Here Is How Darth Vader Knew Luke Was His Son

vader and emperor

Arguably the biggest revelation in the history of Star Wars is that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father all along and that Anakin Skywalker never died. In that regard, the entire storyline following that revelation revolved around the dynamic between a fallen father and his son, who wanted to redeem a father that he believed still had some good left in him. Of course, it was never revealed during the first movie that there was a familiar tie between the two characters. So, how did Darth Vader know that Luke was his son?

Darth Vader found out that Luke was his son through Boba Fett, who revealed to him that the name of the Rebel that destroyed the Death Star was Luke Skywalker. That was when Darth Vader put the pieces together and discovered that this boy, unusually strong in the Force, was actually his son.

Before the Disney acquisition of Star Wars, Vader only found out about Luke after Palpatine told him that he was the son of Anakin Skywalker. But the post-Disney acquisition era changed all of that, especially in the comics, where Vader discovered before Palpatine ever did that Luke was actually his son. So, with that said, let’s look at how Darth Vader knew that Luke was his son.

Vader found out before Palpatine

One of the things that we know about the storyline of Star Wars is that the original trilogy was a story that George Lucas kind of figured out as he went along because he didn’t have a long-term plan.

So, when he decided to make a sequel to the massive success of the first Star Wars movie, he came up with the idea that Luke Skywalker was Darth Vader’s son all along. This was seen in the scene between Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, wherein the latter told his apprentice during the earlier part of ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strike Back’ that Luke was Anakin’s son.

However, the post-Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm changed all that. We know that Luke became famous after he joined the Rebels and decided to help them destroy the Death Star.

In fact, he was the one that destroyed the Death Star after tapping into the Force to know when it was the right time for him to fire his torpedoes into the shaft of the Death Star. And that event made him a target for the Empire, especially for Darth Vader, who sensed that this mysterious pilot was unusually strong in the Force.


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After Disney acquired Lucasfilm, a comic book series entitled ‘Darth Vader’ was released. The first six-part comic book series took place between the events of ‘A New Hope’ and ‘Empire Strikes Back,’ as we all know that there were three years between the events of these movies.

During those three years, Vader used his resources to understand his enemy, especially because the one that destroyed the Death Star was strong in the Force.

There was a scene wherein he called Boba Fett, a known bounty hunter for hire. Fett revealed that the name of the Rebel that destroyed the Death Star was Luke Skywalker. That was when Vader put the pieces together and concluded that his child with Padmé Amidala survived and was the one that blew up the Death Star. 

darth vader learns luke is his son 1

In the final part of that comic, Vader is seen saying, “He will be mine. It will all be mine.” This suggests that he was plotting behind his master to try to recruit Luke into the dark side so he would have someone to help him take down the emperor.

As such, Vader never considered being a father when he learned that Luke was alive. Instead, he only thought about using Luke to gain complete control over the entire galaxy by overthrowing Palpatine.

Did Palpatine always know about Luke?

Of course, one of the things that we found out during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’ was that the trio of Bail Organa, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Yoda tried their best to hide Anakin’s children from the Empire.

In fact, Bail tried to make it seem like Padmé was still pregnant upon her death to fool Emperor Palpatine into thinking that her child/children died with her. This suggests that Palpatine was always in the dark regarding Luke and even Leia.

On the 40th anniversary of ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ a book entitled ‘From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back’ was released to detail the movie’s events from the perspective of different characters.

One such character was Palpatine, who we know was the one that told Vader in ‘Empire Strikes Back’ that the Rebel that destroyed the Death Star was Anakin’s son. And the reason why Palpatine knew about Luke was the fact that he saw it in Vader’s dreams.

Because Palpatine didn’t do a lot during the reign of the Empire and was seemingly contented with allowing his officers to govern the galaxy for him, he had a lot of time to use his Force powers to see into the Force.

That was when he saw a vision of one of Vader’s dreams, including an older version of the unburnt Anakin with Padmé and Luke. That was when Palpatine was able to piece together the puzzle and found out that Luke was the son of Anakin Skywalker.


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We all know that three years went by since the events of ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and that Vader found out about Luke somewhere between those movies’ events. That means that he spent a long time keeping the knowledge of Luke to himself without even telling his master that he already knew about Luke.

So, when the emperor told him about the Rebel hero that destroyed the Death Star, he wasn’t totally surprised because he already knew about it and had been keeping it.

On the other hand, Palpatine already knew about his apprentice’s plans to overthrow him because he saw it in Vader’s visions.

Vader was so excited about finally killing his master that he allowed his emotions to betray him, as Palpatine saw in one of his visions. This meant that Palpatine had already deemed Vader expendable when he learned about Luke.

vader and luke

In fact, in the re-release of ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ the dialogue in that scene was altered. Palpatine now says, “I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker,” instead of saying, “Luke Skywalker.”

That means that he had just learned the truth himself and was goading Vader into looking at Luke as the son of the person he had discarded long ago. As such, Palpatine was still trying to manipulate Vader after all those years.

Did Darth Vader know he had twins?

While Darth Vader was far too focused on Luke and trying to pull him over to the dark side so they could rule the galaxy together, he never knew that he had another child the entire time. That means that he didn’t even know that he had twins or that Leia was his daughter, even though they had encountered one another in the past.

The only time that Vader finds out about the fact that he had a daughter is when he looks into Luke’s feelings during their final confrontation. But because he immediately angered Luke after finding out about his daughter, he was never able to determine the identity of this sister. That means that there is no clear evidence to suggest that Darth Vader knew that Luke’s sister was actually Leia t the entire time.

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