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Plot Twist Idea: What if Vader wasn't Luke's father?

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by Kylo Solo, May 21, 2019.

  1. Cheryl Regan

    Cheryl Regan Rebel Trooper

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    If Vader wasn't Luke's father then I can't see Vader trying to capture Luke for the Emperor. Palpatine had a habit of casually replacing his apprentices. I think Vader would know that Palpatine was planning to get rid of Vader and have Luke take his place. Vader would likely have killed Luke outright to get rid of a potential rival.
    Plus, Anakin would never have been redeemed without a really strong connection to the person trying to turn him back. Luke wouldn't have meant anything to him to change his mind.
     
  2. SKB

    SKB Force Sensitive

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    Pedantic point:

    Darth Vader is not Luke Skywalker's father. "Darth Vader" is a title and alias, not a name. Luke's father is Anakin Skywalker who had the Sith title/alias "Darth Vader".
     
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  3. Kraven Head

    Kraven Head Rebelscum

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    When filming the big reveal, David Prowse line was, "Obi-Wan was your father".
    And the line was changed in post production when JEJ was recording his lines.

    At the premier, only GL, Hamill and JEJ in attendance were aware of the change.

    Hamill mentioned in an interview Ford looked at him with a puzzled look.
     
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  4. Rusty Cheeseknife

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    I addressed this briefly in an informal essay I'd been writing on RotJ:



     
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  5. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Force Sensitive

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    If Vader wasn’t Luke’s father, then Vader probably wouldn’t have killed the emperor as Luke was being shocked. There wouldn’t have been the search for Luke in the first place too. The empire would go on until the rebellion finally could kill the emperor. They would finally acheive this about when the 9 billionth death star was destroyed lol lol lol
     
  6. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Jedi Commander

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    That's what I thought this thread was going to be about when I read the title!

    It turns out Luke and Leia are NOT Anakin's children after all, but Anakin/Vader has believed they are. Luke and Leia are strong with the Force just because some people are. Nothing to do with lineage!

    Sure, it's like some cheesy soap opera, but isn't that what Lucas was aiming for?
     
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  7. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I appreciate the sentiment behind the idea, but I think it's best if Vader was Luke's father. If the reveal didn't happen, all we'd have is a simple Good vs Evil story where we're justified in hating the Bad Guys because they'd done Bad Things to people we care about. Luke's revenge is also still justified. But now, with the added "Vader is Luke's father" wrinkle, things become more complicated. Luke has to grapple with the fact that his path to becoming a Jedi isn't so clear-cut as everyone else believes. His mentors have lied to him, his father isn't some morally stand-up guy, but a lesson in what he may eventually become - what his aunt and uncle and eve Yoda feared he would become. And he doesn't want to become a Kinslayer either, so now he must find a new path. This twist is infinitely cooler than the twist having not occurred.


    I've read stories where something like that happened. Heck, the story itself was based off of Star Wars, and it made things so much less interesting tbh...

    EDIT: Marvel comics did that a few years ago too, where they retconned Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into not being Magneto's children and some creation of the High Evolutionary or some such nonsense. Needless to say, I hate it. To me it felt like an unnecessary change (not like the comics aren't full of those) that needlessly complicated the storylines. It also felt like Disney was trying to wrestle control of the the twins out from Fox by any means necessary. Because if they aren't the children of Magneto and as such associated with the X-Men, Fox can't use them anymore, right? (I'm sure it's more complicated than that, but that's how it felt.) Add into that the comics trying to push Inhumans at the time, and cynicism was easy to come by.
     
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  8. Rusty Cheeseknife

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    You're also looking at this from a hindsight perspective with regard to all the media we have right now. Try looking at this from the perspective an audience-member watching this back in the 1980s. In fact, try thinking about it before 1983, before Return of the Jedi had even come out.

    Imagine an alternative universe where Vader was essentially throwing a conflict into Luke's mind using the power of the Dark Side. This lie eats into Luke, causes him to question everything. It almost drives him insane! The storyline that would follow might have Luke questioning everything and everyone. What if the Rebels are wrong and the Empire is right? Is the civil war as black-and-white as he originally thought it was or are there areas of grey?
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 29, 2021, Original Post Date: Mar 29, 2021 ---
    There's another scenario where Anakin was the kind of hero who used his charm and good looks to seduce women throughout the galaxy as he saved multiple planets during the Clone Wars. Eventually, one of these women becomes pregnant and this has the potential to cause a scandal for Anakin because Jedi are supposed to be celibate. Anakin, in fear, wants to kill this woman and Obi-wan hides her from him. This leads to more conflict between Anakin and Obi-wan...
     
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  9. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Force Sensitive

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    I do see your point. I personally couldn’t imagine from the perspective before the finish of the OT that Vader wasn’t Luke’s father.
     
  10. Rusty Cheeseknife

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    Well, would it matter? Much of Luke's worth is tied to his being Vader's son, right? Or is that how Lucas intended it?

    But what does that mean, that if Luke was born from some farmers on Tatooine that he's less of a person?

    What that would entail is that Vader supports some kind of genetic superiority and Luke is worthless unless he is assigned to that particular bloodline.

    Luke's reaction can be read as his discovering the image of who his father was is shattered. However, in hindsight, shouldn't he have simply moved on? He never knew Vader and was raised by his aunt and uncle. Vader really should be just another Imperial to him because they don't share anything other than blood.
     
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  11. Too Bob Bit

    Too Bob Bit Jedi Commander

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    Yeah, I wouldn't seriously want to retcon the Skywalker lineage in that way, but I'd be all for it in a Star Wars parody!
     
  12. Lukestarbucker

    Lukestarbucker Force Sensitive

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    I was implying that since I already know that Vader is Luke’s father and all, it would be hard to imagine outcomes which would play out differently. Like the empire lasting longer. And the Rebellion potential dieing quicker.
     
  13. Rusty Cheeseknife

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    Empire seems to have lasted thirty years after RotJ through the First Order, right? Even in the Legends canon, the Empire is still around through Thrawn and others. I don't think Luke really matters in the long run as far as the galactic civil war, especially since he kind opted out when he decided to save his father.
     
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  14. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I share this view for Rey, but definitely not for Luke.

    For Luke it's more of who his father was, it's tied into who he trusted, who he was becoming, and who he could become.

    Anakin Skywalker the Jedi was Luke's icon. Luke was walking the same path as a Jedi, achieving things that he couldn't have done as a farmer. He was fighting the Empire and avenging his father. But learning his father is Vader shattered all of that. Suddenly, he wasn't fighting his father's killer, he was fighting his father. The man he idealized and was working to become is now his archenemy, and the one who hurt his friends. Suddenly, Obi-Wan and Yoda aren't as trustworthy. They were willing to send Luke on a mission to kill his father. It may have been necessary, but why didn't they tell him about Vader? Suddenly, Luke isn't a noble Force User, he's a gamble, a liability to both sides that can shape the galaxy. It's not just a person he didn't know that was revealed to be related to, it was a pedestal shattered. And who could he moved on to? Ben and Yoda were liars, Vader is evil, his aunt and uncle were dead. All he had was Leia, and she was headed on a different path than him. Moving on only works when you have a direction to go. At the end of ESB, Luke had none.

    Rey still had the memories and legacies of Luke and Leia pretty untarnished. She also had no personal connection to Palpatine before they met, and their meeting was so late in TROS the idea of her being tempted to the Dark Side was a non-starter.
     
  15. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Jedi General

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    I don’t think Star Wars would be as nearly as possible. I think the twist played a huge role in it
     
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  16. Rusty Cheeseknife

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    Exactly! I wish they'd expounded upon those possibilities. I'd love to see an alternate reality that Vader was actually performing some elaborate mind trick on Luke and was meant to make Luke question everything.

    Anything is possible if you're creative enough. The twist is very soap opera.
     
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  17. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    That makes the twist worse to me. In that alternate reality, the idea of Vader being Luke's father would be so much cooler than the reality that Luke is just a nobody that Vader tricked. And it's always far scarier if your villains never lie.
     
  18. Rusty Cheeseknife

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    Scarier when you don't know whether or not it's a lie.
     
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  19. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    But the problem is that it can't be left that way because Luke's actions depend on it, and Obi-Wan & Yoda (and the Force itself) can verify it or not. Will this be a revenge story or a redemption story? The character can only have one, and so the truth about Vader's relation to Luke depends on it. The only way it wouldn't matter is if Luke said "yeah I'm going to kill Vader anyways," to which the question of why this twist was included in the first place needs to brought up.

    There are only two times when I can think of an ambiguous word of a villain was pulled off well. The first was at the end of the pilot episode of Sherlock.

    Sherlock never found out if he chose right. But here's the thing, at the end of the day, the choice didn't matter - the fact that the villain got Sherlock to play his game did.

    The second was with the major villain in the manga/anime Bleach, and his interactions with our protagonist. He's always talking down to his enemies blends the truth with lies, and has a specific power that depends on illusions. At some point towards the climax of the arc, the hero responds to something the villain said in the past, and the villain retorts, asking why the hero should trust anything he said, given his propensity to lie at the drop of a hat. The villain's word has no value, so why treat it as the source of some obscure weakness or something like that?

    But in both of the examples, the truth had little to do with the outcome of the situation or the story as a whole. Sherlock's arc was not dependent on that one villain (well, not in terms of the ambiguity that is), and Bleach's protagonist did not defeat the villain using the obscure facts that the villain may or may not have been telling the truth about. Luke's arc is too heavily tied into who Vader is to allow for such ambiguity.
     
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  20. Rusty Cheeseknife

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    I think that's the reason why it'd be better if it wasn't left that way. It makes whatever action Luke takes next more ambiguous, more left for the audience to interpret the actions of the protagonist rather than have them be interpreted for us by Lucas or Kasdan or whomever. The character can have all kinds of stories and we need not limit them to revenge or redemption. The two need not eve mutually exclusive either.

    The truth about Vader's relation to Luke just simplifies everything for us, but at the cost of unraveling the mystery that much sooner.

    The twist, after all, is really only a twist in the minds of the audience. However, unraveled, the twist reveals itself to be what it is: the truth. In order for a twist to remain a twist, the truth must remain hidden. Imagine then further discussions that may have come about if Lucas had never revealed the truth and we could have been talking about the mystery instead.

    Vader was pretty straightforward in why he told Luke this. He wasn't really ambiguous at all. He says, "Luke, you can destroy the Emperor...join me and we can rule the Empire as father and son!" Clearly Vader wants to overthrow the empire. Whether or not Luke believes him, that's Vader's goal.

    But speaking of examples of ambiguous villains or scenarios, here's some popular ones:

    Who is the Thing?
    Where did The Joker get his scars?
    Will the world end or is Donnie Darko just imagining it all?
    Who is Keyser Söze?
    "What's in the box?!"
     
    #40 Rusty Cheeseknife, Mar 30, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
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