Obviously besides being a major plot component, why couldn't Vader when in front of Leia sense that Leia was his biological daughter?

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    because of plot holes :-) Mar 5, 2013 at 2:07
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    Possibly because she didn't know? He found out by reading Luke's feelings, and Luke knew.
    – Kevin
    Mar 5, 2013 at 2:37
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    Related but not a duplicate: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/6935/…
    – NominSim
    Mar 5, 2013 at 3:38
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    Vader simply had no idea that he had children. That's why Lucas put in that scene in the remastered Empire Strikes Back where the emperor tells Vader that Luke is Anakin's son.
    – Mr Lister
    Mar 5, 2013 at 8:03
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    @Kevin That's not how force sensitivity works.. Mar 5, 2013 at 12:47

3 Answers 3


Vader was able to detect Luke only after he received training in the use of the Force. Luke grew up a typical angsty and restless young man, zooming around on his landspeeder bullseyeing womp rats with preternatural ability, while attracting no attention from Vader or the Emperor. Since, as far as we saw in the movies, Leia received no Force-training, she too would have gone unnoticed by Force sensitive persons.

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    But yet, Luke and Leia were able to feel each other with force? Mar 5, 2013 at 12:45
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    @SachinShekhar: dude, they're brother and sister, ew. Mar 5, 2013 at 13:03
  • @PaulD.Waite Do you have any canonical source to say blood-relationship has something to do with force presence sensing? Mar 5, 2013 at 13:59
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    @SachinShekhar: ah - no, I was just making a crude joke based on the double entendre of "feel each other with force". Mar 5, 2013 at 14:24

It's a continuity trap. Orginally not only were Vader and Anakin Skywalker different men, Luke and Leia were not siblings and in fact were to become a couple. It was in part how Han Solo became the breakout character that influenced mid-course continuity change.

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    If you want to post an out of universe answer that is basically "this is a plot hole", it would be better to at least make it comprehensive, showing proof that this was the plan from earlier drafts etc.... Dec 29, 2015 at 14:34

Anakin's "force" was felt despite being a child with no training, so Luke and Leia's should also have been felt.

  • There's a difference between detecting a generic Force presence and detecting the Force presence of a particular person.
    – Null
    Aug 25, 2015 at 2:58

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