Arguably the most famous scene in Star Wars is when Darth Vader reveals to Luke Skywalker that

He is Luke's father.

According to most sources, this surprise was kept secret to most of the crew and even the cast during production, with Dave Prowse, the actor playing Darth Vader, delivering a fake line, the actual line being overdubbed. (Of course, Darth Vader wasn't voiced by him in the first place; all lines were overdubbed by James Earl Jones).

Like Mark Hamill relates in an interview:

But, for example, your big scene, one of the classic cinematic moments when Darth Vader divulges his true identity, is no longer a revelation.

It's such a great moment! The fake line that was put in there just to try and keep the secret was "You don't know the truth: Obi-Wan killed your father!" But as much as I enjoyed leaking false information, it was a wonderfully hard secret to keep because (Irvin) Kershner, the director, brought me aside and said "Now I know this, and George knows this, and now you're going to know this, but if you tell anybody, and that means Carrie or Harrison, or anybody, we're going to know who it is because we know who knows."

But recently, a newspaper clipping surfaced, in which we read about Dave Prowse revealing this same surprise twist to about a thousand fans, two years before the release of The Empire Strikes Back.

A newspaper clipping in which Dave Prowse reveals the surprise to about a thousand fans

I have asked a question about this on another stack, where somebody suggested it might possibly be fake. So that's my question here: is it real?

  • Some stuff doesn't add up. Hamill claims to be the only cast member told - and was apparently told during filming... But Prowse knew before filming even started? Also in that clipping, Prowse talks about Star Wars II, III and IV.... Hmmmm. Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 10:08
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    +1 just for including the necessary(?) spoiler cover.
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 13:35
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    This question is answered in much greater detail in the SciFi version of the question: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/66661/…. Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 15:22
  • Note that this doesn't mean Prowse actually knew. It could be a fun speculation — and besides, it's not a massive leap to go from Obi-Wan's hesitant comments to this conclusion. Heck, for all we know, Lucas could have gotten the idea from this interview ;) Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


This is a real clipping from the San Francisco Examiner, July 24, 1978, page 4:

clipping at top left

(I don’t have a subscription for this, so I can’t get a better picture. Article located thanks to a reference to the title in How Star Wars Conquered the Universe.)

  • Have you been able to read the text of the article (or at least the last paragraph) and confirm that the text matches? It's not legible in this image. Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 18:05
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    @NateEldredge It’s not 100% legible in any image I have access to, but the following is clear enough to show that the text seems to be an exact match: img.newspapers.com/img/thumbnail/460822316/400.jpg
    – Laurel
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 18:36
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    (Edited the above into post)
    – Laurel
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 20:09

It probably isn't fake, because I was able to find a completely different independent article quoting David Prowse, from the same event, with 100% identical money quote: "son can't kill father, father can't kill son": https://i.sstatic.net/aGIBR.jpg

enter image description here

In addition, most forums/posts discussing the topics are full of comments from people stating they saw the original article.

While it's possible someone photoshopped this second image, the likelyhood is that the quote is accurate

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    I wish I could go with NO for this one. It just doesn't make any sense. Take it from youtu.be/rWRfQaNinF0?t=2m38s 1980s interview of David Prowse himself where he is telling everyone "It surprised me actually, cause I didn't know anything about it, until I was sat in the cinema last Saturday. And that was the first I knew of it"
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 18:26
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    @dmin doesnt have to contradict. He was likely randomly guessing In an earlier interview
    – user5341
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 18:32
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    Still it doesn't add up. You don't randomly guess it, and use same quote again and again (I assume articles are made at different times), you are either convinced that it is true, or you know it is not and use it to mislead people for whatever reason. Either way there is no way of finding this out, unless going to newspaper archives.
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 18:42
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    @DMINATOR - it's not such a completely implausible idea that it's impossible to guess. And the articles are different yet the quote seems from the same exact event.
    – user5341
    Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 3:23
  • What is the actual reference here? What magazine can I look this up in?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 11:26

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