Having watched A New Hope again, I have just realised that the only people to meet Vader in person out of the main good characters are Leia and Obi-Wan. It's understandable why Han didn't interact with Vader but why doesn't our main hero do so like in all other movies?

Not a dupe of this question. I don't believe the answers in there actually answer my question.

I know there were plans for Luke to be told that Vader was his father but I find it odd that there was no pre-reveal meeting between the two of them such that both of them would have an initial impression as to who they were dealing with (that IMO would have made the reveal even deeper to Luke than what is actually portrayed). After all, Luke was told about Vader's reputation by Obi-Wan and Vader had sensed that Luke was somehow connected to the force.

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    I find this a weird question. Of course it was intentional as that's how it was written. The script wasn't written by some kind of random process like monkeys with typewriters (unlike the prequels!) so how could it not have been intentional? I think the question you're really asking is "was it always the intention that Vader was Luke's father?" for which I think there is an answer.
    – Darren
    Jul 23 '18 at 11:51
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    As usual, the "Stupendous Badass" theory applies - Few people dealt with Vader because everyone who dealt with him ended up dead or tortured :). Why dilute his brand with non-deadly interactions?
    – gowenfawr
    Jul 23 '18 at 11:53
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    @Darren Well knowing the answer to that actually makes this a better question. If that wasn't planned initially why hold off the meet?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jul 23 '18 at 11:55
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    @Darren Also the OP acknowledges the answer to that question in the post so not a dupe. They are asking why, considering that answer, they did not meet.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jul 23 '18 at 12:20
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    This isn't too strange of a plotline. In Lord of the Rings Frodo doesn't meet Sauron; really none of the characters do. In both cases the protagonist has other trials to overcome, and the story is no less compelling because of it. If anything you're assuming Vader is more important than he is; back then he wasn't much different than, say, Captain Phasma. Jul 23 '18 at 19:01

  Lucas originally planned multiple movies in Star Wars saga

You could read about his plans here, but even the fact that first film is actually Episode IV tells a lot. And even in his backup plan, if Episode IV was not to be a success, he planned to make one low budget sequel where Luke and Vader would first meet face to face.

Although it is debatable did Lucas always plan a big reveal about Vader being Luke's father, it is clear that he didn't make Luke to be a Mary Sue character that could instantly fight toe to toe vs Vader. Instead, Luke is a kid that gradually learns through the entire saga. In that sense, it would be pointless to confront him with Vader early on, in let's say a lightsaber duel, but Lucas did confront them in a space battle where Luke did have more of a chance because he was portrayed from the start as a good pilot.

Note that Leia being captured by Vader is actually a psychological trick to make the audience more relaxed and receptive for the movie. Princess imprisoned by villain is an old and well known cliche from many fairy tales and stories, as is the rescue attempt by a party of heroes. The average moviegoer would feel familiar with this, making him more accepting for the parts that Lucas really wanted to introduce like the Force, Jedi and their philosophy.

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    "that first film is actually Episode IV tells a lot" ... the first film wasn't Episode IV until some point during the production of The Empire Strikes Back. Suggestions are that this happened at almost exactly the same time as the plot change where Vader became Luke's father: Lucas wrote the big reveal scene, realised it was really good, then figured that was a backstory to tell of how "Annikin" (as he spelled the name at the time) became Vader, then applied the episode numbers.
    – Jules
    Jul 24 '18 at 13:11
  • @Jules According to Lucas, Episode IV was removed from title and opening crawl in order not to confuse audience. Of course, he could have "retconed" his memories :) , but overall he claims that he had planned multiple movies (episodes) even before he got funding of the project.
    – rs.29
    Jul 24 '18 at 17:24
  • yes, in the same way that he's claimed that he always planned Vader to be Luke's father, despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary. Read The Secret History of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski. The argument is compelling: the original Star Wars was intended to be the beginning of the story, and Vader wasn't related to Luke, in Lucas's original ideas. He did have ideas for more films from the beginning, but they were all after ANH -- and mostly were composed from ideas he'd originally wanted to include in the script for ANH but dropped because it ended up too long....
    – Jules
    Jul 24 '18 at 18:00
  • ... There are numerous drafts, treatments, notes, and so on that are well documented from the time Lucas was writing the original script to ANH, and none of them give any indication that it was supposed to be anything other than the beginning of the story. They have a wide variety of titles, subtitles, and so on, but nothing resembling "Episode IV".
    – Jules
    Jul 24 '18 at 18:05
  • @Jules I agree about father thing, but Lucas always wanted to cover Clone Wars. After all, this was introduced in first movie when Kenobi tells Luke that Vader "betrayed and murdered" his father.
    – rs.29
    Jul 24 '18 at 19:40

In Lucas's original conception, Vader was a less important character than he became; he was a soldier of the Empire, one of its most respected Generals, even, but of no more importance than, say, Tarkin or any of the other Imperial characters we see. In most early drafts, for example, he died before the end of the film. Even after Lucas had decided to save him (probably because Star Wars was intentionally mimicking the tropes of old SF serials like Flash Gordon etc, where the bad guys did usually get away), he apparently didn't realise how the audience would react to the character until after the film was released.

It's therefore unsurprising that he didn't attempt to engineer the story in order to force a meeting -- the idea of how dramatic a meeting would be hadn't yet entered Lucas's mind.

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