Claimed footage of cinemagoers' reaction to Darth Vader's "I am your father" line has another surprise

Originally published at: Claimed footage of cinemagoers' reaction to Darth Vader's "I am your father" line has another surprise | Boing Boing


How long did it take you to make it, Rob?


I’d buy it being real. Distribution on theatrical prints in the past could be pretty messy. It wasn’t uncommon for alternate shots, or slightly different versions to be sent out to theaters. Especially earlier on, and then once tertiary distribution hit. Worn prints could be patched with like promotional footage or see other alterations.

If you poke around there are lists off rare/non standard prints and showings of Star Wars. Both because it’s pedestal style release saw unfinished prints in early theaters. And because it stayed in rotation for a LONG time.

My bigger question would be where did the footage come from.

Video cameras weren’t exactly common at the time.

Usually needed to be plugged into the wall and wired to a separate VCR.

Not exactly discrete.


The Darth Boogie is hot on the dance floors, at our house anyways.



I would have used the isolated vocal tracks and original musical score allow the longer line to read more naturally and appear to have a slightly different rhythm to the “real” one. This can’t be done without interrupting the rhythm of the music, hence the need to have isolated vocals and the score so it can all be remixed from scratch.

This doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be revealed as a hoax, I just means I wouldn’t have been caught by me.

PS would also have shot my hoax on an 8mm camera. Video was rare in '80. And big.


Exactly what someone trying to divert suspicion would say. I bet that in your head as you made it you imagined the “Luke” eminating, in stereo, six inches above Vader’s mouth; an interjection from his always grinning eyes


This seems as good a place as any to bring up my experience with Galaxy Quest, and the weird denialism around Sigourney’s F-bomb, which I distinctly heard at two different screenings, at two different theaters in Alabama, in 1999. It has since been claimed that there was never a theatrical release that contained the audio, and that what made it into theaters is what we see in the home video releases: Sigourney clearly mouthing the words “fuck that!” but ADR’ed audio saying “screw that!”

Why am I so adamant that the conventional wisdom is a lie, and that I’m not just misremembering? Because the joke was one of the best ones in the movie - the vehemence and incongruity of the unexpected F-bomb in a PG-13 movie brought the house down in the first screening - and in the second, I attended with someone who hadn’t seen it, and was eagerly awaiting their reaction to that moment, which was as I expected. My memories are not just of the line, but of all of the context surrounding it, and especially my disappointment when I bought the DVD as soon as it was released, only to find that it had been changed. So why is there no acknowledgement that the line was changed for home media, and wasn’t that way all along? Does anyone else remember this?


The answer is in the description of this YouTube video. The author credits the audio (of the audience reaction) to another video from 2018 (which shows a recording of the audience reaction to the finger snap in Avengers: Infinity War). So, yes, this particular I-am-your-father reaction video is fake. Mystery solved.


Coulda been worse.

“No, Luke, I am your daughter.”

ETA. coulda been even better? we’ll never know.


The Beschizza Cut

Disney, normalizing Fascism since… well, whenever.


Wait, so even that list of sites debunking what Vader actually says… don’t agree. At least one says the correct quote is “No, Luke, I am your father” - and, LOL, it’s the “mandela effect fandom” website. Way to artificially keep the controversy alive there, guys.

The “correct” video has Vader linger on the “no” long enough that it was both easy to insert an obviously out-of-place “Luke” there, but also might explain why people are misremembering it. Supposedly in the novelization, Vader says, “No, Luke…” which, combined with that extended “no” leaves just enough room for people to fit in what they expected to hear. (Listening to clips of the scene on Youtube, some muddy audio had me half-imagining I could hear him murmur “Luke” in there.)

Also, of course, when quoting the movie in some other context, “No, Luke” helps makes it clear what movie is actually being quoted (even, ironically, though it isn’t in the movie itself).

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So I remember going to ESB in the theaters. My dad took me… I am not sure if anyone else with with me. I remember my dad telling me not to talk or they will make me leave the theater. I would have been like 4 and half.

I remember Luke taking out the AT-AT and people cheering and I was like, “Ommm, they are going to get in trouble!”

I remember Yoda and being a little confused as to what he was (I might have also fallen asleep during the training? Not sure.)

I remember Han going into the Carbonite and C-3PO getting blasted and being worried.

I remember Vader and Luke fighting, but I honestly don’t remember the revelation. I was probably too young for it to be much of a impact on me. I’m here for the lazers and light sabres!

And a lot of my re-enforcement of the plot of the movie, was looking through the picture story books they put out of the movies. So I could remember the characters and general story. But I think they left that part out - or if they did, it was printed and I couldn’t read yet.


As someone who saw the original Star Wars about 13 times in the first couple weeks it was out AND brought a Super-8 camera in to record stuff (I made a blimp for it to muffle the sound), I recall quite clearly that I noticed that the sound(s) would change over time, like they would get a new print and Lucas was still fussing with the sound even though it was released.

I don’t know what the current version of this line is, but based on my anecdotal experiences I would not doubt that there were SEVERAL slight variations on this in the theater over time.


Interesting - do you still have the footage? That is some grade A fandom there.

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One of the major things with the varying early prints were tweaks to sound. Some prints with incomplete effects shots and blank patches in the sound track were distributed early.

And there were a number of tweaks to the final release cut between the premiere, the earliest small theater run, and the full roll out. Most them were audio.

Then later worn prints were patched with footage copied from super 8mm highlight reels sold for home release, and 16mm prints that used a different sound track. There were two different “official” mixes for different sound technologies. And as prints wore out, were repaired or reproduced. Different combinations cropped up down stream.

It’s part and parcel of the difficulty in puting out a definitive or fan transfered non-specialized cut. Without official, final work cuts of the “main” version of the film. The extent projection prints are in bad shape, and they vary enough that none of them match the last non-special edition release.

So the various de-specialized versions assemble footage from available prints, the special editions and the laser disc transfer.


supposedly this is a thing new writers do - constantly have characters say each other’s names. almost no one talks that way in real life though. so… maybe it was lucas? :wink:

i have this distinct memory about seeing an early trailer on tv ( we just called them ads back then ) for revenge of the jedi. and then every time after it was “return”

im assuming though it is one of those false memory things, or a dream about the movie or something


No, you remember correctly:


I thought it was silly when there was a Bing Bang episode where the guys were excited to see Raiders with 15 seconds of additional footage.

Reading this topic suggests it wasn’t so silly after all.

I’ve seen the original 3 Star Wars movies countless times including several times when they were first run when I was a teenager.

I wouldn’t notice a dialogue change if there were subtitles and Cliffs Notes.


I was 7 when I saw Star Wars w/ my family, in a very early release on the largest “prestige” screen in Orange County, CA. I distinctly remember a short scene with Biggs on Tatooine. Luke looking up with his fancy binocs seeing the ship battle (as specks of light). Then Biggs saying goodbye. My sister remembers this scene also. Sometime later, I saw a kids storybook version of Star Wars, with stills from the movie. There was a still of the scene I remembered, and I remember feeling my memory was vindicated. Now, the histories say that these scenes were never completed…but they were in the print I saw.


It was a multiverse version.