In one of the most iconic scenes from Star Wars (if not perhaps cinema history) Darth Vader reveals that

He is Luke's father

To this Luke shouts NOOOOOOOOOOO!, and Darth Vader says: "Search your feelings, you know it to be true!". It is this particular line of Darth Vader that my question is about.

Are there any indications that Luke indeed knew it to be true, because he accepted pretty quickly that Vader was in fact related to him and did not just discard it as some bullshit some villain was saying to lure him into his trap.

So are there any indications that Luke in fact knew that Darth Vader was related to him?

  • 6
    You generally don't have such a loud negative reaction when you think/feel the person is saying something looney.
    – Radhil
    Feb 25, 2023 at 19:49
  • 29
    I love the commitment to the rules of making this a spoiler in 2023 :)
    – Mike M
    Feb 26, 2023 at 3:03
  • I always thought he said 'you know it be true instead of 'to be true'.
    – SDH
    Feb 26, 2023 at 23:56
  • 1
    @SDH sadly it wasn't "Talk like a pirate day" on set when the line was recorded!
    – Skooba
    Feb 27, 2023 at 14:10
  • 1
    @Skooba - if they'd let Dave Prowse speak his lines rather than having them dubbed, every day would have been "Talk like a pirate day".
    – Spratty
    Feb 28, 2023 at 9:53

1 Answer 1


The official novelisation gives us some insight into Luke's thought process. He doesn't have an inkling that Vader...

is his father

... before Vader tells him, but when he examines his feelings, he does indeed feel that it's likely to be the truth.

“Search your feelings,” Vader said, sounding like an evil version of Yoda, “you know it to be true.”

Then Vader turned off the blade of his lightsaber and extended a steady and inviting hand.

Bewildered and horror-stricken at Vader’s words, Luke shouted, “No! No!”

Vader continued persuasively. “Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son. Come with me. It is the only way.”

Luke’s mind whirled with those words. Everything was finally beginning to coalesce in his brain. Or was it? He wondered if Vader were telling him the truth—if the training of Yoda, the teaching of saintly old Ben, his own strivings for good and his abhorrence of evil, if everything he had fought for were no more than a lie.

He didn’t want to believe Vader, tried convincing himself that it was Vader who lied to him—but somehow he could feel the truth in the Dark Lord’s words. But, if Darth Vader did speak the truth, why, he wondered, had Ben Kenobi lied to him? Why? His mind screamed louder than any wind the Dark Lord could ever summon against him.

The answers no longer seemed to matter.

His Father.

With the calmness that Ben himself and Yoda, the Jedi Master, had taught him, Luke Skywalker made, perhaps, what might be his final decision of all. “Never,” Luke shouted as he stepped out into the empty abyss beneath him. For all its unperceived depth, Luke might have been falling to another galaxy.

  • 2
    There's also the scene in the movie where Vader makes mental contact with Luke (being fitted for a new bionic hand) and Luke says "Father?"
    – Spencer
    Feb 25, 2023 at 17:45
  • 5
    Why bother with the spoiler markup when the long quote has the same spoiler - twice? Feb 26, 2023 at 7:00
  • 15
    @Ward-ReinstateMonica - For comedy value
    – Valorum
    Feb 26, 2023 at 7:27

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