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And still more SW - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
And still more SW
(Sorry, HP friends... SW is my "home" fandom.)

So, I'm watching the audio commentary on RotJ, and Lucas says that child psychologists all agreed that kids' first reaction to Vader's ESB revelation would be to deny it, which is why he put confirmation of it in RotJ.

So I'm wondering--was I the only kid who didn't even question it? I mean, I didn't think about it extensively between ESB and RotJ, but I remember on the car ride to see RotJ, I mentioned casually that I wondered what would happen about Darth Vader being Luke's father, and my mom said, "If he is..." and that was the first time it occurred to me to think it was even possible that he was lying. Even then, Yoda's confirmation wasn't exactly shocking and surprising. Maybe it's not having a father around that makes all kinds of paternal revelations seem plausible. Who knows? I was just wondering--those of you who are original-release age... am I the only one who just accepted Vader's statement at face value?

I feel a bit...: curious curious
Soundtrack: Angel on TNT

31 comments or Leave a comment
chickadilly From: chickadilly Date: September 24th, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't question it either. I wasn't surprised at ALL when Yoda confirmed it ... in fact I remember seeing it with my friends (ESB that is) and we all came out saying "OMG, Vader is Luke's father!" None of us questioned it.
chickadilly From: chickadilly Date: September 24th, 2004 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually I should probably clarify ... I didn't question it later but after watching it a few times some friends and I did wonder if it was true. But I think we all felt that it was true. I mean the doubts we seemed to have had were very slight.

I do remember right before ROTJ came out that one friend and I had a discussion that maybe it wasn't true but that Vader wasn't lying because it might have been that when Vader told Luke that he really did believe he was Luke's father.

But even that was just something we speculated on but didn't really believe.
azaelia_culnamo From: azaelia_culnamo Date: September 24th, 2004 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is really OT, but I keep wondering where you get your name from.

I'd comment on your journal itself, but the only thing I know about SW is that Darth Vader and Anakin are the same person, and that Yoda is kinda the Dumbledore of SW.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 24th, 2004 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is really OT, but I keep wondering where you get your name from.
I have my name because I couldn't figure out how to turn off instant messaging on AOL. I was trying to write and work on a message board, and people kept interrupting me, so I decided to create a new screen name. At the time, I was doing Tolkien fanfic (the story which would later become "The Jewel of Brandy Hall"), and Frodo's daughter's mother was Fern Withypoll. Since I was writing the scene where he was talking at her grave, I just snagged it. FernWithypoll was too long, so I used FernWithy. And Fern Withypoll became Lily Withypoll when I finished the story, because it was too Sue-ish to have the same name, and Lord knew, she was enough of a Sue already, even though the same name was coincidence. (Withypoll means "strawhead," and in the story, her family had maintained the High Hay for generations.) Anyway, I was always signing in under the FernWithy name to avoid IMs--I still hate them--and I ended up joining a mailing list under the name and writing SW fanfic under it as well as Tolkien fanfic, and since by the time I got around to HP, I'd developed a little reputation as Fern, I just kept it.
azaelia_culnamo From: azaelia_culnamo Date: September 24th, 2004 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow. Neat! I didn't know you hated IMs - er, I added you to my BL a while ago, seeing you had AOL (I have AOL instant message), so its a good thing I never IMed you. ;) I'll take you off, lol.

melyanna From: melyanna Date: September 24th, 2004 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
And yet I still think of you as JediGaladriel. I have to force myself to call you Fern instead of JG. ;)
lessthanpie From: lessthanpie Date: September 24th, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't even question it, either. I was six when I saw ESB, and I took it completely at face value. I don't think kids that age really question things like that: it just IS. (Of course, I was in the No Father club, too, so maybe, as you said, that just makes any sort of paternal revelation possible.)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: September 24th, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't say because I watched the PTs before the OT. But I don't think I would have questioned it. I remember idly watching TPM with some of my friends ans someone mentioning that the little boy was James Earl Jones's character in 'those kiddie Star Wars films' and that he was Luke Skywalker's - the hero's - father. That was the moment I fell in love with Star Wars.

Glad to know that SW is your 'home' fandom! :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 24th, 2004 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad to know that SW is your 'home' fandom! :D

Oh, always. I always come back to SW in the end.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: September 24th, 2004 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
So when can we expect the next SW ficlet? ::bats eyes furiously::
equustel From: equustel Date: September 24th, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love your icon.

chibisophia From: chibisophia Date: September 24th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I might not be available to comment on this since I'm a VHS kiddo, but when I first saw the movies I didn't know Vader was Luke's dad, and I never doubted him. *shrugs* It never occured to me that Vader would lie about it; not quite sure why.
akilika From: akilika Date: September 24th, 2004 03:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I knew that Vader was Luke's father before I saw the movies . . . it never occured to me to doubt it because it was a Truth. Everybody knew it. As far as I know, anyhow.
jiminyc From: jiminyc Date: September 24th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I definitely never questioned it. It never occurred to me that it could be otherwise. Even if I had thought Vader was lying, I would have believed it when ESB ended with it still out there. It just seems like so much manipulation to leave a revelation like that hanging until the next movie.

Interesting....I just polled the family on this and we're split down the middle. Jenny & I both accepted Vader's statement without question but Jack & Dan both doubted until they got confirmation in ROTJ. Is that just because we're trusting females? Curious...
ivylore From: ivylore Date: September 24th, 2004 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think if my older cousins hadn't 'spoiled' me before I went to see it, I might have had the "oh, that can't be true" reaction during the film. I actually remember watching and waiting for that scene just to see if they'd told me the truth or not. Hmmm. I think I was actually excited that Vader was his father. I loved the shock of it.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: September 24th, 2004 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was 10 when I saw TESB for the first time, so that put me in the "kid" category. My initial reaction was, "He's lying." At first I thought Vader knew Luke wanted a father real bad and played into that desire to trick him into the Dark Side. But later on, Luke and Vader have that telepathic conversation, with Luke calling him "Father" and Vader sounding gentle, almost wistful. By then I knew Vader had been telling Luke the truth and Luke knew it.

After the movie the first thing I said to my brother, "This is just like a soap opera!"
liwy From: liwy Date: September 24th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I questioned it, no.
hughroe From: hughroe Date: September 24th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
There was no doubt, especially considering Luke's reaction.
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: September 24th, 2004 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I wasn't a kid for the original release, but I was five or six when I originally watched the trilogy, and I can honestly say that I never thought Vader was lying. In fact, it never even occured to me until recently that anyone thought he was lying.

I mean, what would have been the point in having him lie? It was one of the most crucial scenes in ESB, and it would be quite a let down on Lucas' part for RotJ to reveal that Vader was lying.

sonetka From: sonetka Date: September 24th, 2004 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm...wasn't old enough to watch TESB in the theaters, but when I saw it on video I took Darth at his word without even wondering for a second. It just seemed like such a random thing to lie about - also risky. If he had not really been Luke's father, there was always the chance that the rejoinder to his revelation would be "Interesting, because I last saw my father three weeks ago and he didn't look like you." Granted, if he really had killed Luke's father, he'd know that that wouldn't be the case...but would he really remember that the guy he'd killed twenty years ago had had an infant son, and decide that the best way to mess with the son's mind was to lie about his paternity as opposed to, say, just torturing him or something?

OTOH it also seemed plausible to me that Luke's first reaction was "That's impossible!" The same way we feel when we get a piece of really bad news; you say "It can't be" not because you don't believe it's true, but because you don't want it to be.

Also, for what it's worth, my father was always around and has been a very stable (sometimes suffocatingly so) presence, so I'd guess that this particular reaction probably transcended the present/absent father question. Actually, the perspective I'd really wonder about would be that of people in Luke's situation, who were brought up to believe that someone (present or absent, fictional or nonfictional) was their "real" (read biological) father, and then found out at a comparatively late age that it was someone else. Someone who had been adopted and wasn't informed of the fact until they were in their teens, for example. Fortunately that seems to be a pretty rare phenomenon, but I'd imagine they would have some pretty insights on whether *they* believed in Vader's revelation or not (and of course, on how Luke reacted later).
rikibeth From: rikibeth Date: September 24th, 2004 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely didn't believe it until RotJ. I thought Vader was just trying to psych Luke out.

But friends a couple years older believed it implicitly.
silverhill From: silverhill Date: September 24th, 2004 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't remember. I wish I had some concept of when I first watched Star Wars -- or when I found out that Vader was Luke's father (what a shocker that must've been!). But I don't remember because I always knew Star Wars. I always knew who Luke and Leia and R2-D2 were. I always knew that Vader was Luke's father (which is why I didn't question it). I was born in the same year ANH came out, and I've been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember.
malabud From: malabud Date: September 24th, 2004 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was five. I completely believed it. I didn't know if it was true and I didn't know the whole back story, having not yet seen ANH, but it never occurred to me that Vader could be lying. Maybe it was because I was so young. To my five-year-old mind, it made perfect sense. (Maybe that's why TESB is my favorite of the original trilogy, because I saw them out of order. I didn't get to see ANH until years later, long after I'd seen RotJ. TESB was my first exposure to Star Wars, so I am naturally inclined to view it with greater nostalgia than the others.)
selenak From: selenak Date: September 25th, 2004 12:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I was 12... I think (to use an Anakin-ism), and I believed it completely. It made so much sense to me, and it never occured to me that it could be a lie, so no, Yoda confirming it didn't come as a surprise.
leelastarsky From: leelastarsky Date: September 25th, 2004 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I was 17 when ESB came out, and just moving heavily into my LOTR and Arthurian phase. The mythology aspect of Vader being Luke's father resonated perfectly IMO, and I had no doubts at all that it was true.

The new discs have only just been released here (Australia) so I haven't had a chance to watch them yet. (picked mine up yesterday)
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: September 25th, 2004 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was 17 when the first one came out--a young married when the next two arrived. I absolutely believed Vader was lying because I believed Obi Wan wouldn't lie. And I thought that if Luke really was his son, he would have recognized more than, "The force is strong in this one."
So I was blown away when I found out. And furious. You see, I hadn't gone to the theatre yet and my nephew came over after seeing it opening night and spilled out," Darth Vader is Luke's father, Leah is his twin sister, and Vader turns good!" before I had a chance to find out for myself. I was ready to kill him. I tried to talk his older brother into dumping a pitcher of ice water over the top of the curtain the next time his big-mouthed brother took a shower in retaliation, but he just laughed.
shallanelprin From: shallanelprin Date: September 26th, 2004 01:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't see the films until I was 15. I had no trouble believing it. It just made sense that Vader was Luke's father. I could never really explain why, but it did.

And SW is my home fandom too :)
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: September 26th, 2004 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I really have to struggle to remember this one. Part of me thinks I've always known (hazard of being born in the early '80s), so there was never a moment of denial or acceptance. Then, there's some part of my mind that drags up what might be a memory - of watching Yoda's death scene when I was very young, and waiting with bated breath for his answer when Luke asked if Vader was his father. So I think I may have wondered at one point if he was lying, but I don't think I was ever adamant about it.
angua9 From: angua9 Date: September 26th, 2004 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I totally thought Vader was lying at first. I was appalled at the very idea of that horrible villain claiming to be Luke's father. Obi-wan had said he *killed* Luke's father. But, as time passed until the next movie, it came to seem more and more likely that he had been telling the truth.

I regard the whole thing as another blow to my innocent childhood, right up there with Santa Claus not being real.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 26th, 2004 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oddly, it made me happy--no matter how bad your dad seemed to be, he'd still come through in the end, because there was still the good person in there, and he could be reached.
mona1347 From: mona1347 Date: September 29th, 2004 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm a little young for original release age but I saw them when they came out on TV in the early 80s and was two young to have understood any spoilers before that.

I didn't doubt it for a minute either. But I also didn't have a father around from the age of four. *shrug* Interesting question!
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