Posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 by Germain Lussier
Though people today constantly complains about spoilers, they regularly take for granted that they’re available at all. Today, someone can do a simple Google search and find out almost any secret they want to in regards to a movies or television. That’s pretty incredible, especially when you think it wasn’t so long ago the only way movies got spoiled was in the occasional magazine article, printed review or if someone blurted it out while you were in line for the next show.
In 1978, David Prowse – the actor who wore the Darth Vader suit in the original Star Wars Trilogy – did a personal appearance in Berkeley, California which was covered by a local newspaper. At the event, Prowse answered questions about “Star Wars II” and “Star Wars III” and also just happened to mention the greatest spoiler in movie history – that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father. In 1978. Two years before The Empire Strikes Back was released. We’ve got the original article after the jump.
Apparently, newspaper articles were collected by the mother of vinvectrex from The Retroist; she saved stuff she thought might interest him, including the Prowse article. He saved it because it was so unbelievable to him that Prowse not only would know this crucial piece of Star Wars information, but that he would so willingly give it up.
In retrospect, I wonder how George Lucas felt about this. Since there was no internet in 1978, he probably never knew that David was running around spilling the beans. This article was quite the shock to my 7 year old system. Could this be correct? Were they related? Was David playing a joke? Was the post-Watergate media trustworthy? I had to wait two years to find out.
However, io9 made a great point about a well-known piece of Star Wars lore.
The thing is, Prowse probably wasn’t aware of Vader’s paternity shenanigans. When it came time to film Vader and Luke’s battle on Bespin, the script called for Vader to tell Luke, ‘Obi-Wan killed your father’; James Earl Jones’ real reveal was dubbed in later.
It’s common knowledge that Empire director Irvin Kershner did that to both preserve the huge reveal, and also because Earl Jones had to ADR the entire movie later anyway. io9 also mentions that Prowse’s quote suggested father and son “live to star again in Star Wars IV.” Well, there never was a proper Star Wars IV, so maybe he wasn’t that well-informed. Plus, don’t forget this is the guy who claims Return of the Jedi never made any money so who knows if he’s got all his marbles. No offense, Mr. Prowse.
Here’s my take on it. I think, much like the Charlie Chaplin Cell Phone Lady, David Prowse was actually a time traveler. However, when he came to the future, he didn’t watch his performances in The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. Instead, he sat down and watched the following classic Simpsons clip.
So what do you think? Did Lucas spill the beans to Prowse before production began on The Empire Strikes Back or is Prowse just incredibly deductive? Or, for you Star Wars haters out there, are Lucas’ stories just so predictable that even a bodybuilder can guess them?