A lot of buzz has surrounded a recent post at retroist.com concerning an alleged major spoiler leak made two years before The Empire Strikes Back was released. The article, which we’ve identified as having appeared in the July 24, 1978 issue of The San Francisco Examiner, relays comments made by Dave Prowse (Darth Vader) claiming that the sequel would reveal that Darth Vader is in fact Luke’s father. Actually, it turns out, this little rumor had been dropped several months earlier in a fanzine called Little Shoppe of Horrors #4 (April 1978), which featured an exclusive (and lengthy) Prowse interview (reprint copies can be found on eBay, which is where we picked up ours thanks to a tip from SW bibliographer Bob Miller).
Among the passages of the interview, which, according to the author, were collected between October and December, 1977 (including a public discussion at the Horror Elite Convention in October), were these sentences, which seem to mirror the comments made in the SF Examiner interview:
“In the next film, there is going to be a confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader and they then discover that Darth Vader never killed his father, that Darth Vader IS his father. So son can’t kill father, and father can’t kill son — so Darth Vader lives into the next sequel.”
So, it would appear the original Retroist post title – “Yes, They Did Have Star Wars Spoilers Back in 1978” was almost correct. Actually, they go as far back as October, 1977.