Original Empire Strikes Back Script Reveals A Very Different Plan For Darth Vader

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The reveal that Darth Vader is really Luke Skywalker’s father is not only one of the most famous movie twists of all time but a development that shaped the rest of the unfolding saga, to this very day. It’s hard to imagine Star Wars without the Vader/Luke connection, but this unearthed first draft of The Empire Strikes Back reveals that, unthinkable as it is, the twist wasn’t always included.

ScreenRant took a look at the initial draft of the famed second movie in the Original Trilogy by late writer Leigh Brackett and found that there’s not a mention of the revelation that Vader’s Luke’s corrupted father. In fact, the Force Ghost of Anakin, depicted as a heroic fallen Jedi Knight (as per Obi-Wan’s hints in A New Hope), mentors his son on Dagobah – referred to by Brackett as “Bog-World.”

Here’s a snippet of the Skywalkers’ conversation, which also discusses Luke’s mystery sister (not specified to be Leia):

“Anakin: You’ve grown well, Luke, I’m proud of you. Did your uncle ever speak to you about your sister?

Luke: My sister? I have a sister? But why didn’t Uncle Owen..?

Anakin: It was my request. When I saw the Empire closing in, I sent you both away for your own safety, far apart from each other.

Luke: Where is she? What’s her name?

Anakin: If I were to tell you, Darth Vader could get that information from your mind and use her as a hostage. Not yet, Luke. When it’s time… Luke. Will you take, from me, the oath of a Jedi Knight?”

If you’re thinking that there might somehow still be room to infer that Anakin and Vader were one and the same in this script, a later line from the Sith Lord makes it clear they were intended to be two different people.  “You don’t stand a chance against me…,” he says to taunt Luke. “No more than your father did anyway.”

Fans have long theorized that creator George Lucas may be stretching the truth when he claims to have had the whole saga planned out from the beginning. After all, how do you make sense of the many continuity errors in the franchise if that was the case? Clearly, this early script confirms that the development of the story was much more gradual. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. In fact, kudos to Lucas for realizing the movie needed an extra punch and devising the immortal Vader twist.

If he hadn’t, the prequel and sequel trilogies, which focus on Darth Vader‘s origins and his familial legacy, probably wouldn’t have happened and we wouldn’t have Star Wars: Episode IX to look forward to this December.

Source: ScreenRant

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