After who knows how many changes Lucas made to the movies, my concern comes from the, what I think is, newest dialogue between Palpatine and Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. In the original, it was not Ian McDiermid, but since the prequels have come out he has replaced the original actress who played Palpatine. I, however, am not concerned with the actor, but the dialogue that was changed. Now, the dialogue is at the link here --> Why does Palpatine refer to Luke's father as Anakin?

Now the words make it seem as though Vader doesn't know that the pilot that destroyed the Death Star is a Skywalker... The choice of the words "How is that possible" makes it seem very clear he is unaware that of the pilot's name.

This of course is all open to interpretations...perhaps he's playing dumb, or perhaps he doesn't know. But we have now canonical comics that definitively tell us Vader knows who Luke is. So why change the dialogue to the current form? These changes were made before the comics, so did the writers, who clearly know their stuff, miss this due to all the ridiculous changes made to the movies over the last 15 years?

To see the changes made to this scene, here is the youtube clip that shows the scene as well here; here

2 Answers 2


Even if Vader had already learned about Luke Skywalker (in the comics) it still makes sense for him to ask

How is that possible?

Both Sith were under the impression that Padme died without giving birth. Once they heard of Luke Skywalker they both began to suspect a son of Skywalker had survived. Vader was essentially asking Darth Sidious if he knew how a son could've been born. Sidious, for whatever reason, chooses only to say

Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You will know it to be true.

He's basically saying it doesn't matter how it happened; they should focus on what to do about this threat.

As to why change the scene, Lucas likely felt having the same actor play the Emperor in all films would improve continuity.

  • Very good answer. Especially the bit about how vs why. That didn't occur to me. Dec 11, 2015 at 10:20

In addition to the fine accepted answer you need to keep one thing from the comics in mind. Vader did know now already pre TESB that luke was his son. BUT he did NOT let the emperor know about this as he wanted his son and the galaxy to become HIS not the emperors (which would have been the case if the emperor ever found out about his son).

Thus he lied to his master and sith do that often but it is not good for them to be caught doing that (one only needs to remember what the emperor did to vader each time he disappointed him somewhat). So Vader could very possibly feign not knowing so far about Luke in order to save himself from punishment by his master (whom he fears the most out of all beings in the galaxy)

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