George Lucas Wrote Fake Dialogue To Protect Empire Strike Back’s Twist Ending

"Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back" held a huge revelation; Darth Vader was the father of Luke Skywalker. Almost everyone in the world has access to this information now, but when the film hit theaters in 1980, that was a huge deal. In 2023, we have prequel films, TV series, novels, comic books, and video games devoted to exploring Anakin Skywalker's history and tragic downfall. However, as someone who was a tiny person when "Empire" came out, I can tell you that this news was major talk on the playground for the entire rest of the school year.

Nowadays, we have social media to discuss spoilers and argue about how long we have to wait to discuss them openly. Actors have non-disclosure agreements that can be massive documents. The landscape was different back then. The first episode in the film series, 1977's "A New Hope" wasn't really an anticipated title, so it wasn't kept particularly secret, as star Mark Hamill discussed on "The Graham Norton Show" in 2018. "Empire," on the other hand, was under far more scrutiny before its release. The big secret about Luke Skywalker's pop was something only a few people were told about. In fact, during his "Graham Norton" appearance, Hamill said that director Irvin Kershner took him aside and told him that only he and George Lucas knew about it and that Hamill couldn't tell anyone or they'd know where it came from. He had to keep the secret for a year and a half.

But what about Darth Vader's physical actor, David Prowse? As it turns out, he actually delivered fake dialogue during filming to help maintain the secret.

Even Prowse Didn't Know About Vader's Progeny

As the Independent reported on in 2021, David Prowse's copy of the "Empire Strikes Back" script -- which was put up for auction after his death at the age of 85 in November 2020 -- contained fake lines for the big Darth Vader reveal. Yes, even he wasn't told the whole truth about his character's progeny. As the actor wearing Darth Vader's suit on set, Prowse was originally supposed to supply Vader's lines in "A New Hope." Problem was, he had a strong regional accent that didn't work for the role, so he was later overdubbed by James Earl Jones during post-production. (Fun fact about Prowse: The former bodybuilder actually trained Cary Elwes for his role in "The Princess Bride.") 

According to CNN, Prowse's version of the "Empire" script ultimately sold at auction for £23,000 ($32,000). Here's the dialogue from its version of the climactic conversation between Vader and Luke:

Vader: There is no escape ... don't make me destroy you. The Emperor is strong with The Force — but The Force runs strong in the Skywalker line, and together we will overthrow him. I will complete your training, and we will rule the Empire as equals.

Luke: No!

Vader: Luke, we will be the most powerful in the galaxy. You will have everything you could ever want ... do not resist ... it is our destiny."

'Search Your Feelings. You Know It To Be True.'

In the actual film, the dialogue is as follows:

Vader: There is no escape. Don't make me destroy you. Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. Without combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.

Luke: I'll never join you.

Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.

Luke: He told me enough. He told me you killed him.

Vader: No, I am your father.

Luke: No! That's not true. That's impossible!

Luke: Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

Now, one could read into the line in David Prowse's script that states "The Force runs strong in the Skywalker line," but if you weren't looking for that, you might not get it. Plus, if you already thought that Vader killed Luke's father as Obi-Wan Kenobi told him, there is no reason to read into it at all. He would certainly have been able to judge the strength of the Force in someone he had only just fought. 

All the "Star Wars" films are currently streaming on Disney+.

Read this next: Star Wars Deleted Scenes That Could've Changed Everything

The post George Lucas Wrote Fake Dialogue to Protect Empire Strike Back's Twist Ending appeared first on /Film.

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