How George Lucas Kept Darth Vader's Identity a Secret

Quick!  What's the most iconic line from Empire Strikes Back?

If you answered, "Luke, I am your father," you are dead wrong, and you've managed to give me a slight aneurism, as this incorrect quoting of the movie is one of my biggest pet peeves.  Let's watch the original scene to hear the actual line:

Okay so now that we have the correct line in mind, let's talk about how George Lucas managed to keep what would end up going down as one of the biggest mind blows in cinema history a secret.  You may know that James Earl Jones, who provided the voice for Vader recorded all his lines in post-production, replacing the lines provided by David Prowse because for some reason George Lucas didn't find Prowse's voice intimidating enough.


When the infamous "I am your father" scene was recorded, the dialog written in the script and spoken by David Prowse was just a little different from the final cut.  The scene read like this:

Darth Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father...

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

Darth Vader: No, he [Obi-Wan] killed your father.

Luke: No, no.  That's not true.  (Screwing his miraculously rubber face into the most grotesque shape imaginable)  That's impossible!

Mark Hamill was told what the true line was literally seconds before the scene was filmed.  This means that before the premier, only George Lucas, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones and the film's director Irvin Kershner knew Darth Vader's true identity.  It was a shock to almost every other person involved with the film when they found out Vader's true identity.

Oh yeah, and you know that tiny platform Luke jumped from?  Let's just say Mark Hamill wasn't in any danger of injuring himself from the fall...


Source for Title Image:

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