The key Star Wars saga film Plot Twists

Apr 1, 2021

"No, I'm your father!"

That line revealed perhaps the greatest plot twist in all of movie history, Luke's father was the man who just tried to kill him.

As far as this author is concerned, only the final reveal of the Statue of Liberty in the original Planet of the Apes rivals it. 

Except perhaps the ghost reveal in The Sixth Sense. 

But despite the classic Vade reveal, the 9 Star Wars saga films have plenty of other plot twists and turns to keep the viewer entranced. 

And maybe The Mandalorian has a couple too...

So what are these plot twists?

The first was spoiled for me going into The Phantom Menace - by a newspaper review because back then, we were on '14.4kps dial up' and 'no spoilers' wasn't really a thing (but let's not forget the fiasco over the naming of a certain title of the film's soundtrack that came out before the movie...)

keira knightly as amidala decoy

The Padme / Sambe double play decoy

So Padme, was not always who she seemed to be in The Phantom Menace

The handmaiden running around with Qui-Gon and a young Anakin on the hot sands of Tattoine was actually the queen herself!

Who knew? 

Well, I did but it was pretty obvious for the viewer, not so much the characters.... though to be fair Sambe's lines as queen were dubbed by Natalie Portman to add to the ruse for the viewer who had not twigged. 

Incidentally, Sambe was played by a young actress who would go onto make a name for herself as... Keira Knightley in a little film called Bend it Like Beckham

Bonus Cameo, Sophia Coppola was another handmaiden to Padme - Coppola's father Francis, had a bit to do with the development and influence on original Star Wars.

force tree fire last jedi

A very small little twist occurred in The Last Jedi:

Page-turners they were not. Yes, yes, yes. Wisdom they held, but that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess

Yoda had set Luke up with a wee joke that played on words. The twist is that this moment played out to large effect in The Rise of Skywalker  - the books gave Rey the answers she needed. 

We first meet Yoda again in The Last Jedi,  he watches Luke walk up the Island steps with the intention of burning the Force tree and the Jedi 'bibles', the sacred texts.

Luke changes his mind and decides to rescue them from the fire so Yoda (as a Force ghost!) zaps some lightning down and does the job himself of destroying the books..

Yoda then intoned gravely:

“Wisdom they held, but that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess.”

It was a line designed to say to Luke, at face value, that the books no longer mattered with the implication being that the time of Jedi was over.

Luke had to accept that rationale from his former teacher. Well, he had no choice as the tree had exploded...

But cut to the last scene on the Millennium Falcon after our heroes are rescued by Chewbacca and Rey. As Finn opens the drawer to get a blanket for Rose, what was in there?

Yes, the Jedi books.

Rey had ALREADY stolen them from Luke before he wanted to burn the tree down and she later used them to understand what Kylo Ren had discovered, the Sith Wayfinder. 

The Last Jedi also had a pretty big plot twist. 

Luke was never on Crait

When Luke Skywalker appears on planet Crait, many viewers were surprised as he had apparently decided to stay on Achto Island and he had no way off the planet as his ride with Chewie and Rey in the Millennium Falcon had already left and his X-Wing was under several feet of saltwater and had been for years so could not fly as it was rusted out (or so we thought until The Rise of Skywalker).

So many viewers would have asked how was he there?

Either way, that was Luke on Crait, giving Kylo Ren a lesson in sword play. 

There was no way this was the real Luke but for those that didn't get the ruse straight away, director and scriptwriter Rian Johnson added several other clues to help the viewer work this out before the big reveal by Luke that he was projecting himself from Achto Island. 

If you didn't pick it, here are the clues that writer and director Rian Johnson left for you...

younglings massacre twist

The Younglings Massacre

Is this a twist or a gruesome set up by the brutal George Lucas?

The killing of the Younglings in Revenge of the Sith by Anakin was a pretty obvious severe call back to the prior film, the Attack of the Clones but the twist is you never saw it coming. 

While the murder is off-screen, it is criminal what Darth Vader has just done.

The call back is to the prior film, Attack of the Clones. Recall the scene where in front of the Younglings, Obi-Wan and Yoda chat about how Obi-Wan has lost a planet (how embarrassing!).

No one can kill a Jedi right?

Boba Fett was a clone of Jango Fett

Do you remember that Storm Trooper that bumped his head on the Death Star in A New Hope?

That unplanned goof by the actor (unknown?) became the stuff of legend among Star Wars fans so much so that when Lucas decided Jango Fett was to be the 'father' of the Clone Army, this 'bump' was called back as an actual character trait of Jango.

During Attack of the Clones, when the Mandalorian Jango Fett gets into his ship after his tete a tete with Obi-Wan, he bangs his head on the open door.


All this was the set up for young Boba Fett to take his dad's mantle, which is not too hard when you are an exact clone of your old man!

The 'other one' was Leia and thus Luke's sister

During his training on Dagobah with Yoda, Luke had a premonition about his friends and he charged off in his X-Wing to go help, despite Yoda's protest. 

Obi-Wan's Force ghost turned up for a chat with his old friend and that Luke was their last hope. 

Yoda ominously replied, "No. There is another."  We did not know it at the time, yet the twist was revealed in return of the Jedi that Leia was Luke's twin sister!

Fun Fact: An initial idea was for Luke's sister to be called Nellith Skywalker.

Snoke was a clone and Palpatine was alive the whole freakin time

Remember when Rian Johnson used to hold up cups of tea that said Your Snoke Theory Sucks? He never actually had one of his own, he was utterly bullshitting us. 

Snoke was nothing, just a disposable bad guy.

Until JJ Abrams and Chris Terrio decided he was a clone that was developed and let loose into the world by Palpatine.

Yes, somehow a version of Shiv Palpatine was alive, even though Darth Vader had killed him and proven he was The Chosen One

Low key plot twists worth a mention:

  • In Return of the Jedi, the Death Star II is fully operational.
  • Lando turns out to have used to own the Millennium Falcon
  • The Clone soldiers were the ones who killed the Jedi when they carried out Order 66.
  • Vader found the light that was inside him and he killed the Emperor (proving he was the Chosen One until Rey wrecked all that cool shit)
  • That silly little green guy harassing Luke in the swamp of Dagobah was actually The Jedi Master Luke was looking for.
  • Lando betraying his friend Han Solo and THEN trying to rescue him. 

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