Parallels between Episodes of the Star Wars saga

In addition to the patterns cited on this page, chapter by chapter (or by episode, I guess), the prequels repeated motifs from the original trilogy.  As Lucas has said, Star Wars is like a symphony in that it has recurring themes.  Here are a few examples...  (Note that I've started adding things from Episode VII).


Parallels between episodes
 
Episode I vs. Episode IV
  • Title's structure (article-adjective-noun): The Phantom Menace.
  • Title's structure (article-adjective-noun): A New Hope.
  • The heroes try barter their way off of Tatooine.
  • The heroes try barter their way off of Tatooine.
  • R2 fixes the Queen's starship during a space battle.
  • R2 fixes Luke's X-Wing during a space battle.
  • Queen Amidala covers Anakin Skywalker with a blanket aboard the royal starship.
  • Princess Leia covers Luke Skywalker with a blanket aboard the Millennium Falcon.
  • Queen is held captive.
  • Princess is held captive.  (Han too, incidentally.)
  • Young Skywalker leaves his family on Tatooine to be trained as a Jedi by Qui Gon.
  • Young Skywalker leaves his family on Tatooine to be trained as a Jedi by Obi-wan.
  • Anakin stands among Jedi council arranged in a circle.
  • Darth Vader stands among Imperial council arranged in a circle.
  • First appearance of Rodians (Greedo's species).
  • First appearance of Rodians (Greedo's species).
  • Qui Gon is killed by a Sith lord in front of his apprentice Obi-wan.
  • Obi-wan is killed by a Sith lord in front of his apprentice Luke.
  • Climaxes with young Anakin Skywalker in a space battle...
  • Climaxes with young Luke Skywalker in a space battle...
  • ...where he blows up the Trade Federation battleship.
  • ...where he blows up the Death Star.
  • Full cast appears in triumphant award ceremony.
  • Full cast appears in triumphant award ceremony.

  • Episode VII

    Episode II vs. Episode V
  • Title's structure (verb-preposition-article-noun): Attack of the Clones.
  • Title's structure (article-noun-verb-preposition): The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Heroes pursue an assassin droid.
  • Heroes pursue a probe droid.
  • Anakin willingly plunges to almost certain death above Coruscant.
  • Luke willingly plunges to almost certain death inside Cloud City.
  • Enter Jango Fett, bounty hunter.
  • Enter Boba Fett, bounty hunter.
  • Male leads are separated during "romantic" chapter of the film.
  • Male leads are separated during "romantic" chapter of the film.
  • Anakin and Padme fall in love, but have second thoughts about their relationship.
  • Han and Leia fall in love, but have second thoughts about their relationship.
  • Obi-wan follows Jango and Boba Fett in Slave I through asteroid field.
  • Boba Fett in Slave I follows Millennium Falcon through asteroid field.
  • Obi-wan hides behind an asteroid.
  • Han hides behind a star destroyer.
  • Obi-wan releases garbage as a decoy.
  • Han escapes among garbage as a decoy.
  • The saucer-shaped Kaminoan city rises above a huge sea.
  • The saucer-shaped Cloud City rises above a huge sea of clouds.
  • Boba/Jango Fett/Clones is unmasked.
  • Darth Vader is unmasked.
  • Concludes with battle against giant robot walkers.
  • Begins with battle against giant robot walkers.
  • Twin-pod flying vehicles escort Dooku over the orange landscape. Twin-pod flying vehicles escort the Falcon over the orange cloudscape.
  • Dooku attempts to seduce Obi-wan to join him on the Dark Side.
  • Vader attempts to seduce Luke to join him on the Dark Side.
  • C-3PO is dismantled in a Geonosian droid factory...
  • C-3PO is dismantled in a Ugnaut droid factory...
  • ...resulting in R2 dragging 3PO's pieces behind him as the battle rages.
  • ...resulting in R2 dragging 3PO's pieces behind him as the battle rages.
  • Dooku uses the Force to throw objects at Yoda.
  • Vader uses the Force to throw objects at Luke.
  • Duel with a dark lord: Anakin vs. Dooku.
  • Duel with a dark lord: Luke vs. Vader.
  • Anakin looses an arm... but gets a replacement robotic arm.
  • Luke looses an arm... but gets a replacement robotic arm.
  • Luke gets a robotic arm.
  • Anakin gets a robotic arm.



  • Episode III vs. Episode VI
  • Title's structure (noun-preposition-article-noun): Revenge of the Sith
  • Title's structure (noun-preposition-article-noun): Return of the Jedi.
  • The Emperor makes his first real appearance.
  • The Emperor makes his first real appearance.
  • Begins with epic space battle.
  • Concludes with epic space battle.
  • R2 comically taunts battle droids.
  • R2 comically taunts Ewoks.
  • R2 shoves 3PO from the ledge of the droid factory.
  • R2 shoves 3PO from the ledge of Jabba's sail barge.
  • Anakin wears a black glove to cover his robotic hand.
  • Luke wears a black glove to cover his robotic hand.
  • Anakin is the man in black.
  • Luke is the man in black.
  • Standout villain (Count Dooku) from the previous chapter is killed in the first act.
  • Standout villain (Boba Fett) from the previous chapter is killed in the first act.
  • Skywalker sees what he is becoming in the cyborg General Grevous.
  • Skywalker sees what he is becoming in the cyborg Darth Vader.
  • Mon Mothma plots attack on Emperor (cut scene).
  • Mon Mothma plots attack on Emperor.
  • 1st act focuses on rescuing Chancellor Palpatine.
  • 1st act focuses on rescuing Han Solo.
  • The Death Star is under construction.
  • The Death Star is under construction.
  • Anakin battles Dooku with Palpatine as audience.
  • Luke battles Vader with Palpatine as audience.
  • Obi-wan cuts off one of Grevous' robotic hands in a light saber duel.
  • Luke cuts off one of Vader's robotic hands in a light saber duel.
  • First appearance of Mon Calamari (Adm. Ackbar's species) in trilogy.
  • First appearance of Mon Calamari (Adm. Ackbar's species) in trilogy.
  • Biker Scouts/Speeder Bike chase.  Riding in tandem with Jedi, scouts brake, shoot/kill Jedi from behind.
  • Biker Scouts/Speeder Bike chase.  Riding in tandem with Leia, she brakes, shoots/kills both from behind.
  • Wookies live in tree houses on forest world of Kashyyk.
  • Ewoks live in tree houses on forest world of Endor.
  • Director's cameo: Lucas as opera patron.
  • Director's cameo: Marquand as AT-ST driver.
  • Ewoks in battle.
  • Wookies in battle.
  • AT-RT.
  • AT-ST.
  • Chewie gives "Tarzan" yell while swinging onto robot tank.
  • Chewie gives "Tarzan" yell while swinging onto AT-ST.
  • Rematch with a dark lord: Anakin vs. Dooku.
  • Rematch with a dark lord: Luke vs. Vader.
  • Anakin sends Count Dooku tumbling down the steps during their duel.
  • Luke sends Vader tumbling down the steps during their duel.
  • Later in the duel, the Count Dooku cuts down a section of platform.
  • Later in the duel, the Vader cuts down a section of platform.
  • Yoda quickly dispatches Emperor's guards when they attempt to keep him from seeing Palpatine.
  • Vader quickly dispatches Emperor's guards when they attempt to keep him from seeing Palpatine (deleted scene).
  • Padme: "There is still good in him."
  • Luke: "There is still good in him."
  • Three-way conflict: Mace Windu attacks the Emperor while Anakin/Vader looks on and finally intervenes.
  • Three-way conflict: Emperor attacks Luke while Vader/Anakin looks on and finally intervenes.
  • Emperor reveals "Force lighting."
  • Emperor reveals "Force lighting."
  • Vader masked for first time.
  • Vader unmasked for first time.
  • Smoke surrounds Vader as his mask is sealed.
  • Smoke surrounds Vader as his armor is cremated.
  • Ends with funeral for Padme.
  • Ends with funeral for Vader.



  • All contents copyright 2003-2008 "In a gAle[x]y far, far away..." (Updated 2015 with additional parallels suggested by Pablo's "Star Wars Poetry" video.)
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