The original Star Wars trilogy has a particular place in the hearts of fans who know the three films inside and out and will never tire of them. For those who rewatch them frequently, it’s difficult to recall a time when the film astonished them, but those moments did happen, and the original trilogy surely startled viewers a number of times during each picture.
Between introducing ideas like The Force, narrative twists, character development, and special edition alterations, the three films have several unexpected elements that, for better or ill, surprised audiences upon first watching.
The Ewoks – Return Of The Jedi (1983)
It was no surprise that a cute extraterrestrial species appeared in the original trilogy. The role they play in Return Of The Jedi surprised and continues to surprise fans.
The Ewoks are one of the most popular creatures in Star Wars, but the fact that they help take on armies of stormtroopers without losing a single member of their village, and play such an important role in the Battle of Endor, is very astonishing.
Leia & Luke Are Siblings – Return Of The Jedi (1983)
The connection between Luke and Leia gradually evolves across the trilogy films until, ultimately, in Return Of The Jedi, it is revealed that the two are truly siblings, something no one could have predicted.
Even if the two had just been friends throughout their escapades, this would have come as a surprise. But it’s the fact that they have a pretty big kiss in The Empire Strikes Back, and Luke has a definite affection for Leia throughout A New Hope that really pushes it to be one of Star Wars’ strangest disclosures.
Darth Vader’s Has A Bit Of Humanity – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Darth Vader’s redemption is the finest the brand has created to this day, and certainly for the rest of its life, shocking, exciting, and eliciting passion from fans every step of the way.
Fans were blown away by the modest glimpses of Vader’s humanity that led up to his fist-pump moment of redemption. From Vader’s discarded helmet and his “It is too late for me, son,” through his ultimate unmasking to Luke, all were key moments that left viewers both astonished and intrigued.
Vader’s Mentor – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
There is a lot of mystery around Vader in A New Hope. When they first see the film, no one understands his function in the Empire or even his species; all they know is that he is one of the deadliest monsters to grace their screens.
As startlingly revealed in The Empire Strikes Back, Vader has his own Master, the Emperor, who is not addressed in the first film of the trilogy. Having him only appear as a hologram was a brilliant idea, building excitement for his actual appearance in Return Of The Jedi.
“No, I Am Your Father.” – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
When fans think of twists, shocks, surprises, and unexpected features in Star Wars, the first thing that comes to mind is Darth Vader reveals to Luke Skywalker that he is the young hero’s father.
It is widely considered as one of the finest surprises in film history, and no one expected it back in 1977 or 1980, nor do young fans expect to hear it when they first see Star Wars. The scene is superbly produced, full of suspense and emotion, and will live on in the minds and hearts of fans for centuries.