1980 theater audience reaction to "I am your father" Vader/Luke TESB scene


Master Member
I am fortunate to be of the age that I have experienced all of the live action SW films and spin-offs during their first theatrical run. I remember seeing TESB for the first time, but honestly do NOT remember the audience reaction. It was a full theater from what I can recall, and I guess as a child that I felt... confused?? by what Vader was admitting to Luke. Hamill says that the SCRIPTED line that Prowse gave on set was was: "No, Obi-Wan killed your father."

If I am following the discussion on this YouTube clip correctly: the audio here is legit from a 1980, TESB audience viewing of that infamous scene. The video was recorded separately on an ancient VHS recorder, possibly from a theater as well. The YouTube member has synced them together so we get the full effect.



Master Member
Surprised no one has commented on this.
And, am I hearing it right, Vader says, "No Luke, I am your father."
Being born in 1981, can't say I remember it that way or not from the theater.
I know plenty people misquote Vader, maybe this is why. I had always heard because a radio show telling the story had him say, Luke, I am your father.


Well-Known Member
When I was a kid (pre-teen to teenager), I saw all the OT movies countless times in different theaters (big cities to small suburbs, and also drive-ins). I even recorded the movies onto cassette tape so that I could listen to them at home. I can unequivocally state that the OT movies had changes in dialogue between theaters even within the same summer release. In some venues, "No Luke, I am your father" is the dialogue that was played.


Legendary Member
I was there opening day, as usual, and “I am your Father” was what I heard. Some in the Audience gasped and some cheered.

Back then there were HUGE speculations that Darth was indeed Luke’s Father from anonymous leaks about it

Psab keel

Legendary Member
To me it sounds like the audience reaction bleeds into the movie dialog so it may be where the confusion comes from? Idk.


Master Member
A bit off topic but I thought I’d share this. I was 13 when ESB came out. I was a huge Star Wars nerd. I wanted to be at the theater opening day but due the the enormous lines it just wasn’t possible. A full week after the movie was released and I’d still not seen it.
I grew up in Orlando, FL. Very close to Disney there was (then) a shopping center by the name of Lake Buena Vista. The local newspaper had a full page spread announcing that Darth Vader would be making an appearance there this coming Saturday. (Yes, I went. It was most likely a tour suit as it was very authentic). The point of my story. The huge, bold headline in the paper announcing Vader’s appearance? “Come see Luke Skywalker’s dad!”
The movie was not even out two weeks.
I was pissed.


Master Member
Yeah, I was 15 when it came out. I also got spoiled before I got into the theater. However, I was one of those who believed he was lying...all the way up to 1983.


Sr Member
This is definitely edited. Not sure if the audience sounds are genuine 1980 sounds but as said above for some reason he says "no, Luke, I am your father". You can clearly hear the short part of the score under the word Luke that matches when he says "Luke you do not yet realize your importance".

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