Empire Strikes Back, why did everyone assume Obiwan lied?

Watching the movie with someone who knew the reveal, but had not seen ANH or ESB before they had a different take on it. They assumed Anakin and Darth were two different characters, Obiwan told Luke the truth as he knew it, and Lukes unnamed mom cheated with Darth Vader before he was a machine man. And the fight where Vader killed Anakin was likely related to the baby daddy drama, with Obiwan probably in the dark.

This makes a surprising amount of sense, so why did everyone in 1985 instantly assume Darth=Anakin?

Well I was in elementary school but I thought they were two different people too.

1980, by the way. By 1985, we were on Back to the Future and Return of the Jedi was already in the rearview mirror.

There was no reason for Darth Vader to lie about being Luke’s father, which would have been a strange thing to lie about after chopping off Luke’s hand.

Also, presumably Luke is in tune with the Force and can search his feelings to know it’s true.

That, and it just makes more sense to suppose it’s true. Having another person be Luke’s father but never appear on screen or even shown is kind of bizarre from a movie-making POV.

Lying to a kid that his father wasn’t the evil, child-murdering, genocidal henchman of a despicable despot is probably what I’d do, too.

Becasue everyone else in Luke’s life lied thier asses off to him about who his father was, why should Obi Wan be any different?

Remember, in ANH, Luke believes that his father died as a navigator on a spice frieghter because that was the story that Owen and Beru had fed him growing up.

Obi Wan then gives him some half truths about Anikin to manipulate Luke into killing his own father unknowingly. He and Yoda only come clean with Luke after Anikin/Vader spills the beans on Cloud City. Even then they kinda of whitewash their own responisibilies for what happened with Anikin and during the Clone Wars.

I was hoping someone would notice the typo :stuck_out_tongue:

No Vader isn’t lying, but he isn’t Anakin either. So Luke is Vader’s bio son, but Anakin is another character who Luke thought was his bio dad. Like they are two different guys, and Vader cheated with Anakin’s wife?

Oh, I see. Well, I guess it’s technically a possibility.

But the subtext is there that Vader is Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side. The phrasing “son of Skywalker” the Emperor uses earlier (meaning he actually is a Skywalker), the parallel with Vader turning Luke, the weird scene on Dagobah where Luke faces the Vader apparition that ends up with his own face. Even the way Vader says, “No, I’m your father”. He doesn’t say “I’m your real father”.

It’s not explicit (and yes it’s sufficiently ambiguous to need resolution in the next movie), but the hints are spaced through the movie.

Vader in Dutch means father. For Dutch people he is pretty much called Darth Father! :smiley:

(I actually have no idea how this influenced perceptions at the time. I just always thought it seemed obvious somehow and it might be the name?)

In RotJ, when Luke asks Ben’s spirit about this, Ben remarks that what he told Luke was true “from a certain point of view.” Ben’s was a lie of omission. He knew that Vader USED to be Anakin, and that Luke’s dad is Anakin. So he’s picking nits to keep from feeling guilty about it. If Ben had killed Anakin after that duel on the volcano planet, think of how much suffering could have been alleviated. Hell, Alderaan may have still survived.

One thing about Ep 4 that bothered me: Owen says that Ben died around the same time as Luke’s father. To which Luke blurts out “he knew my father?”

No, dumbass. Lots of people died every day. They don’t all know each other. I know Luke’s sheltered and naive, but it bothered me the way he jumped to that conclusion.

That was a possibility right at the moment of the reveal, but by the end of the movie Luke has searched his feelings and knows it’s true, so there wasn’t much cause for further speculation.

Another possibility is Vader was basically saying: “forget the biological stuff, we’re destined to rule the galaxy together as father and son.” As father and son could mean taking him as his apprentice/padawan, as it’s destined to be. We don’t know it at the time, but later it seems obvious to me both the Jedi and Sith are into the father figure/mentor thing, even if they’d deny having close attachments and things.

Vader was probably disguised as Annie when he did Luke’s mom. He’d just Mind Whammy her when she got suspicious. Not much different than Uther Pendragon in the Arthurian legends.

At the time of ESB, my assumption was that Darth was the clone of Anakin. Obiwan mentioned the clone wars and Darth killing Luke’s father.

So I pictured:

The Jedi were dying out.
They used cloning technology to reproduce themselves.
Just like with all twins everywhere, the clones were evil.
A war started between the Jedi and their clones.
Darth survived, Luke’s father didn’t.

So, technically, Darth was Luke’s father in a DNA test sense. Apparently The Force can’t be used to do a better refinement.

So no one was lying, but Darth was stretching things quite a bit.

Not following this theme was one of many disappointments with RotJ. The prequels just further added to the mess. (I stopped after the first one. Didn’t even bother to watch them on cable.)

(Although I called the deal with Leia right.)

George Lucas has never been exactly subtle in his creation of names. I mean, “Darth Sidious”…how insidious!

I would guess that when choosing “Vader” he was simply counting on Americans’ notorious lack of knowledge of other languages. He didn’t expect moviegoers to make the “father” connection.

Is there any evidence that Lucas himself knew what the word meant in Dutch? I always assumed he chose the name because it sounded like “invader.” Pretty much the same way he did with Darth Sidious, really.

And he has Leia saying she remembers her mother being beautiful and sad. For the one second her mom was alive after she was born?
Unless it’s because Leia is a Jedi and sees her using the force.

Seeing as Lucas came up with the name well before he decided Darth was Luke’s father, you are probably correct.

Darth Vader was Luke’s father only from the second rewrite of ESB on. If Lucas had known what he was going to do back in the first movie, he wouldn’t have needed to make Obi Wan a liar.

I never heard of that before.

Besides, if cloning technology existed in the Star Wars universe Vader wouldn’t need all the mechanical parts because they could have cloned him new limbs and organs.
Oh, wait a minute…

(rhetorical question)

You know… spice isn’t that heavy. Or bulky. Why would you need an entire freighter dedicated to shipping the stuff?

I assumed Leia was speaking of her step-mother. I don’t know what Leia called her, but I bet it was “Mom” or the equivalent. Leia never mentioned any other Organa siblings, and if “mom” was sad maybe it was because she couldn’t bear children from her own body. Or maybe Senator Organa was dead by then and she remembers her mother as a greiving widow.

Or, that it’s a line which was written two decades before Lucas decided that Leia’s mother would die in childbirth, and Lucas didn’t care that it contradicted Leia’s line in RotJ. :slight_smile:

Read Dune. :slight_smile: A galaxy can go through a lot of spice, if it’s the right kind.