We all know that Darth Vader turned to the Dark Side, but it’s almost impossible to keep him in the dark about things – pun intended. Be that as it may, it took him a long time to figure out that not only was his child with Padme Amidala alive – but the kid was his number one enemy. So, when exactly does Darth Vader find out about Luke being his son?
In The Empire Strikes Back, Palpatine speaks to Darth Vader and reveals that a “disturbance in the Force” is actually the son of Anakin Skywalker. However, Vader knew that Luke was his son even before, as he found out in Darth Vader #6 comic, which is considered canon.
The plot of the comic is set between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Vader sent Boba Fett to capture the rogue pilot that destroyed the Death Star. While Fett couldn’t capture Luke, he got his name and revealed it to Vader. From that point, Darth Vader knew. How much did he know, though? Let’s find out.
Does Darth Vader Know Padme Had Twins?
Anakin Skywalker was gone, and Darth Vader was what was left. Despite all of his power and the strongest Force anyone’s ever had, he didn’t know that his wife, Padme Amidala, had twins. In fact, he didn’t even know that she had given birth to a child at all.
His Sith Master, Chancellor Palpatine, told Vader that Padme died during childbirth, together with her baby. That’s why Darth Vader didn’t know the truth about his children, let alone that they were twins.
The Jedi Order decided to separate the two and keep them safe from the clutches of the Empire. Leia was adopted by Queen Organa and became Princess Leia, whereas Luke was raised on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan Kenobi could keep an eye on him.
Only later does Darth Vader find out that Palpatine wasn’t telling the truth. The only thing that was left unexplained was – if Palpatine felt a disturbance in the Force and knew it was Skywalker’s son, how come he didn’t sense there was another child – Leia?
Well, the answer is simple. Leia’s Force was nowhere near as powerful as Luke’s, so her existence went undetected. It will take a while before Vader finds out that he has a daughter as well.
When Does Darth Vader Find Out About Luke?
In Star Wars: A New Hope, Darth Vader has no idea that he has any children at all. However, in The Empire Strikes Back, he clearly knows that Luke is his son, as he tells Luka in one of the most frequently-quoted movie lines of all time: “I am your father.” So when does Darth Vader find out about Luke?
Well, he actually found out somewhere in the three-year span between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, but I’ll get to that in a moment. What the fans of the movies saw was that Darth Vader had a call with the Emperor, where the big news was revealed.
Palpatine says there’s a great disturbance in the Force and says that the young rogue pilot that destroyed the Death Star is the son of Anakin Skywalker – hence, the son of Darth Vader.
Vader seems surprised, but after Palpatine tells him he only has to feel it in his heart to know it’s the truth, Darth Vader quickly reiterates that if Luke Skywalker could be turned to the Dark Side, he would be a great ally. With that move, he actually manipulated the Emperor out of killing Luke at the first chance they get.
Something felt off, and fans speculated that Vader probably already knew about Luke being his son. As it turns out, those fans were right.
How Does Darth Vader Find Out That Luke Is His Son?
Now, Palpatine told Vader that his son was alive and that he was the one who destroyed the Death Star. But Darth Vader actually knew that already; as we learn in Darth Vader #6 comic book, that is considered canon.
After the unknown pilot destroyed the Death Star in A New Hope, Darth Vader focused all his resources on finding the pilot and bringing him to justice, and by justice, I mean death. Among others, Vader hired the bounty hunter Boba Fett to find Skywalker and capture him.
Fett failed at catching Luke, who somehow escaped, but he brought something valuable back to Vader. He brought Vader the pilot’s name – Skywalker.
At that moment, Darth Vader knew that Luke – the pilot who destroyed the Death Star – was his son. And only moments after that revelation we see Darth Vader reminiscing about the time when Palpatine told him that Padme Amidala and her child both died during childbirth. He clutches his fist in anger, knowing that it was all a lie.
Now, it was probably very hard to keep that a secret from the Emperor, but Vader didn’t have to keep it a secret for long, as Palpatine found out about Luke himself, leading to the conversation between him and Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. As for the other child, Leia Organa, things were never that simple – Vader found out even later than he found out about Luke.
Did Darth Vader Know Leia Was His Daughter?
Even after he found out about Luke being his son, Darth Vader still didn’t know about Leia Organa being his daughter. He never knew that Padme had twins, let alone that they both survived and that they were separated after birth. So, did Darth Vader ever find out that Leia was his daughter?
The answer is yes – he found out during a duel with Luke in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, where he reads Luke’s mind and learns that he was there to protect his twin sister. The two never met after Vader realized Leia was his daughter, but his final words to Luke after he redeemed himself was to tell his sister that she was right – there was still good left in Vader – now Anakin again.