Genius Foreshadowing You Never Noticed In Your Favorite Sci-Fi Movies
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 like Star Wars 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.
- Photo: Buena Vista Pictures
The Incredibles remains one of the best superhero movies ever made, despite its cartoonish appearances, and perhaps the most cartoonish character in the entire film is Edna Mode (Brad Bird), costumer extraordinaire. One of Edna’s most famous quotes is her rant on the dangers of capes as a part of superhero fashion, as she believes that capes are an unnecessary liability. “No capes!” Later, in the final confrontation with primary antagonist Syndrome (Jason Lee), the villain is defeated when his garish cape is sucked into a plane’s engine, and he goes right along with it.
- Photo: Universal Pictures
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.”
- Photo: Warner Bros
In a film filled with mind-blowing imagery, one of the most memorable sights in Mad Max: Fury Road was the War Rig that Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron) use in their attempt to escape from Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). The War Rig is essentially a heavy metal semi-truck, and it’s adorned with human skulls on the front of it, but they’re not just there for show. Every time the camera focuses on the skulls, it’s a secret signal that the next scene is about to feature death. In a film like Fury Road, this occurs rather frequently.
- Photo: Lucasfilm
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.
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There’s A Big Hint That Luke’s Dad Is A Villain Early In A New HopePhoto: Lucasfilm
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.
- Photo: Universal Pictures
The World’s End, the third film in the Cornetto trilogy directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is primarily a comedy, but it also has some serious sci-fi elements, due to the characters’ entire hometown being replaced by alien robots. Initially, the film’s plot seems to center on some old friends attempting to “crawl” to a dozen different pubs, each with its own memorable name and heraldry. Each of the pub names is actually a hint at a plot event that is going to occur when the characters reach said pub, and so the entire plot of the movie is hinted at right at the very beginning. At “The Cross Hands,” the group engages in their first round of fisticuffs, and at “The Two-Headed Dog,” they encounter a notorious set of twins. Most impressive is “The Hole in the Wall,” a pub that one character unexpectedly drives his car into to rescue the rest of the gang.