It is quite common knowledge that

Vader and Anakin Skywalker (Luke's father) are the same person.

However, this is technically a spoiler (I think there are still some folk around that haven't watched the Star Wars films). It pops up in some questions, and sometimes even in titles. We had just a brief discussion in a question's comments, and I thought it should be decided for good.

Note: I'm not leaning either way, and neither is this meta question. The up/down votes should be used for relevance, not whether or not it should be considered a spoiler.

  • 1
    possible duplicate of What is the policy for spoilers?
    – Beofett
    Apr 3, 2012 at 12:14
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    I may post the question to skeptics of if there are still people in the world who havent seen star wars and come here :p
    – Chad
    Apr 4, 2012 at 20:31

3 Answers 3


I have a couple of friends who have yet to see any Star Wars movies. For them, believe it or not, this would be a spoiler.

And not just with Star Wars. The same type of thing has happened between me and them - going both ways - that I'm of the opinion that, if the author intended it to be a major surprise, then it should be marked as a spoiler, regardless of the age.

Another quick example would be Harry Potter book 6... While I'm sure most people here remember the chaos that happened within a week of its release, you also have to keep in mind that the book has been out for 7 years now. There'll now be people reading it who didn't experience that massive spoiler campaign. For them, this is a major spoiler and should be marked as such, so as not to ruin their experience of the book/movie.

Spoilers not so major as the Star Wars and Harry Potter ones, that wouldn't ruin people's experience of the book/movie/tv show, and that have been out for a while, I don't have as much of an opinion on.

  • Just to prove your point: I have no idea what HP spoiler you are talking about. I don't remember the campaign, I never read that book nor its successor.
    – bitmask
    Oct 22, 2012 at 1:26
  • @bitmask By campaign, I'm referring to what the non-fans of HP did when it was released. It was a "campaign" by the trolls of the world. Perhaps I used the wrong word..
    – Izkata
    Oct 22, 2012 at 1:47
  • I see. Well, it would seem I'm neither a fan nor a non-fan.
    – bitmask
    Oct 22, 2012 at 8:49
  • @bitmask - don't let Slytherincess see that! :))) Oct 22, 2012 at 13:59
  • @DVK: I suppose she's impartial to stuff I like, too. So, it should be all right ;)
    – bitmask
    Oct 22, 2012 at 15:02
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    @Izkata My girlfriend had never seen Star Wars, knew nothing about it, had zero interest in it... but still knew the twist. Are you sure your friends don't know? Jan 21, 2015 at 17:59
  • @DjangoReinhardt With that particular example, I found out when they asked what the reference was in some cartoon (Simpsons or Family Guy or something, don't remember exactly) - it was so obviously out of place they new it was a reference, but had no idea to what
    – Izkata
    Jan 21, 2015 at 19:01

Yes, that's a spoiler.

Spoilers don't expire on a work of fiction. Ever.

Citizen Kane is 76 years old, and has been seen by a great number of people. And you can spoil it with a single sentence, as you can with HP6, ESB, Episode VII, 12 Angry Men...

Off the top of my head, that's my list of movies which anyone who spoils should be keelhauled.

Up until recently, if not still, one of our moderators hadn't even seen any SWs movies.

  • Your last sentence is a poor argument, considering they know everything about Star Wars and can't really have anything spoiled for them
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 23, 2017 at 8:12
  • They'd never seen Star Wars but they were extremely well aware that Vader is Luke's father. Occasionally a spoiler will become part of the cultural zeitgeist.
    – Valorum
    Jul 23, 2017 at 9:44

A spoiler is something with ruins a planned surprise by an author. If everyone on the planet knows a piece of information, it is no longer something that can be spoiled.

I mention this because you say, "technically this is a spoiler", and I just want to clarify that if it really is "common knowledge" (as you claim it is), then it's debatable if it's still a spoiler!

To put it another way: A spoiler is only a spoiler if it spoils a surprise :)

In this particular instance it seems highly unlikely that this bit of information would actually spoil anything for anyone, so my vote is: It's not a spoiler. :)

  • Well, it's possible somebody hasn't seen ESB nor EpisodeIII, yet. Right?
    – bitmask
    Oct 21, 2012 at 14:58
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    @bitmask Whether someone has seen Star Wars or not is completely irrelevant. You don't need to have seen Star Wars to know the twist. Oct 21, 2012 at 20:36
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    Essentially because not every aspect of life features spoiler boxes. We do, so we could use them. Just because other bulletin-boards suck doesn't mean StackExchange has to suck, too.
    – bitmask
    Oct 22, 2012 at 1:28
  • @bitmask I don't even know what you're referring to. The "twist" in Star Wars isn't common knowledge because of the forums on the internet. It's been referenced to, and made fun of, in countless TV shows, books, comics, movies, etc. Also, nobody is arguing that things should be spoiled for people. I personally hate spoilers, and feel they should be hidden. Oct 24, 2012 at 12:23
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    Let's put it another way: My girlfriend, who has never seen Star Wars, has zero interest in anything sci-fi (much to my chagrin), already knows the twist. I didn't know how. Another story: My friend wanted to be the first person to show his nephew Star Wars. The little tyke loved it. When it came to Empire Strikes Back, the kid already knew the twist. Lord knows how. My friend was crestfallen. It's been referenced to SO many times that even people who know nothing about Star Wars know the twist. As such, in this case, it seems pretty pointless to pretend otherwise. Jan 21, 2015 at 17:57
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    It is true that major twists in some well well known works and known to many people who haven't seen/read that work. You might indeed argue that those twists are "common knowledge", but that is not the same as "universal knowledge". My sister (who is over 50) only recently learned the big Star Wars secret. Even if a secret is "common Knowledge", it is polite to hide it behind a spoiler tag for those who may yet enjoy being surprised.
    – Blackwood
    Jul 23, 2017 at 3:54

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