When Episode 4 was filmed, did Lucas know Luke and Leia were brother and sister?

  • possible duplicate of Why do we hear Leia's Theme during Kenobi's death? Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 12:53
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    For an alternative interpretation of how Star Wars was planned/inspired, I strongly recommend the charming short film George Lucas in Love: youtube.com/watch?v=KkxdcCswfq0
    – CamelBlues
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 20:39
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    @CamelBlues - does it make sense for someone who hasn't seen "Sheakespear in Love" to watch that film? Or all the charm will be lost? Thx Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 13:47
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    @DVX it has nothing to do with Shakespeare in Love, just the titles are similar. The charm will be lost if you know nothing about Star Wars, but I'm pretty sure those people aren't on this website.
    – CamelBlues
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 17:52
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    Hi, @Voldemort316, it looks like you were trying to comment on this question rather than give a solid answer. I've converted your answer into a comment for now, but don't let that put you off answering when you have a good objective answer to provide. For more information on how the site works, please have a look at the faq. Thanks!
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 16:11

4 Answers 4



To quote from my answer to Leia's musical theme:

Even an early Leigh Brackett's 1978 draft of "The Empire Strikes Back" didn't have that relationship established yet - it was introduced later (Source: http://geeksofdoom.com/2010/05/15/early-draft-of-empire-strikes-back-reveals-alternate-star-wars-universe/ ).

Another related evidence for Luke and Leia not yet being related was 1978 pre-ESB book that was a sequel to "ANH" - Alan Dean Foster's "Splinter of the Mind's Eye". It develops the theme of romantic interest between the two (presumably, in part, since Foster and Lucas didn't know if ANH would be a big hit and if Harrison Ford would be interested in the sequel should the sequel be based on "Splinter").

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    Why the downvote? This is a well-supported answer, linking to another highly upvoted and well-supported answer
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 21:38
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    @AndresF. I'm not the DVer, but at a guess, perhaps they felt that someone else's script treatment (which was rejected by Lucas) for Empire has little bearing on what Lucas did or didn't know when the original Star Wars was filmed. E.g. from the article - "Apparently, Lucas didn’t like the direction of Brackett’s script". Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 13:15
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    Apparently Lucas said that was done on purpose to show that the two had feelings for one another, but that they did not know exactly what type of feelings. Personally, I don't buy it. Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 14:23
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    @NikolaiDante - Who you gonna trust, Lucas or your own lying eyes? :) Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 14:29
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    "Lying eyes" ?!? Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 14:31

According to Lucas, yes.

However, wookieepedia has this to say on the relationship in Splinter of the Minds Eye (the first Star Wars EU book):

At the time it was written, the familial relationship between Luke, Leia, and Darth Vader had yet to be revealed. Therefore, some inconsistencies are evident and unavoidable. Most noticeably the sexual tension depicted between Luke and Leia in this book, which in retrospect would be considered inappropriate in most countries. (Although Lucas claimed to have had the Star Wars saga mapped out even at this early stage, the fact that he allowed this plot element to remain in Foster's novel has been cited as evidence that he hadn't yet decided on the characters' true backstory.) However, Lucas has stated before, that this tension was on purpose, to show that the two had feelings for one another, but that they did not know exactly what type of feelings.

Some background on Splinter:

Splinter of the Mind's Eye was the first-ever Expanded Universe novel to be written and published. According to an interview with its author, Alan Dean Foster, in Empire magazine, the novel had been written to be filmed as a low budget sequel as a fallback plan in case Star Wars hadn't been a huge success. This accounts for why the book takes place almost entirely on a fog-shrouded planet. Additionally, Harrison Ford was not signed for the sequel as of the writing of the book, which is why Han Solo does not appear in it. Although George Lucas is credited as the author of Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, the novelization of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, was in fact written by Alan Dean Foster. Foster's early involvement in the Star Wars universe gave him the opportunity to write this book. Though Foster was granted a great amount of leniency in developing the story, one requirement was that a lot of props from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope could be reused when filming the new film. According to Foster, Lucas' only request upon inspecting the manuscript was the removal of a dogfight in space undertaken by Luke and Leia before they crash-land on Mimban. Presumably, this sequence would have cost too much money to create.

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    I realize this is a paranoid question, but can Lucas be trusted on this? :)
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 23:24
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    @AndresF. - no. Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 11:41
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    @AndresF. Pretty much, no. His version of events varies a lot, which is why I went with "according to..." rather than a flat out yes. Personally, I doubt much of what came later was properly mapped out when Star Wars was made, but that's just IMO. Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 13:17
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    Lucas is not to be trusted on anything relating to what was originally planned or not.
    – user8719
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 22:14
  • Lucas also planned to have Disney take over the franchise. Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 2:14

No. Han Solo in an old script may not have survived. And even if he did, there was a chance he knew Leia and Luke were truly in love. There was a bigger triangle between them. The "twins bit" was just quickly thrown in for Return of the Jedi.


I don't agree [with the other answers.] It is established in Empire Strikes Back that they are brother and sister. Near the end, when Luke is hanging onto the city's [underside antenna], he begs for Ben and gets no answer. Then he says "Leia, hear me, Leia," and she hears him through the power of the force, establishing her as the other one.

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    Punctuation would go a long way here. I also have no idea what "TV Ariel" is.
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 21:06
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    And how does that necessarily imply that they were brother and sister? It fits with what we learned in RotJ, but it's not hard to imagine a different explanation (they're joined because they're fated for each other, for example). Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 22:22
  • The question asks about the first (i.e. number 4) SW, not The Empire Strikes Back
    – komodosp
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 14:33

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