What James Earl Jones Thought When He Found Out Darth Vader Was Luke's Father

Darth Vader in Empire

It's a big day for Star Wars fans. Tonight is the premiere evening for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, continuing the main narrative of the franchise established two years ago in The Force Awakens. And as fans gear up for another iconic adventure in the galaxy far, far away, there will also be a fair amount of reflection about the first two trilogies. Perhaps no moment from the franchise is as iconic as Darth Vader revealing his parentage of Luke in Empire Strikes Back, and now the great James Earl Jones has revealed what he originally thought of this plot twist, saying:

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?'

It looks like James Earl Jones originally thought that the Star Wars twists were going to just keep on coming. He didn't actually believe his character was Luke's father, instead thinking it was some sort of manipulation to bring the hero to the Dark Side. He may have been wrong, but it's fun to know that Mufasa was into fan theories before it was cool.

James Earl Jones' comments to THR indicate that the actor knew another shoe was going to drop in the Star Wars franchise. And he wasn't wrong, he just got the method for the mind blowing twist incorrectly. Instead of Darth Vader proving not to be Luke's father, he actually became the parent to another one of the franchise's heroes: Leia. The big twist of Return of the Jedi was Luke and Leia were actually siblings, and the Princess had her own sensitivity to The Force. The galaxy far, far away usually contains at least one big WTF moment per episode, making the plot as important as the epic lightsaber duels and space battles.

Darth Vader also got to shock audiences once again by ultimately having a redemptive arc in Return of the Jedi. He saved Luke at the last moment, and audiences were finally able to see the scarred face under his iconic mask.

It should be interesting to see if the current trilogy follows suit. The series has a new villain the form of Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, who seems like the prime candidate for a return to the Light Side. Kylo is the son of Han Solo and Leia, and originally trained his Jedi powers under his uncle Luke. The trailers for The Last Jedi seem to hint at a moment where he must decide whether or not to attack his mother, although trailers for the franchise are usually misleading.

Luckily, fans won't have to wait very much longer to find out what happens in the latest sequel. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters tonight, before an official premiere tomorrow. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.