45

During the scene where he fought against Luke, at the end of Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader says

Darth Vader: Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for your... sister.
So, you have a twin sister
. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side... then perhaps she will...

Has Darth Vader just learned that Leia is Luke's sister or does he just know that Luke has a twin sister?

  • 2
  • 1
    I meant "Does Vader knew that his daughter was Leia ? Or does he thought that he just had a daughter ?" – iammg Mar 15 '17 at 11:11
  • 1
    The twin sister of your son is typically also your daughter, although I suppose there are highly unlikely rare circumstances that twins might be gestated from two different fathers, if the mother had a threesome or something. – flith Mar 16 '17 at 12:37
  • 1
    @flith That was'nt my question :) I meant "Vader knew that he has a daughter ; but did he knew that she was Leia ? Or does he thought that he just had a daughter ?" – iammg Mar 16 '17 at 14:15
56

Luke's thoughts were dwelling on his friends, Han and Leia. He inadvertently labeled her as his twin sister in his mind just as Vader was scanning him. Note that Vader knows enough about her identity that he's confident that he'll be able to find her and turn her to the dark side. This implies that he knows her identity.

“Give yourself to the dark side,” Vader urged. “It is the only way you can save your friends.”*
Luke closed his eyes. I’m sorry, Leia and Han. I’d do anything to save you, but I must resist the dark side. Suddenly, Luke felt a dull ache in his head, and sensed that Vader was using the Force to probe his mind.
“Yes, your thoughts betray you,” Vader spoke, confirming Luke’s suspicion. “Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for …”
Luke tried to block his thoughts — and failed.
“Sister!” Vader said. “So … you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will.”
“No!” Luke screamed in anger as he ignited his lightsaber and rushed at Vader. Sparks flew as they traded blows in the cramped area, and Luke felt the hatred within him build with each passing second. You’ll never take Leia, and you’ll never take me!

Return of the Jedi: Junior Novelisation

Vader's mental powers with the Force are capable of invading Luke's mind. Again, the implication is that his secrets are laid bare

Luke withdrew further into shadow. He tried to hide, but there was no way to hide what was in his mind—Leia was in pain. Her agony cried to him now, and his spirit cried with her. He tried to shut it out, to shut it up, but the cry was loud, and he couldn’t stifle it, couldn’t leave it alone, had to cradle it openly, to give it solace.
Vader’s consciousness invaded that private place.
“No!” screamed Luke.
Vader was incredulous. “Sister? Sister!” he bellowed. “Your feelings have now betrayed her, too … Twins!” he roared triumphantly. “Obi-Wan was wise to hide her, but now his failure is complete.” His smile was clear to Luke, through the mask, through the shadows, through all the realms of Darkness. “If you will not turn to the dark side, perhaps she will.”

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - Official Novelisation


Interestingly, the Marvel comic (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 4: The Final Duel, billed as the "official comic adaptation") is very much clearer on the subject. Leia is mentioned by name.

enter image description here

Moving waaaay down the canon scale, the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Storybook is even more explicit about what Vader knows.

Vader picked up the weapon. "Give yourself to the dark side, Luke' he said. "It is the only way you can save your friends. I know your thoughts. Your feelings for them are strong, especially for . . . Leia! You love her. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her. If you will not turn to the dark side, perhaps she will." He knew his son's emotions. He knew exactly how to stir Luke's anger and fear.

  • 7
    Beautiful answer. While I'd argue that the books / movie leaves room to interpretation by leaving her name out, you just quoted every appropriate source. I don't know if the Marvel comic wasn't scrubbed with the Disney reboot, I think it was. But Marvel is part of Disney after all, so who knows. – CyberClaw Mar 15 '17 at 12:14
  • 6
    @CyberClaw - The Marvel Comic adaptations weren't explicitly scrubbed but I presume it follows the same pattern as the old novelisations (e.g. canon where it matches the film and non-canon where it goes off on its own little tangent). In this case, because it changes Vader's words, we can't assume that the "Leia" part is Disney canon. – Valorum Mar 15 '17 at 12:48
  • 2
    come to think of it, you could make an argument that it was never canon, since it directly contradicts the lines of the movie. It's not like when the novelization fills in the thoughts of characters; it actually changed what he said. – jhocking Mar 15 '17 at 18:00
  • 2
    Also worth remembering that Vader already realised Leia's bond with Luke, in Empire he uses this bond as a bait for capturing Luke. Of course, it might just be a friendship as far as he knew, but once he searches Luke's feelings in Jedi, it wouldn't be hard to solve the puzzle. – LcSalazar Mar 15 '17 at 18:10
  • 3
    @LcSalazar: but Vader tortured Han Solo rather than Leia. So he clearly underestimated the bond. – Holger Mar 16 '17 at 10:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.