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Was Hollywood's Biggest Twist Spoiled Two Years Before Its Premiere?

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It was the twist heard 'round the world -- and had Google, Twitter, AIM, and Facebook existed back then, the journey would've been quicker.

While discovering a rich guy owned a sled or some woman turned out to be a dude has their merits, it's hard to dismiss Darth Vader's big reveal in The Empire Strikes Back as one of the biggest shockers in cinematic history. Sure, you can point to "Vader" being close to the German translation for "Father" and, within the saga's narrative, it is pretty obvious.

But if you were seven years old when you saw it, you were mighty surprised, right?

Well, one seven-year-old wasn't. He apparently held the secret for two full years before Empire's May 1980 premiere.

A user on The Retroist by the name of "vinvectrex" tells a story of how his mother, in 1978, gave him this article in the San Francisco Examiner regarding his favorite movie, Star Wars. In it, British actor David Prowse -- who served as the menacing body to the villain while James Earl Jones provided the voice -- was on a promotional tour and meeting thousands of Star Wars fans in Berkeley, California. Eager to please the crowd, Prowse hyped the upcoming sequels -- then titled Star Wars II and III.

But amidst his cheerleading, Prowse let slip a mighty big spoiler in Empire. Buried at the end, the article reads:
And he offered a glimpse of a possible plot for the second sequel. Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, the young hero in the first film played by Mark Hamill, are hooked up in a do-or-die lightsaber duel when Luke learns that Darth is, in fact, his long-lost father.

"Father can't kill son, son can't fill father," Prowse said. "So they live again to star in Star Wars IV."
While the Star Wars IV comment could've been conjecture on Prowse's part, his knowledge of Vader's paternal relationship flies in the face of popular Hollywood lore. Legend has it that Prowse, while in the scene, said "Obi-Wan killed your father," and the only people who knew the actual line were George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Hamill, and James Earl Jones.

But the Retroist writer asserts he was a lone prophet within his scoffing group of schoolyard chums. And even now, people contend that the article is a fake.

And yet, if true, it's amazing how far we've come where a bombshell of a spoiler like that can sit buried and forgotten in a daily paper.
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