Darth Vader's original backstory (before he reconnected with Luke's father) (2023)

What were George Lucas' original plans for Darth Vader's backstory?star Wars? Lucas was always fond of claiming that he masterminded the entire Star Wars saga from the beginning—including the twist that Darth Vader was Luke's father. He specifically said this in an introduction to the novelization of the 25th anniversary edition of A New Hope. “When I was writing the original Star Wars script,” he explained, “I knew that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father; Surprisingly, audiences didn't know this, but I never expected audiences to develop such an emotional bond with Luke."

In fact, however, there is little evidence to support this claim. After all, it's common knowledge that Lucas changed directions several times while working on the original trilogy; He really would have shared that infamous kiss between themLucas and Leiaif he had planned them to be brother and sister? None of the early drafts of A New Hope hint at the turn of Darth Vader, and indeed some depicted characters of Darth Vader and proto-Anakin at odds with each other. Furthermore, Lucas' comments in 1977 point in quite a different direction.

Related:George Lucas explained why Chewbacca didn't receive a medal in 1977

In the summer of 1977, Lucas attempted to expand the universe by filming a series of character scenes. These are no longer necessarily considered canon (one provided a backstory for Han Solo that is very different from the story told).Solo: A Star Wars Story), but they laid the groundwork for the prequel trilogy. While they didn't imply that the Emperor was a Sith Lord, they did reveal the basics of how he rose to power and corrupted the Old Republic. They also confirm very different plotlines for the story of Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker.

  • This Page: The Original Behind the Scenes of Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker
  • Page 2:Why Darth Vader's Backstory Was Changed

The Original Story of Darth Vader

Darth Vader's original backstory (before he reconnected with Luke's father) (1)

First, it's important to note that there has always been an element of mystery in both Darth Vader's and Darth Vader's backstories.the emperor. "The Death Star had details of everyone aboard," Lucas explained in a character slot as C-3PO. "Except for Darth Vader. Darth Vader is truly connected to the Emperor himself, and he wasn't part of the Death Star team or any of those systems." Indeed, Lucas consciously stated that there are no images of the Emperor himself, this strongly suggests that Lucas already had some plot twists in mind.

According to these early additions to the Star Wars universe, Lucas originally wanted the Emperor to have taken control of the Senate years ago. Slightly more than half of the Senate opposed the Emperor's corrupting influence, and they tried to legally overthrow him, allowing him to be impeached. The Jedi Knights were immediately alerted and allied with the Senate against the Emperor. But many of the senators who opposed the new regime mysteriously died; and in the meantime, the Emperor already had a plan to defeat the Jedi. "There was a conspiracy going on," Lucas revealed. "When the Jedi tried to restore order, Darth Vader was still one of the Jedi. What he did was catch the Jedi off guard and, with his knowledge of the Force, killed the Jedi without them realizing what was happening."

In the Jedi's heyday there were several hundred thousand, but Darth Vader - and crack squads the Emperor had secretly prepared - slaughtered them. The Jedi dispersed and, although they tried to regroup, they were hunted down by Darth Vader and his elite troops. Interestingly, Lucas claimed that only a few were alive - including Obi-Wan and Luke's father. This last comment confirms that Lucas originally did not intend for Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker to be the same person; In fact, it appears he envisioned Anakin as one of the last Jedi killed by Vader.


The Original Story of Anakin Skywalker

Darth Vader's original backstory (before he reconnected with Luke's father) (2)

Unsurprisingly, the original Anakin Skywalker story was also quite different. Anakin Skywalker was introduced as a Jedi Knight - a heroic starfighter pilot who fought the Empire in the early days of the Rebellion. Although Anakin was located and killed by Darth Vader, he failed to hide his two children.

This is confirmed byLeigh Brackettfirst draft of the screenplayThe Empire Strikes Back, which was compiled from Lucas's extensive notes and contains no reference to the famous "I am your father" plans of revelation, much as he likes to claim it. Han isn't captured, Luke doesn't lose a hand, Luke has a twin sister (but it might not be Leia), and Luke actually knows his father. On Dagobah - which Brackett called Bog World - Luke is cared for by the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his father's Force Spirit. Here's what Anakin had to say to his son:

Anakin:You grew up well Lucas, I'm proud of you. Has your uncle ever spoken to you about your sister?

Lucas:My sister? I have a sister? But why doesn't Uncle Owen...?

Anakin:It was my order. Seeing the Empire closing in, I sent the two of you apart for your own safety.

Lucas:Where is she? What's her name?

Anakin:If I told you, Darth Vader could get that information out of your head and use you as a hostage. Not Lucas yet. When the time comes... Lucas. Will you take the oath of a Jedi Knight from me?"

At the end of the script, Darth Vader taunts Luke, "You don't stand a chance against me... any more than your father does." It really seems that Obi-Wan Kenobi was perfectly honest in Lucas' original plans when he told Luke about his father and Darth Vader's told betrayal.

Page 2 of 2:Why Darth Vader's Backstory Changed

Why Darth Vader's Backstory Changed

Sadly, Leigh Brackett passed away shortly after completing the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back. In the absence of a writerGeorg Lukastook on the second draft alone. According to the annotated script, "The notion of Vader being Luke's father first appeared in the second draft. Vader was drawn to the dark side during his training as a Jedi. He became a Jedi and killed most of the Jedi Knights Ben fought Vader and pushed him into a nuclear reactor shaft. One of his arms was severed and Ben believed he had killed Vader; in fact, Vader survived and became a mutant." (Presumably the word "mutant" should be "cyborg".)

In hindsight, it was inevitable that the fathers and sons theme would somehow find its way into Star Wars. Every artist puts a bit of their own soul into their creation, and that goes for screenwriters and directors as much as it does for poets and painters. George Lucas was no stranger to family conflicts; his father, George Sr., was a domineering right-wing businessman who planned his son's life for him. Not that George Sr. wanted his son to embrace the dark side, of course - it was more that George wanted to join the family business and run an office equipment store. That prospect horrified Lucas, who recalled heated discussions on the subject. in conversation withunited states today, he remembers telling his father, "I'm never going to work every day and do the same thing day after day." By the 1970s, the two were separated and unrelated.

Related:George Lucas wrote about Anakin Building C-3PO (sort of) in 1977

Lucas's closest friends have always maintained that Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader's relationship was modeled after his own conflict with his father - albeit a fantastically over-the-top one. In A New Hope, Darth Vader was just a monster. When Lucas came up with the idea of ​​making him Anakin Skywalker, he became a true three-dimensional character, an embodiment of Lucas' own father-son relationship. Like George Sr. wanted his son to remain in the family business, Darth Vader invited Luke to join him and rule the empire alongside him. Just as George Lucas refused, so did Luke. Viewed through this lens, Return of the Jedi's themes of forgiveness and redemption, a father sacrificing himself for his son and thus giving him value, are almost cathartic. Fortunately, howthe atlanticNotes, Lucas ended up reconciling with his father. "He lived to see me finally move from what he would call a 'late bloomer' to real success," noted Lucas. "I gave him what every parent wants: to keep his child safe and be able to take care of himself. That's all he really wanted and that's what he got."

Of course, it helps that the "I am your father" twist works so effectively. Where A New Hope is a Campbellian hero's journey writ large, The Empire Strikes Back makes the story infinitely more personal. It transforms Star Wars into a tale of generational conflict and creates opportunities for transcendent themes of redemption and reconciliation. There is a slight contradiction in Obi-Wan's discussion of Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker in A New Hope, but this is easily resolved; asReturn of the Jediexplained, Obi-Wan was simply telling the truth "from a certain angle".

The relationship between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker is the focus ofstar WarsLucas Saga happily tried to convince people he had this twist planned all along, even making up that "Darth Vader" is German for "Dark Father" (it's not). But does it matter whether he planned it or not? The simple truth is that the artist saw an opportunity to create something powerful while crafting one of the most iconic stories of all time.

More:George Lucas invented midichlorians from the Star Wars prequels in 1977

  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker Release Date: 2019-12-20
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