They made you jump. They made you wince. They made you question everything you’d seen on screen before that moment. Deathbyfilms braces itself for The 20 greatest shocks in movie history…
For all his talk of how the STAR WARS trilogy was ‘planned’ from the beginning, George Lucas had no idea going into EMPIRE that there would be a big twist regarding Luke’s parentage. (He certainly didn’t bother to inform the writer of the first draft of this minor detail.) Which just shows that sometimes, making it up as you go can be far more effective than planning everything little thing in advance.
Another person Lucas didn’t bother to inform was blabbermouth David Prowse, the actor behind Vader’s mask, who ended up making expressive gestures as he told Luke that “You don’t know the truth: Obi-Wan killed your father!”.
As twists go, it’s one that usually only cheesy soaps employ; only STAR WARS could have got away with it. Finding out that your dad is a mass-murdering space Nazi is pretty hard to top.
If you reckon you saw the twist coming, you’re a more convincing liar than Verbal Kint because even after repeat viewings, the clues aren’t really there. That might have to do with the whole story’s been made up by a criminal mastermind eager to make himself look like the least likely suspect. Or maybe it’s because no one expects the cripple/narrator to be the Devil himself. Either way, the perfect delivery of the outcome is more important than the revelation itself. As Verbal departs, Agent Kujan’s disappointment at losing his man turns to despair (and a broken coffee cup) when he notices the similarities between the noticeboard and Kint’s story.
The way his awakening is cut together with flashback dialogue and the fax of a policeman’s sketch is positively inspired. Then, there’s the piéce de résistance, as Verbal’s awkward limp segues seamlessly into a confident walk. “And like that… he’s gone.”