Star Wars creator George Lucas is known for his fascination for parallelism and poetry. This is evident throughout each of his six Star Wars movies. But with the prequel trilogy, Lucas appeared to take even greater steps in connecting the franchises.
It is no secret there are plenty of parallels George Lucas put into his movies, but he made it a point to focus on that aspect even more in his Star Wars prequel trilogy.
In the documentary, In The Beginning: Making of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, Lucas says “… it’s like poetry, they rhyme. Every stanza kind of rhymes with the last.” in regards to his Star Wars movies.
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Keen eyes from the Instagram account @empire_striker_ noticed a particularly interesting aspect of Lucas’ poetry in the prequel trilogy. Around 74 minutes into each respective prequel movie, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, Anakin encounters three scenarios that help drive his fall to the Dark Side: his fear, anger, and hate.
Around 74 minutes into The Phantom Menace, Anakin is in the process of saying goodbye to his mother, the only family he has known, in the hope of becoming a Jedi. This is pivotal, because it shows how early Anakin would experience true pain in his life, as well as the difficulty of letting go of his feelings.
We later learn how deeply affected he was in leaving his mother, and the fear he would feel as a result of not being with her. This fear led to frequent dreams about her and her continued life as a slave.
In Attack of the Clones, the 74th minute shows Anakin racing through the Tatooine desert on a speed bike in search of a band of Tusken Raiders who have captured his mother. We get a look at Anakin’s face as he flies through the desert, and it is not one a Jedi would normally have. He looks angry with vengeance in his eyes, something that would fuel Darth Vader’s hate in the future.
Minutes later, Anakin’s mother would die in his arms. His reaction to her death gave viewers a glimpse of his brutal side, as he would go on to slaughter an entire camp of Tusken Raiders as revenge for them capturing and torturing his mother.
And finally, the 74th minute into Revenge of the Sith shows Anakin faced with the decision to save his mentor and friend Chancellor Palpatine or help Mace Windu destroy the Sith Lord.
It is in this moment that Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side is truly cemented.
With the Jedi standing between him and the potential power to save his wife Padme, he turns his frustration with the Jedi into hate. He cuts off Windu’s arm, disabling him and allows Palpatine to throw him out of the window to his death.
Photo credit: Lucasfilm
Each of these scenes are arguably the most pivotal moments in each respective movie. They give us a snapshot of the important steps it took for Anakin to turn to the Dark Side of the Force. Overall, it displays just how tragic Anakin’s fall was; as a result of pain and personal loss, he became the galaxy’s most feared villain.
To be fair, climactic scenes such as these are only naturally going to be placed around the end second act of each movie, so of course it could be entirely coincidental they occur around the same 74-minute time frame.
But whether intentional or coincidental, it is just another beautiful example of how the Star Wars films connect to each other.
What do you think? Was this a deliberate move on Lucas’ part or just a coincidence?