In the age of the Internet, there aren’t many “little-known facts” left to uncover, and so most of the examples of foreshadowing in sci-fi films has long since been discovered and discussed ad nauseam. Still, there’s something incredibly satisfying about watching old favorites and noticing some of the easy to miss clues in sci-fi movies you thought you knew by heart. It’s a sensation that makes one feel like a seasoned film critic and a masterful detective in one fell swoop.
There are some directors out there that put an intense amount of effort into filling their science fiction movies with foreshadowing, because they know it will make their films all-the-more rewatchable. And, if there’s one thing that all science-fiction fans love, it’s re-experiencing their favorite stories over, and over, and over again. Call it foreshadowing, call it an Easter egg, or call it spoiling your own ending - the fact is that peppering a plot with hints of future events is a time-honored part of creating science-fiction.
A Seatbelt In Jurassic Park Hints At Life Finding A Way
In one of the earliest scenes in Jurassic Park, the various paleo-experts are accompanying park owner John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) on a helicopter ride to his newly founded dino island. When the chopper is about to land, the characters all fasten their seatbelts, except for Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who finds himself stuck with two “female” ends. In desperation, he ties the two ends together in a makeshift belt, and the crew lands safely. This foreshadows how the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park will manage to breed, even though they’re exclusively females or, as Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) states, “Life, uh, finds a way.”
Luke Skywalker Literally Sees Himself In Darth Vader
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) spends the majority of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back on the Planet Dagobah, training under Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz). As part of this training, Luke is asked to enter a gigantic tree cave, inside which he will face his greatest fear, which takes the form of Darth Vader (David Prowse). Luke has a lightsaber battle with the figment of his imagination, and strikes down the Sith Lord, only to discover, much to his horror, that his own face lies hidden under Vader’s mask. Those watching for the first time will see it as symbolism that Luke fears becoming evil, like Vader, but those who know the film’s big twist will see it as obvious foreshadowing that Luke and Vader share a particularly close connection.
There’s A Big Hint That Luke’s Dad Is A Villain Early In A New Hope
In terms of Skywalker relatives, Uncle Owen (Phil Brown) and Aunt Beru (Shelagh Fraser) are fairly unimportant. They raise Luke after his mother dies, then they die themselves at the hands of Stormtroopers, providing the impetus for Luke’s heroic journey. They also provide foreshadowing of the Darth nature of Luke’s father in their limited screen time. Beru says at one point, “Luke’s just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” replies Owen. It’s a legitimate concern.
A Throwaway Gag In The Avengers Sets Up The Final Battle
One of the funniest lines in The Avengers comes when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) calls out a SHIELD agent for playing Galaga on board the Helicarrier. “That man is playing Galaga. Thought we wouldn’t notice, but we did.” Shortly thereafter, the man goes right back to playing the vintage video game. Of course, Galaga is primarily a game in which aliens attack Earth by descending from the sky, which foreshadows the climactic battle between the Avengers and the invading Chitauri that is yet to come.