It’s one of the most iconic movie twists of all time – made even better by the fact that audiences in the 1980’s had no idea it was coming. Luke Skywalker discovering that Darth Vadar is his father stands as one of those huge moments in Hollywood cinema and now Mark Hamill has revealed just how the makers of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back managed to keep that twist a secret.
Talking with the official Star Wars website – the 66-year old actor discussed the process that Lucas used to ensure that the chances of major leakage were kept to a minimum;
“They kept that line secret: ‘I am your father.’” What was in the script was already a fantastic twist. Vader says [in Darth Vader voice], ‘You don’t know the truth. Obi-Wan killed your father.’ And I played it just as you see it. ‘No!’ and all that. But [prior to shooting] they pulled me aside and [Irvin] Kershner, the director, said, ‘Look, I’m going to tell you something. George knows, I know, and when I tell you, you’ll be the third person that knows. So if it leaks, we’ll know it’s you.’”
It’s fun to remember that there was a time before the internet before major movie leaks were the bread and butter of the internet. While modern audiences are used to major threads being leaked – audiences back in the day weren’t so susceptible. Empire Strikes Back was hugely anticipated upon its release, so audiences would have had plenty to ponder.
It’s much harder to keep such secrets in modern times, thanks to the existence (and prevalence of the internet. The Star Wars shoot has been interrupted by all manner of drones and hopeful fans, looking to get as much info as possible on the upcoming Star Wars outing.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the upcoming movie used a similar trick to Empire Strikes Back. There have already been lots of reported leaks online, with all kinds of theories sprouting from them. Given how important the upcoming movie will be to the franchise overall, we hope that they manage to keep those secrets.
Are you excited for the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi?