Who was Luke’s sister intended to be in Empire Strikes Back when Yoda said ‘No, there is another…’?

Despite making out in Empire Strikes Back, the Return of the Jedi ultimately revealed that Princess Leia was Luke Skywalker's sister. 

Given the kiss, it could not have been George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan's intention that Leia and Luke were twins. 

Indeed, draft scripts never hinted at this (just the same as early scripts did not feature Lord Vader being Luke's father). 

Ideas progress and develop over time and the best film scripts are born of many revisions – so was Yoda's like to Obi-Wan Kenobi that there was another hope a deliberate set up for an idea Lucas has or was it simply a plot device that was intended to be worked on down the saga?

Producer Gary Kurtz is said to have outlined what Luca's intentions were for Leia when he was asked to give a comment about The Phantom Menace and he was drawn into a discussion of the original intent of the saga films was to be. 

Kurtz indicated:

EPISODE 6: Leia was to be elected “Queen of her people” leaving her isolated. Han was to die. Luke confronted Vader and went on with his life alone. Leia was not to be Luke's sister.

So if the scripts never showed Luke was Leia's twin brother and Kurtz knew this was the intention, what did the early scripts of The Empire Strikes Back actually reveal?

Come on down Leigh Brackett – the scriptwriter of whom Lucas asked to take the first crack at the story.

Brackett's effort featured Luke meeting his actual father (who was clearly not Vader) and also his… sister. 

Introducing Nellith Skywalker from a Lucas revision of Brackett's draft:

nellith-skywalker-luke-sister

The now-defunct www.thesecretlifeofstarwars.com site (found on the Way Back Machine) notes that once Lucas decided Vader was to become Luke's father. 

Lucas then left it open in Empire and elected to make the twin relation in Return of the Jedi. 

This does raise the question of why Yoda says ‘there is another' to Obi-Wan Kenobi if he knew Leia was Luke's sister – Kenbo was at Leia's birth and had rescued her when she was kidnapped as a young child…

The choice for Luke and Leia to be twins worked out well in the end and made for a good mild twist near the end of Return of the Jedi. 

 


Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.