|No, I am your father!|
Darth Vader's name was not a clue that he was Luke's father
George Lucas lies.
Or rather he spreads myth and legend about Star Wars.
For instance, he once said he has written 12 Star Wars movies.
But no, he didn't.
And what about the claim that Darth Vader was always Luke's father?
Lucas has said that the meaning of Darth Vader's name was 'Dark Father' by way of a loose Dutch translation.*
In the German language 'vater' means father, adding to the translation mix.
Both those language meanings are simply incidental.
Lucas has been quoted as saying:
"'Darth' is a variation of dark. And 'Vader' is a variation of father. So it's basically Dark Father.
All the names have history, but sometimes I make mistakes -- Luke was originally going to be called Luke Starkiller, but then I realized that wasn't appropriate for the character.
It was appropriate for Anakin, but not his son. I said, 'Wait, we can't weigh this down too much -- he's the one that redeems him.'"
Lucas seems to be suggesting with the name he was giving a big clue about the familial ties.
I said he lies but he's really spreading myth about the lore of Vader as he had no idea Vader was Luke's father until at the earliest point of the second draft of Empire's script.
When Lucas was drafting Star Wars he wrote lots of stories and then he wrote even more stories and permutations of those stories with characters, some green, some goblins but there was always two separate characters of Anakin Skywalker (or Starkiller if you want to be really clear on the point) and Darth Vader.
The first draft of Empire was written by Leigh Bracket based on direction given by Lucas.
It DID NOT have Vader being Luke's father as a plot point.
Read it for yourself.
See, there's no mention of the relationship at all.
It was not until Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan were well advanced on the script for The Empire Strikes Back that the characters of Anakin and Darth were merged to make them one character.
So the reality is there was no clever clue about Vader's origins or even a play on words to give Vader his so called Dutch translation.
Rather, Darth is probably just a cool name that Lucas made up or cribbed from somewhere - he did this with Jedi and Sith from Edgar Rice Burrough's works.
Based on the comments below (thanks for chipping in guys and gals!) is clear this article didn't do enough to resolve the question "what does Darth Vader mean?" for some readers.
I've tightened it up a bit and added more explanation.
It's our firm view that the reasoning in this article is sound.
Lucas did not intend for the name Darth Vader to mean "Dark Father" by way of a clever word translation - this based on the fact that at the time of writing the first Star Wars script he had no idea himself that Darth Vader was to become Luke's father.
We believe any other argument that cannot counter this is somewhat redundant in terms of it being a clue as to Vader's parenthood as being a dark father.
By all means, feel free to disagree but I urge you to think freely and rationally.
Name callers merely look stupid, you jerks.
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* Darth is not a Dutch word and while on paper Vader means father, it's said very differently.