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Foreshadowing / Star Wars

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Canon

Films

  • The Phantom Menace:
    • Qui-Gon Jinn notes that, despite the Trade Federation’s demands during their invasion of Naboo, there is no real logic behind it, and suspects there is something else behind their movements.

  • Revenge of the Sith:
    • When escaping Grievous' flagship, Palpatine attempts to convince Anakin to leave Obi-Wan behind to die. Anakin refuses, and says "his fate will be the same as ours." All three characters will eventually die in battle aboard a Death Star. Technically aftshadowing because the events that were foreshadowed already happened, but it still works in spirit.

  • A New Hope:
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    • This exchange:
      Aunt Beru: Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.
      Uncle Owen: That's what I'm afraid of.
    • Maybe unintentional, maybe not... Obi-Wan tells Luke that his father was "the best star pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior." Later, during the Battle of Yavin, Vader himself helms his own (customized!) TIE Fighter to pick the rebels off ship-by-ship.
    • When Luke first meets R2-D2 and C-3PO, he says "You can call me Luke," to which Threepio says, "I see, Sir Luke," foreshadowing Luke's journey in becoming a Jedi Knight.
    • When R2 runs off, Luke says: "That little droid is going to cause me a lot of trouble." Oh, if only you knew.

  • The Empire Strikes Back:
    • The scene on Dagobah where Luke Skywalker cuts off Darth Vader's head, only to find his own face beneath the mask.
      Yoda: Much anger in him, like his father.
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    • As Luke leaves for Bespin:
      Yoda: Told you, I did. Reckless, is he. Now, matters are worse.
      Obi-Wan: That boy is our last hope.
      Yoda: No, there is another...

  • The Last Jedi:
    • When he is connected with Rey via a Force bond, Kylo Ren briefly considers that Rey might be responsible for their connection, but dismisses this because "the effort would kill [her]." This not only foreshadows that someone else is responsible for their bond, but also that using high-level Force powers can be fatal for the user, which is exactly what happens to Luke Skywalker in the climax.
    • After Leia is sucked into the vacuum of space, she uses the Force to pull herself back into the ship. As she does, she passes through a hologram of Snoke's ship, the Supremacy, roughly through the middle-left of the hull. When the Resistance makes its escape to Crait, the real ship would suffer an identical hit through Holdo's hyperspace kamikaze.
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    • Luke dismisses Rey's conviction that he can turn the tide of the war, sarcastically asking if he's supposed to face down the whole First Order with a laser sword. At the climax, he does just that as a Delaying Action.
    • Rey demonstrates her incomplete understanding of the Force by saying that it is all about controlling people's minds and making objects float. In the climax, Luke and Rey save the Resistance by altering minds (sort of) and making things float respectively.
    • While discussing the decline of the Jedi Order, Luke mentions Darth Sidious and his actions. The first teaser for The Rise of Skywalker ends with a very familiar Evil Laugh

Animated Series

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • "Voyage of Temptation": Traitorous Senator Tal Merrik is threatening to blow up Duchess Satine's ship, and has put Technical Pacifist Obi-Wan and Actual Pacifist Satine in a bind regarding how they'll deal with him, because as Merrik points out, if Obi-Wan kills him he'll be a hero to everyone on the Coronet except Satine, and if Satine kills him she'll be considered a hypocrite who's abandoned all of her pacifist ideals. Then:
      Merrik: Who'll strike first and brand themselves a cold-blooded killer?
      [Anakin's lightsaber emerges through Merrik's torso]
    • "Ghosts of Mortis": The Son shows Anakin his future, although it is later erased from his memory by the Father.
    • "The Citadel": Anakin meets and strikes up something of a friendship with Captain Tarkin, who of course will later become Grand Moff Tarkin. When they shake hands at the end of the three-parter, a few notes from the Imperial March play.

  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • In the promo short "Art Attack", Sabine taunts the stormtroopers by claiming that she's "read [their] book. It's a short one!" It's later revealed she's a former Imperial cadet.
    • In "Spark of Rebellion", Ezra says that the Ghost crew aren't going to come for him, because people don't do that. In "Gathering Forces", he tells Sabine that if he believed that his parents would save him he wouldn't have been able to survive.
    • Sabine pretends to be an Imperial cadet in "Droids in Distress". In "Out of Darkness", it's revealed that she is a former Imperial cadet.
    • At the end of "Fighter Flight", it's implied through facial expressions and body language that despite what they claimed, Ezra and Zeb didn't destroy the stolen TIE fighter. It returns in the season finale, proving instrumental in the plan to rescue Kanan.
    • "Rise of the Old Masters":
      • The crew is tipped off about Luminara Unduli being imprisoned in the Spire by a broadcast from Senator-in-Exile Gall Trayvis, and it turns out to be a trap. When Trayvis appears in person in "Vision of Hope", it's revealed he's an Imperial agent.
      • The Grand Inquisitor offers to train Ezra in the Dark Side, and Ezra replies that he's never heard of it. In "Gathering Forces", Ezra taps into the Dark Side to hold him off. The hints that the Grand Inquisitor (and even the Seventh Sister at one point) might have viewed Ezra has a potential Dark Side apprentice become harsh and relevant when Maul gets the closest to even having Ezra as a Dark Side student.
    • Hera tells Sabine in "Out of Darkness" that the reason all intel is on a need-to-know basis is that, if captured, the crew members can't reveal what they don't know. After "Call to Action", Kanan is captured and tortured for information, but it's ultimately pointless because he doesn't know anything about a larger rebellion. Hera also reassures Sabine that there is a greater movement going on, which is revealed in "Fire Across the Galaxy" when several cells join forces to extricate our heroes, Bail Organa is revealed as a mover-shaker of the Rebels, and Fulcrum reveals their identity.
    • A meta-example: A promotional slogan for the Season 1 finale, "Fire Across the Galaxy", was "Who will fall?" It's the Grand Inquisitor, quite literally.
    • In "The Siege of Lothal", Kanan at one point sarcastically addresses Hera as "General". Fast-forward a few years, and Rogue One reveals via a namedrop that she's been promoted to that rank. It was later confirmed by Filoni at Celebration 2017 that Hera would be promoted to General by the series finale.
    • In "Legends of the Lasat", Chava tells Zeb of a prophecy involving the salvation of the Lasat race, where the Child saves the life of the Warrior. She later reveals Zeb is the Child and Agent Kallus is the Warrior. Sure enough, two episodes later, "The Honorable Ones" involves Zeb saving Kallus' life as part of an Enemy Mine situation, which ends up with Kallus beginning to genuinely question the Empire, opening the road to his redemption arc.
    • "Shroud of Darkness":
      • The Sentinel's mannerisms, voice, uniform, etc. are very similar to the Grand Inquisitor's, and it indeed is him before his fall. Also counts as Five-Second Foreshadowing, because he only has a total of about five minutes of screentime before he unmasks himself.
      • Kanan's interaction with the vision of the Temple Guard Sentinel becomes meaningful when he takes up an old Temple Guard mask to conceal his eye wounds. Also, in the first part of "Twilight of the Apprentice", he briefly examines the petrified corpse of a masked Temple Guard.
      • Kanan realizes that he can't protect Ezra forever, only train him as best he can. In a case of Dramatic Irony, Kanan's depression after the events of Malachor leads him to isolate himself and neglect Ezra's training, resulting in Ezra falling under the influence of the Sith holocron.
    • "The Mystery of Chopper Base":
      • Kanan and Ezra are sparring, and Kanan tells Ezra to keep his blade up, as raising it could cost precious time in deflecting an attack. This is exactly how he's blinded: he lets his blade down after a fight against the Inquisitors ends, Maul abruptly attacks him, and Kanan can't block it in time.
      • Before the Jedi trio leave to deal with the Inquisitors, Kanan promises Hera that they'll see each other again, and doubts he can keep that promise. This turns out to be Exact Words; while Kanan does return to the Ghost, he was blinded on Malachor.
    • The Fifth Brother is blind and uses the Force to see. Shortly after he dies, Kanan ends up blind and has to rely on the Force for vision.
    • A cross-media example: In "Steps Into Shadow", Agent Kallus comments with restrained, but audible, disdain that Thrawn's most recent victory in the Battle of Batonn (which got him promoted to Grand Admiral) had a large number of civilian casualties. Governor Pryce in response states that the casualties were "within acceptable limits". Come the Thrawn novel, it's revealed that the civilian casualties at Batonn were all Pryce's direct fault, not Thrawn's, and only he and Eli Vanto suspect the truth.
    • The Visual Guide for Rogue One (released prior to the second half of Season 3, around the time Rogue One came out) revealed that Saw would conduct an investigation on Geonosis in 2 BBY, but his lungs would be poisoned with Geonosian insecticide, hence why he has a respirator by the time of Rogue One. As Season 3 takes place during this time, we get to see this happen in "Ghosts of Geonosis"... though apparently the poisoning happens later.
    • Similarly, the same book revealed that Senator Mothma would become public enemy number one for publicly calling Palpatine a "lying executioner". The second half of Season 3 has "Secret Cargo", in which Thrawn is going after Mothma for committing treason, as well as Mothma personally helping the Rebellion become the Rebel Alliance.

  • Star Wars Resistance:
    • "Fuel for the Fire":
      • When Kaz sees Rucklin's racer for the first time, it's mentioned that Rucklin and his team are stripping out all extraneous systems in order to make it lighter. Later, when Kaz activates the ejection seat to get himself and Rucklin out of the racer before it explodes due to the stolen hyperfuel Rucklin put in it, it turns out that the ejection seat's parachute was removed because Rucklin considered it an unnecessary weight, forcing BB-8 to have to save the two of them with his cable.
      • Kaz finds out that Yeager has a stash of highly-dangerous Corellian hyperfuel, was once a racer but no longer participates, and finds a photo of Yeager with his family in his office. All of these elements come together in "The Platform Classic".
    • In "The High Tower", when Kaz expresses his distaste about First Order personnel coming to the Colossus, Tam dispassionately points out that they're allowed to come there the same as anyone else. It turns out later in the season that she has a massive case of Genre Blindness regarding the First Order, not really seeing them as a problem and defending their presence after they occupy the station as being for security due to Captain Doza's wishes, when he was actually pressured into it. Ultimately, after finding out about Kaz and Yeager's Resistance ties and feeling betrayed, she is easily manipulated by Agent Tierny into joining the First Order.
    • "Secrets and Holograms": Captain Doza explains to Torra that the First Order, which most people in the galaxy underestimate to their detriment, are nothing like the pirates and marauders the Colossus is used to dealing with. Later, it's revealed that Doza is a former Imperial officer, explaining why he'd realize that.
    • "Dangerous Business": Kaz, having agreed to mind the Office of Acquisitions while Flix and Orka are offworld for a day, gets an unpleasant customer named Teroj Kee, who is clearly surprised to find the store open for business. It turns out that Teroj was planning to burglarize the shop to steal a valuable phase connector that day because he was expecting it to be closed, and Kaz's presence derails his entire plan.
    • In "The Core Problem", while sneaking off the Colossus by having the Fireball latch on to the outside of a departing freighter, Poe expresses a concern that the racer's distinctive, gaudy paint job will get it spotted by the passing TIE fighter patrols. Although nothing happens, two episodes later, in "Descent", Commander Pyre leads stormtroopers to arrest Team Fireball because the First Order has recognized the Fireball as a Resistance ship being seen operating in restricted First Order territory, thanks to the mission Kaz went on with Poe in the earlier episode.

Literature

  • Revenge of the Sith has a scene where Padmé and Anakin debate the sex of their unborn baby. Padmé believes it is a boy, citing a mother's instinct, but Anakin believes that it's a girl. Of course, as we later learn, they're both right: Padmé is carrying male/female fraternal twins.
  • Lost Stars: The novel was released several months before The Force Awakens, for context.
    • Ciena's friend Berisse Sai is an Imperial officer from Lothal, who graduated from the planet's Imperial Academy one year before Ciena graduated from the Royal Imperial Academy. Berisse has similar views on the Empire as the fanatical Nash Windrider, and is blindly loyal to the Empire. Why? As revealed in the Rebels finale, "Family Reunionand Farewell", the Empire was run off the planet just months at the most after her graduation. As an Imperial fanatic, of course she would view this as a negative and rely on the Empire.
    • Thane and Corona Squadron spend most of the year between the Battles of Hoth and Endor scouting out various planets for signs of Imperial activity. One of them is D'Qar, which is noted as a potential base location. Decades later, in The Force Awakens, the Resistance has taken that advice.
    • At the end of the book, the Empire and New Republic have signed an official peace treaty. However, in secret bases and facilities in a nebula, the Imperial Navy is secretly being rebuilt away from prying eyes and plans are being drawn up for the next war.

Legends

  • Star Wars: Clone Wars has this as well for Anakin Skywalker, when he is in the cave and has the vision.
  • In the Attack of the Clones novelization, after Zam, the assassin who tried to kill Padme, fails to shake off Anakin as he clings to her flyer, she thinks in desperation that "Whoever rids the galaxy of these meddling stubborn creatures indeed deserves the mantle of an Emperor." Well, what'd you know!
  • In Star Wars: Kenobi, Annileen Calwell chews Orrin Gault out for allowing her son Jabe to ride with the Tusken-hunting posse, threatening him with several things that hit close to home: telling him to work with Jabba's thugs for supplies, saying he'll have to join the Tuskens to be safe from her, and accidentally smashing his landspeeder's windshield when he "playfully" tries to defend himself. He's already in debt to Jabba, and gets his windshield smashed again and is press-ganged by the Sand People in the climax.
  • Leia's worry in Tatooine Ghost that her children could fall to the Dark Side because of their grandfather being Vader. Guess what happened to her older son, Jacen, in Legacy of the Force?
  • Knights of the Old Republic was very subtle. The Jedi masters say that normally they would not train anyone past a certain age, but you are a special case.
    • And that's only one instance. There are actually quite a few spoken lines that in retrospect aren't just coincidental foreshadowing, but in some cases actually talking about the event itself without actually spelling it out. When The Reveal is made, the cutscene flashes back to each character as they spoke these lines.
    • This is actually one of the brilliant things about Knights of the Old Republic which few people notice. The Jedi do not train past a certain age, but anyone playing this game will know about Luke Skywalker, trained when he was already a young man. The game plays on the player's own expectations to make this moment less significant than it should be, meaning they don't have to try and hide the foreshadowing because the player has already hidden it themselves. They do say that they make very rare exceptions for adult recruits, but even then, the player is liable to assume this has more to do with the war thinning their numbers, the same way there would've been no more Jedi if Luke hadn't been trained.
  • A Let's Play of Knights of the Old Republic 2 provides commentary on the narrative. At the end of the game Kreia lampshades your expectations of a reveal.
    • Earlier in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, an almost textbook example of this trope is given. In the first world, your characters are the only ones left on a mining colony, after the player character (a Jedi) was taken in. When you speak to Atton Rand, he logically deduces that you're the Jedi that everyone was talking about before he was locked up. However, he did not know of Kreia, and when he meets her, he says "Whoa, another Jedi, are you reproducing?" Except that's the first time he met Kreia — how would he know Kreia is also a Force-user? He's Force-sensitive and was trained to kill Jedi — only makes sense that he would know how to recognize them.


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