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In the prequels we see that both C3PO and R2D2 are Anakin's droids and they clearly both know that he's gone over to the dark side.

I would like to know an in-universe answer for the question; Why did they not tell Luke?

that Vader is Anakin?

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  • Leia was a baby and was seporated from her brother, They knew lukes heritage because he kept the last name Skywalker. Im asking why they never told Luke that Anikan his father is Vader Mar 2, 2014 at 1:04
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    From Wookiepedia: Although R2-D2's inability to speak basic spared him from experiencing a memory wipe, it did undergo reprogramming to restrict access to the holo-recordings of Leia's birthparents, including Skywalker choking Amidala and her deathbed during delivery, to ensure that Leia's true parentage remained a secret. Maybe this also prevented him from telling Luke about Skywalker being Vader.
    – Philipp
    Mar 2, 2014 at 1:12
  • Ok, could you please take off the flag and put this as an answer Mar 2, 2014 at 1:16
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    Out of universe = Lucas is not a great story-teller and back-pedals a lot. If George was a rapper he might be named Sir Ret-ConsALot. Mar 2, 2014 at 2:55
  • To be fair, I think R2-D2 did try to tell people, many times, but no one understood him. Mar 24, 2016 at 13:44

2 Answers 2

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From Wookieepedia:

Organa entrusted R2-D2 and C-3PO to Raymus Antilles, the Captain of the Tantive IV, who was instructed to treat them well and to wipe C-3PO's memory. Although R2-D2's inability to speak basic spared him from experiencing a memory wipe, it did undergo reprogramming to restrict access to the holo-recordings of Leia's birthparents, including Skywalker choking Amidala and her deathbed during delivery, to ensure that Leia's true parentage remained a secret.

I think for C-3PO the situation is clear: After his memory wipe he shouldn't have been able to remember that Vader was Anakin. For R2-D2 it is very likely that the reprogramming prevented him from telling Luke about Skywalker being Vader.

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    It is quite explicitly-stated, actually, that R2-D2 can tell Luke who his father is, but chooses not to due to his "owner-protection protocols." In other words, he knows that the knowledge that his father murdered his mother would hurt Luke, and therefore doesn't tell him. This is in The Swarm War, the last book in the uninspiring Dark Nest Trilogy. Mar 2, 2014 at 5:24
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    @JamesSheridan Very interesting. This comment is worthy of being an answer of its own.
    – Philipp
    Mar 2, 2014 at 15:13
  • I wish I could, but I no longer own that book. If someone else here does, feel free to post it as an answer. Mar 3, 2014 at 3:35
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    Wookiepedia isn't an official source; if they have sourced the information that you are quoting, you should use their source as your source. In this case, the passage you quoted is no longer present, so it's impossible to verify. It's also a frankly ridiculous premise. R2 can't speak Basic, so he'll never tell? We'll just torture him with these memories he can never speak of for all eternity or until he jumps into a swamp to try and end it all?
    – user45623
    Mar 25, 2016 at 2:55
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R2-D2 and C3P-O had their memories wiped by Captain Antilles shortly after the birth of both Luke and Leia. If not R2-D2, then at least C3P-O did.

From a scene in Revenge of the Sith:

Senator Bail Organa: Captain Antilles?

Captain Antilles: Yes, your Highness?

Senator Bail Organa: I'm delivering these two droids into your care. Treat them well, clean them up and get the protocol droid's mind wiped.

C3P-O: What?!?!

R2-D2: [Beeps] ... [Chuckling beeps] (I assume R2-D2 says somwthing like "Me too?! We aren't going to remember anything?!")

C3P-O: Ohhh nooo!

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