Mark Hamill Addresses Leak Controversies for Star Wars Films

Fandom has grown increasingly rabid over the last decade, with fans desperate to learn details about their favorite properties as soon as they possibly can. In a new interview with, Mark Hamill detailed an old-fashioned method that made sure any leaked information about The Empire Strikes Back could be traced back to the source and how leak prevention has changed in the decades since.

The reveal that Vader was actually Luke's father was filmed with dialogue revealing Obi-Wan killed Luke's father to keep the actual narrative secret up until the film's release.

"Within two days, three days, on the front page of one of the tabloids in a little box, it said, 'Guinness Head Baddie in Star Wars 2,'" Hamill explained of the incorrect information leak. "Now, for people who don’t understand, 'head baddie' means main villain in English speak. I was delighted that we leaked fake information. But that was the start of a long association with intense pressure to avoid leaks or spoilers, because when we made the first one, no one cared."

The actor had a hard time fathoming what would have happened had today's technology been available back then, noting, "With people equipped with cell phones, every time you’re out in public…who knows what could have happened in those days."

The actor also detailed the experience of shooting the iconic scene.

"They kept that line secret: 'I am your father,'” Hamill revealed of the trickery. "What was in the script was already a fantastic twist. Vader says [in Darth Vader voice], 'You don’t know the truth. Obi-Wan killed your father.' And I played it just as you see it. 'No!' and all that. But [prior to shooting] they pulled me aside and [Irvin] Kershner, the director, said, 'Look, I’m going to tell you something. George knows, I know, and when I tell you, you’ll be the third person that knows. So if it leaks, we’ll know it’s you.'”

The power of the actual reveal had huge ramifications for the saga, but Hamill couldn't help but wonder the outcome had they stuck with the original line.

"When he told me what it was, I said, 'You’ve got to be kidding me!' Because I already loved the idea that in the twist it was Guinness that was the bad guy," Hamill confessed.


We'll get plenty more leaks, but hopefully not from Hamill, before we see Luke again in The Last Jedi on December 15.


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