Back in the days of BBS's and Newsgroups - and before Star Wars Insider (early 90's), there was lots of talk about Star Wars lore and theories of what the other episodes might include if they were ever made. One of the things that was always talked about as fact was that Anakin/Vader and Obi-Wan had dueled on a volcano and the fight resulted in Vader being "more machine than man".

This, of course, ended up being Vader/Obi-Wan fighting on the volcanic world of Mustafar in Episode 3.

I've spoken to a number of people and we can all remember hearing this often repeated over the years, but none of us can remember just where we heard this. It was never mentioned in the movies or novelizations. Nor was it mentioned in any of the Han Solo/Lando Calrissian books which served as sort-of-prequels at the time. For it to have been such a pervasive and universally accepted story, it must have had some somewhat-official origin (an interview, a back of a trading card, something).

Where did this "fact" originate?


It goes back to at least 1977: http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/theturn.html

Lucas tells Rolling Stone in 1977, "Vader kills Luke's father, then Ben and Vader have a confrontation, just like they have in Star Wars, and Ben almost kills Vader. As a matter of fact, he falls into a volcanic pit and gets fried and is one destroyed being."

Original full interview here: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/the-wizard-of-star-wars-20120504

  • Awesome! Thanks for the link. It's really an interesting read, even if they did misspell "Wookiee" repeatedly. – phantom42 May 1 '13 at 18:28
  • I can't imagine there being a source that dates back further, but I'll leave it open for a bit to see if anyone has an older source before marking this as the answer. – phantom42 May 1 '13 at 18:30
  • There may be sources that weren't public (or weren't well known if public) that go earlier; I'm specifically thinking of the draft scripts (which I've never even read, although I'm aware of their availability) here. The volcano was certainly widely known by the time between ESB and RotJ and I recall it clearly from back then. – user8719 May 1 '13 at 19:09
  • Sorry, I meant an older published one. The drafts and unused scripts weren't released until the 90's, iirc. – phantom42 May 2 '13 at 0:15
  • Ah OK; that's good to know. My recollection of first hearing it was in response to a reader's letter in Starlog (IIRC) sometime in '82 (IIRC again). The magazine and year may be wrong, but it was definitely pre-RotJ and the context is very clearly remembered. – user8719 May 2 '13 at 0:51

It was mentioned in the official James Kahn novelisation, published in May 1983.

And this memory brought a wave of other memories with it. Memories of brotherhood, and home. His dear wife. The freedom of deep space. Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan, his friend … and how that friendship had turned. Turned, he knew not how - but got injected, nonetheless, with some uncaring virulence that festered, until … hold. These were memories he wanted none of, not now. Memories of molten lava, crawling up his back … no.

This boy had pulled him from that pit - here, now, with this act. This boy was good.


I first learned of this from the Star Wars Screen Entertainment screensaver from 1994.

Vader’s origins start around 34:00 mark:

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