Star Wars has one of film’s most famous plot twists, but that shock was actually spoiled two years before it was meant to hit the big screen.
- The reveal that Darth Vader is Luke’s father was one of the biggest shocks in cinema history and greatly expanded the Star Wars universe.
- David Prowse, the actor behind Darth Vader, may have unintentionally spoiled the twist in a 1978 interview, accurately describing the high-stakes duel and complicated connection between Luke and Vader.
- There is considerable evidence suggesting that Prowse did not actually know about the plot twist, as George Lucas kept it tightly under wraps and only Mark Hamill was aware of the true confession in the iconic “I am your father” scene.
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Star Wars’ reveal that Luke Skywalker’s late father was in fact the villainous Darth Vader is well known as one of the biggest shocks in cinema history. After a successful first movie, George Lucas was able to expand his story into a full trilogy, which would go on to inspire an even bigger expanded universe. While Star Wars runs a pretty tight ship when it comes to spoilers now, the biggest spoiler of all was already circulating around well before the original Star Wars trilogy was complete.
Darth Vader has always been a central character in the Star Wars universe, even before Anakin’s backstory was revealed. The iconic villain was a favorite from the very beginning, and the reveal that he was more than just any old fallen Jedi only made him more interesting. After the first movie, David Prowse, the actor behind the mask, was eager to share the idea of Vader’s increased importance with Star Wars fans – and he may have shared too much.
Related: How To Watch Star Wars Movies In Order
David Prowse Spoiled Darth Vader Being Luke’s Father In 1978
As documented in a newspaper article from 1978, via Retroist, David Prowse was making an appearance for young Star Wars fans in the Bay Area when he gave an interview about the possibility of the upcoming Star Wars sequel movies. He begins to discuss the plot of the upcoming sequels and reveals that Luke and Vader are father and son. His prediction is shockingly accurate, saying the twist would come out in the middle of a high-stakes lightsaber duel and both parties would struggle with destroying the other because of their complicated connection.
Before the age of the internet, such Star Wars spoilers were much less likely to spread around and ruin the effect of an upcoming movie, which is why this spoiler isn’t well-documented. Plus, Prowse discusses the twist as being multiple sequels into the future, so it’s likely that many people assumed he was speaking in hypotheticals and wishful thinking. In the two years between the spoilers and the release of The Empire Strikes Back, it’s likely that many fans who heard the spoilers had forgotten about it until it was being played out onscreen.
Did David Prowse Really Know Darth Vader Was Luke Skywalker’s Father?
Of course, George Lucas’ shocking plot twist was tightly under wraps during the movie’s development, and Darth Vader being Luke’s father was never in his original plans for the story. This makes the idea that David Prowse had concrete knowledge about the plot of The Empire Strikes Back quite unlikely. His quotes in the newspaper are alarmingly spot on, but there is considerable evidence that he didn’t actually know what was in store for Vader and Luke.
Prowse was one half of Darth Vader, with James Earl Jones providing the iconic voice. This meant that all his lines were dubbed over after filming, including the iconic “I am your father” line. As it turns out, Lucas didn’t write that into the script in order to protect the twist from getting out prematurely, and Mark Hamill, who was told right before filming the scene, was reportedly the only actor who knew what the character was actually confessing. While it’s possible Lucas had thrown the idea around in conversation before he had the opportunity to expand Star Wars into a saga, Prowse simply must have had a very lucky guess.