Famous movie quotes get repeated so often that, through a process of cultural telephone, they often become altered and misremembered. Often, it’s the Star Wars misquotes, not the quotes themselves, that become ingrained in popular culture. As a result, at least three of the most famous Star Wars movie quotes are actually not what you think.
3. “May the Force be with you.”
Plenty of people said “may the Force be with you” in the Star Wars movies.
The quote, however, is frequently misattributed to Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. Here’s what Obi-Wan does say about the Force:
“The Force will be with you… always.”
“Luke, the Force will be with you.”
“Use the Force, Luke.”
“Remember, the Force will be with you always.”
“May the Force be with you,” on the other hand, is first uttered by General Dodonna before the Death Star battle in A New Hope. Han Solo repeats it in the next scene, and it’s this moment — a suggestion of the bond with Luke that’s snuck up on Han, coming right on the heels of Han’s selfish refusal to help the Alliance — that made the line particularly memorable.
Many years later from a production point of view, Obi-Wan does finally say “may the Force be with you” to Anakin in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Since people have been attributing the quote to him since 1977, thinking it came from Episode IV, it still counts as a famous misquote.
2. “I’d rather kiss a Wookiee!”
Han and Leia’s love/hate relationship in The Empire Strikes Back produced quite a few great one-liners, not the least of which is the iconic “I love you”/”I know.” Leia’s snarky response when Han accuses her of having feelings for him — “I’d rather kiss a Wookiee” — is one that frequently appears on lists of favorite Star Wars quotes.
Han Solo: Afraid I was gonna leave without giving you a goodbye kiss?
Princess Leia: I’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.
Han Solo: I can arrange that. You could use a good kiss.
Han’s response is also often misquoted as “He [Chewbacca] could use a good kiss!” Since Chewie’s been flying with Han for years and rarely sees his wife, that’s probably true as well.
1. “Luke, I am your father.”
This is probably the most famous quote in all the Star Wars films — that iconic moment when Vader reveals the truth about his history. Right?
Actually, the exchange goes like this:
Darth Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke Skywalker: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Darth Vader: No. I am your father.
“Luke” probably snuck into the real quote because, taken out of context, “No, I am your father” is not that impactful or recognizable. “Luke, I am your father,” on the other hand, is immediately obvious as a line from Star Wars (even if you’re not doing the voice, though this line is usually quoted because people want to try out their impersonation of Darth Vader). As a result, the “Luke” version become one of the most memorable movie misquotes of all time.
The misquote has even made it into Star Wars canon. In the radio drama adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, Vader says, “No, Luke. I am your father,” and in Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson (1994), Luke remembers Vader saying, “Luke, I am your father.” Try using that as your defense the next time you’re caught misquoting the line.