Today, we look at Star Wars and how it featured one of the most famous movie retcons of all-time.
In Abandoned an’ Forsaked, we examine stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent) with a retcon (retcon stands for “retroactive continuity,” but we’re specifically talking about retcons that contradict earlier stories).
Yesterday, I intended to do an Abandoned an’ Forsaked with the story of how Judi Dench’s M was retconned, but enough of you pointed out that it really fit more into my other retcon column, Gonna Change My Way of Thinking, for retcons that involved reboots (and other sorts of retcons that weren’t as blatantly “No, this didn’t happen”), so I edited that one to make it so. So here, as a replacement for that one, is a much more famous retcon, the retcon that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.
One of the most popular Movie Legends Revealed I’ve ever done is to debunk the idea that George Lucas always intended to reveal that Luke Skywalker was Darth Vader’s son. He did not.
One of the major changes Lucas made to the original script for what became The Empire Strikes Back is that he decided to reveal that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father…
Now, you could argue that this was more of an Abandoned Love, considering the way that the films have later used the whole “Obi-Wan said that Vader killed your father because Obi-Wan felt that becoming Darth Vader ‘killed’ the man that Anakin Skywalker was before,” but come on, that’s obviously nonsense. It’s an outright retcon, especially considering the fact that Vader doesn’t sense Luke on the Death Star in Star Wars (and yes, he also doesn’t sense Leia is his daughter, either, despite being right next to her, but that’s a later retcon).
I think, all things said and done, this is one of the better movie retcons, as it turned Anakin into a more interesting figure in the Star Wars mythology, but it’s still a major retcon, perhaps the most famous one in movie history.
If anyone else has a suggestion for Abandoned an’ Forsaked, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!