Darth Vader’s true identity was kept secret with only a few Star Wars characters knowing what happened to Anakin after Order 66. How about Owen Lars?
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber duel in Star Wars with his former apprentice on Mustafar was kept a secret, prompting the question: did Owen Lars know Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader? At the end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine recovered a barely-alive Anakin on the bank of a lava flow after he was left to die by Kenobi, soon turning him into the iconic Darth Vader. Kenobi and Master Yoda planned to conceal Anakin’s two newborn children from the Sith, delivering one of them—Luke Skywalker—to his step-uncle and aunt, Owen and Beru Lars.
During Palpatine’s reign as Emperor, his apprentice’s true identity was kept a secret, leaving only a few Star Wars characters aware Anakin was Darth Vader. Besides Obi-Wan, Master Yoda also knew the truth, as well as Ahsoka Tano, R2-D2 and C-3PO, and even Senator Bail Organa. Owen Lars, however, was kept out of the equation and held strong resentment toward Obi-Wan, who told him that Anakin died during the night of Order 66, only to hide Vader’s identity from the Sith Lord’s stepbrother. It was a lie that Kenobi of course didn’t want to tell but had to in order to keep Luke and Leia safe from the Sith.
Why Owen Lars Disliked Anakin Anyway (Even Without Vader)
Born into a slave family like his mother, Shmi Skywalker, Anakin had always promised to come back and free her and the other slaves before leaving Tatooine to join the Jedi Order on Coruscant. While her relationship with Owen’s father, Cliegg Lars, was great, Shmi spent nearly ten years waiting for her son to return before her death by the Tusken Raiders before Anakin’s return. What’s worse is that Anakin did return but only after having troubling visions of his mother dying. Owen noticed Shmi’s sadness whenever she thought of her son, and Lars always wondered how Anakin could simply leave his home planet to become a Jedi and abandon his mother.
In Star Wars: A New Hope, when Luke wonders about Ben Kenobi’s identity, Uncle Owen responds with a bitter remark, claiming “That wizard’s just a crazy old man.” Lars has always resented the Jedi Order and the fun and adventure that comes with it. Owen doesn’t want Luke to be anything like his father, even though he believes that Jedi Knight Anakin was killed in Order 66. This was only meant to protect Luke, though, as Lars felt that if he were to become a Jedi, it would eventually lead to his death.
Why Didn’t Obi-Wan Tell Owen About Anakin’s Fate?
Ben Kenobi feared that if relayed the dark truth to Owen, he might go and tell Luke about what happened to his father, which would haunt him. This would also stray him away from Owen’s vision of Luke improving the family homestead on Tatooine because Luke would want to go out and become a Jedi to help fight the Sith. Owen would also be put in a very awkward, tense state whenever he encountered Imperial stormtroopers in his daily life because he would’ve known the truth behind the greatest kept secret in the galaxy.
If Owen were to accidentally let even the slightest bit of information slip to someone else, he and anyone he knew would’ve been killed immediately by Darth Vader. Had Obi-Wan informed Owen Lars of the truth before he and Beru offered to take care of Luke, who was only an infant, they most likely would’ve never accepted doing so in the first place. Obi-Wan might’ve kept the truth behind Darth Vader’s identity a secret from Owen Lars in Star Wars, but it proved to be a worthwhile one in the years to come.Next: Star Wars: Why Owen Lars Didn’t Recognize C-3PO In A New Hope