quotes where he discusses the father Vader story element, other than his take on Vader's 'redemption' being different from what happened in ROTJ, and more 'Samurai'-like.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
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  20. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 7

    Nov 12, 2012
    There's a David Prowse documentary, can't quite remember what it was called, but anyway I believe he said he was straight up speculating about the Vader father thing in front of a con and a reporter put it in his article. So I'm still down with the "only Lucas and Kreshner knew and they told Mark Hamill about 5 seconds before the take" story.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  21. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    I know, crazy right?


    Some comments,
    Back in 1975, no one, least of all Lucas would know how big a hit Star Wars would be.
    So his plans back then changed a lot when it was.
    Back then, as far as I know, he had in mind two low-budget sequels and maybe one prequel.
    So what he talked about regarding Vader in 1975 could have changed considerably, hence why Kurtz has not talked a lot about it.

    Or, both Vader and the Father were characters that were changed quite a lot and often.
    We can see this by looking at the old scripts.
    First Vader is an enemy general and dies at the end.
    Then enemy Sith Lord and still dies at the end.
    Then sith lord who lives to fight another day.

    The father was a cyborg but a good man and lays down his life during the first film.
    Then the father is not a cyborg nor does he die.
    Then the father is years dead.

    So what Lucas, Kurtz and others talked about in regards to Vader and the Father could have changed several times so it could be hard for them to remember exactly who said what, when.

    About Brackett, we know that she was not told about Vader being the father and we know that she wrote a scene with the father as a ghost.
    Since it is unlikely that she did this without any input from Lucas, they must have talked about it.
    The father was dead, that is clear. But what was new was the sister, Neelith.
    So they could have talked about that, was the sister a twin to Luke, was she older, younger?
    Why was she hidden, with who?

    Lastly, why Rinzler has not said much about this could be a deliberate suppression.
    That Lucas wants to the story to be that Vader was the father from the start and so does not want to put out material that contradicts that.

    I think it is called "I am your Father".

    I do recall one other thing from it and that was about an article published before the release of RotJ, where a reporter revealed that Vader dies in the film and gave Prowse as the source.
    And this caused him some problems with Lucasfilm, like that he is not invited to events any more.

    But the reporter did not get this info from Prowse and had another source but lied about it in the article.
    So in this documentary they tried to set the record straight.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface.
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  22. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    I'm sorry, but for reasons that I've already stated, I find it incredibly unlikely that the actor who played the character and who was known for leaks just so happened to come up with the correct answer to a plot twist which the original movie gave no indication of even existing, and to state this answer with all the appearance of complete confidence in its veracity. I think it's more likely that Prowse found out, leaked it, but then went to insist that he was just speculating in order to absolve himself of blame for the incidents which were at the center of his very public feud with Lucasfilm. Prowse had every reason to tell such a fib in order to deny being a leaker.

    e: Here's another interesting tidbit from the Secret History thread:

    Did Prowse go back for some inexplicable reason and edit his diary entry? Or did he forget to edit his diary entry to keep up with his present day pretense that he didn't know?

    What if he was fed fake lines during the filming of those scenes simply to convince him that the story had changed and mitigate the risk of him making any further leaks about the father twist?

    Speculation, sure, but food for thought.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  23. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Knight star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
    There's a new book coming out on Dec 15th about the production of the original trilogy, called "The Star Wars Archives: 1977-1983 Episodes IV-V-VI" (Hardcover), by Paul Duncan. How will it compare with the Rinzler books? Will it shed ANY additional light on the thread topic? [face_thinking]
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  24. patbuddha

    patbuddha Jedi Master

    Feb 3, 2002
    I'm about two years late to the party. I'm contending that Lucas arrived at Vader being Luke's father in 1975 and it has everything to do with bringing Ralph McQuarrie on to do the art. McQuarrie, working from the second draft, thought Vader needed a mask in his opening scene because he has to board Deak's ship from space.

    Why is this important? Because a mask creates mystery. It causes the audience to want to know what's underneath and why. Once Lucas decided that this mask would permanently hide Vader’s face, he very likely brainstormed various ideas as to why.

    Before the mask, Vader has no connections to any of the heroes or any backstory of any kind. He's just a bad guy who does bad things. He fights with Deak and takes him prisoner before completely disappearing for most of the script. He reappears to pilot a TIE Fighter as he does in the final movie, but is killed at the climax.

    After the mask, in the third draft, Luke's dad is pulled out of the present day story as a walking and talking character and Luke is given a mentor. Vader is now personally connected to this mentor and to Luke's long dead father where no such connection had existed in the earlier drafts.

    To reiterate. Vader with no mask equals Luke's dad alive. Vader with a mask equals Luke's dad dead.

    So the defining issue of the possible sequels is what's behind the mask and more importantly what meaning would it have for the main character. If Vader is just Vader then the unmasking doesn't mean anything other than, "Oh so that's what he looks like." But if the face belongs to someone with an important connection to Luke then that's something else entirely.

    In the third draft, Luke knew his father. If Lucas had made the connection this early on, then what the mask is hiding is someone who Luke already knows.

    A lot gets made of the fact that Luke's father appears as a ghost in Brackett's draft of Empire. Lucas kind of explained that in 1983 in From Star Wars to Jedi. He wasn't entirely sure if he was going to go through with Vader being Luke’s father but decided it's the one he really liked. He doesn't explicitly mention the Brackett draft in that interview but it fits in with his general statement of exploring an alternative before coming back around to his original idea.

    What's in the Brackett draft though is the idea that Luke is struggling with the dark side and Vader wants to mentor him. It's hard to know precisely when Lucas arrived at this as being the plot of Empire, but it's a natural consequence of the first movie's idea of Vader being a good guy who was seduced by black magic. You can't set that up in one story and not explore it's implications for the hero in another. It's a Chekhov's Gun which is why it's possible that this germ for the sequel existed in Lucas's mind when he first wrote Vader as being a good guy gone bad in 1975. It may even be why Lucas made Vader into a former good guy in the first place.

    Even if you reject this, what's harder to ignore is that in Brackett's draft, Luke's struggle with the dark side makes Luke thematically linked to Darth Vader. And if you accept the idea of mentor as father figure as Secret History does, then if Vader seeks to mentor Luke then Vader also seeks to become Luke's father figure. One could argue that this is chicken and egg. Did Lucas turn Vader into the father because of the mentor angle or was the mentor angle in Brackett's draft a vestige of an earlier decision?

    There is a curious coincidence. Vader’s lightsaber hilt in Empire shares similarities with Luke's father's, particularly with the black strips at the bottom.
    Now obviously by the time Empire started shooting, Vader had been made into Luke's father so the design of Vader’s hilt could be brought in line with this decision. But what was the design like in the first film? For a long time that was much harder to discern from the film itself along with all the behind the scenes photos and publicity stills that had been released. But nonetheless there is one from A New Hope that is very clear.
    The similarity could be a coincidence but it is convenient one that works for the story.
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  25. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
    Apparently, if I recall correctly, in the third draft Vader is masked in the beginning of the film, but is seen drinking from a flask in a later scene, indicating that he's still not someone with a misterious identity.
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