If there was one scene everyone knows, its probably this one, there are people that haven’t seen any Star Wars, and yet, still quote/reference this scene. Many kids today probably learn that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father before having watched the movie, or even find out who the president is.
When The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980 and Vader said the classic, often misremembered words, “I am your father,” audiences were left in complete shock. Keep in mind that fans had been told in the first movie that Luke’s dad was dead, by a man with a British accent, no less, so they had little reason to doubt that it wasn’t true.
As you all know, the guy in Vader’s suit and the guy who did the voice are two different people (James Earl Jones would dub over David Prowse’s lines later). It turns out that James Earl Jones was as shocked as everyone else that the Sith Lord was actually Luke Skywalker’s father.
Earl Jones recalled in an interview from the Star Wars Empire of Dreams documentary unearthed by The Hollywood Reporter: “When I first saw the dialogue that said, ‘Luke, I am your father,’ I said to myself, ‘He’s lying. I wonder how they are going to play that lie out?'”
The Empire Strikes Back is undoubtedly one of the best Star Wars movies ever made and this scene is also one of the best in the series: The suspense, the story, the duel, everything was perfectly set up for this scene to be the drop-the-mic moment of The Empire Strikes Back.
Though the prequels have certainlyshall we saylimited the impact of this scene to audiences today, it remains the top moment in all of science fiction film history and remains one of the most iconic scenes from science fiction.