The Star Wars prequels have had their fair share of criticism over the years. However, despite this, the prequel trilogy does have its moments. While they may not be as entertaining or thought-provoking as the original films, each of the films contain some great scenes and imagery. In fact, there are probably a ton of things you never noticed in the Star Wars prequels (even if you have your own Star Wars fan theories).
The best parts of films like The Phantom Menace are not the action sequences, but the little hints that subtly suggest the things to come. The often clumsy dialogue in Attack of the Clones contains clues about the future of the characters, and Revenge of the Sith has some of the best hidden foreshadowing in Star Wars, with characters used extremely effectively as symbolism. The truth is, there are myriad amazing moments of foreshadowing in the Star Wars prequels, and they'll make you appreciate those films at least a bit more. Plus, with even more Star Wars sequels and installments coming out, maybe reading up on foreshadowing here can help you catch little hints and Easter eggs throughout new Star Wars films.
Almost Everything Anakin Says Comes Back To Haunt Him
Although many people (correctly) criticized the dialogue in the prequel trilogy, there is some very easy-to-miss symbolism and foreshadowing in what Anakin Skywalker says. Some choice lines include “No one can kill a Jedi,” "I’d much rather dream about Padme,” and “I want to be the first one to see them [the stars] all.”
Each one of these lines, which seem innocent enough, later come back to haunt Anakin. Despite claiming as a child that no one can kill Jedi, he goes on to be the greatest murderer of Jedi in history, as he slaughters younglings in the Temple. His next set of dreams after his mother dies are of Padme – nightmares in which Padme dies – prompting him to join with Palpatine to save her.
And while he doesn’t get to see all the stars and systems, as Darth Vader he travels across the entire galaxy, inspiring fear in trillions of people.5,0882,883Surprised you missed this?
There Are Some Symbolic Shadows In The Prequels Of Anakin As Darth Vader
In Attack Of The Clones, we can clearly see that Anakin's shadow on the wall of the moisture farmhouse is reminiscent of Darth Vader's striking silhouette (you can check it out in the image above). This same method was also used in the promotion of The Phantom Menace, which showed a much younger Anakin casting a long, Vader-esque shadow against the wall of a hut.
Later, again in Attack of the Clones, we see Anakin outlined against the dual sunset of Tatooine, and he looks astoundingly similar to Darth Vader. If you have good eyes, and a lightning-fast pause reflex, it's plain to see that Anakin had Vader living in his shadow for a long time.5,9683,412Surprised you missed this?
Anakin's Passion For Machines Foreshadows His Transformation Into One
Reddit user childplease7 suggests the obsession Anakin Skywalker shows in creating machines and tinkering with technology prophesies his future. His feeling of comfort around droids, as opposed to living creatures, shows a lack of empathy that eventually leads to the young boy becoming Darth Vader.
It also predicts his dramatic transformation into a being that's more machine than man, as he becomes the very thing he has the greatest affinity for.4,3322,500Surprised you missed this?
Qui-Gon And Obi-Wan's Mission In Phantom Menace Is Repeated In Return Of The Jedi
George Lucas has always been a fan of reusing certain plot elements in his work. In fact, in the DVD commentary for Phantom Menace, Lucas said, "You go off on a riff on the same idea. You just take a concept and just interpret it differently visually. And there’s a lot of that going on in these movies. I like the idea of cyclical motifs that keep occurring over and over and over again."
We can see this very clearly when Lucas has Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan basically act out the same mission in Phantom Menace that C-3PO and R2D2 undertake in Return of the Jedi. In Menace, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are tasked with negotiating with the Trade Federation to end the conflict between them and the Naboo. Similarly, at the beginning of Return of the Jedi, C-3PO and R2D2 are sent to negotiate with Jabba to end the conflict between Jabba and Han Solo.
Both narratives feature teams entering visually similar chambers, have mysteriously hooded characters, and even see characters say the exact same line: "I have a bad feeling about this." If you see the beginning of Phantom Menace, you've basically seen the beginning of Return of the Jedi.2,9231,782Surprised you missed this?