10 / VADER’S BIG REVELATION
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980)
The impact of this twist cannot be understated. No-one saw it coming. Not even George Lucas, initially, who didn’t have the family connection in the first draft of the script. Often misquoted (it’s actually, “No. I am your father”), it was the moment Star Wars graduated from fun space fantasy to complex saga of Shakespearian levels (well, something vaguely similar happens in
Cymbeline). In fact, it dictated the path the subsequent films took (for good or ill), meaning that Return Of The
Jedi had to have a similar familial twist (now, separated twins are very Shakespearian), that three prequel films dealt with Anakin’s fall, and that The Force Awakens’ antagonist was related to the good guys. Just imagine if Lucas had stuck with his original idea — that Anakin’s ghost would appear to Luke on Dagobah. The Star Wars franchise would be completely different. And, let’s be honest, nowhere near as world-conquering.