I Think There Were Force Connections Before ‘The Last Jedi’

If you’ve read my previous post you will know that I have recently watched Revenge of the Sith and to my great surprise I think I discovered another secret Force connection but not from The Last Jedi but instead from a movie made over a decade before it; Revenge of the Sith. There’s a scene after Anakin is told to wait in the Jedi Council by Mace Windu that highlights a quiet but emotional moment between Anakin and Padme Amidala.

They are both sitting in a chair deep in thought with a window to their backs and slowly, as they seem to sense one another, they go to look out the window.

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They both seem to stare at each other even though they are miles apart. Padme gazes at the Jedi temple across the way.

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And Anakin stares at the apartment building they live in across the way. Both of their faces are creased with emotion and while they may not know it, they’re practically looking at one another eye to eye.

You see, I don’t think this is as strong a Force connection as say the meetings between Rey and Kylo Ren where they were literally in the presence of one another but rather a different connection where they can sense each other and are linked in a strange bond they can’t rid themselves of. And this isn’t the only time this has happened.

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In Attack of the Clones when Padme and Anakin find themselves in the dreadful droid factory they both face death at the same time (Padme almost gets covered in molten lava, Anakin almost becomes chopsui thanks to a giant axe) before finally getting caught.

And then there’s the parallel between these two lovebirds as Anakin gets medically attended to fully become the Darth Vader we all know and love and Padme is medically aided as she gets ready to bring Luke and Leia into the world. The scene cuts back and forth between them, each of them experiencing pain in different ways. Anakin’s mutilated body is the source of his pain and Padme’s is her childbirth. And they both end up dying as well, as Padme dies from supposed lack of will to go on and the man that was Anakin Skywalker is destroyed by his new identity, Darth Vader.

All three of these scenes hint at the idea that there were Force connections before The Last Jedi was even thought of. Of course, they are not as elaborate and personal as the ones in The Last Jedi where two people can hold hands across an entire galaxy but the concept is still there and that’s pretty cool.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this theory and whether there should be more Force connections in the future. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day. May the Force be with you.

 

6 thoughts on “I Think There Were Force Connections Before ‘The Last Jedi’”

  1. I definitely feel that Anakin and Padme were aware of each other in the “sunset” scene. In a lot of ways, I thought that those two actors didn’t get nearly enough credit for how they acted their parts. Yes, their characters came off as stilted and melodramatic, but I’m not entirely convinced this wasn’t deliberate. Anakin was a former slave who had frankly too much Force power for his own good and didn’t understand how to restrain almost any of his impulses once he was no longer powerless to act upon them — in effect, he was the perfect Sith long before he finally became Vader. And Padme was a sheltered case of “too much, too soon” and never really understood what to do with her life emotionally as it overwhelmed her. She has a strong moral core, but she’s simply had too much put on her, and unlike Leia, she doesn’t have nearly as much help as it’s all pulled out from under her repeatedly.

    And in this scene, where the sun is literally setting on Anakin’s time in the light, we see it between them. These two lost souls in their own ways are destroying themselves. The actual sunset scene is the middle stanza in a poetry of light-to-dark metaphor that no one will ever convince me Lucas didn’t do on purpose in his staging. When Mace leaves Anakin in the hangar bay when he is sold Palpatine is Sidious, Mace literally steps out into the evening sunlight while he leaves Anakin in the shadows. Then Anakin walks up to the council chamber and makes eye contact across the massive cityscape of Coruscant’s power centers — he sees Padme, and Padme clearly feels it, even if she’s not totally Force sensitive herself; Anakin’s power is enough for both of them. He’s torn. She looks back to him, wishing she could help… but, of course, she can’t. She looks down, unable to truly help, the time is too great for her. And Anakin, feeling lost and helpless and alone, left here with everyone he is supposed to trust having abandoned him — Ahsoka has left the order (even if she wasn’t in the movie), Obi-Wan is off to face Grievous, and Mace has literally left him here out of mistrust — he feels powerless to do anything but what he does.

    And, of course, when he acts, it is in his own self interest and out of his own passion, the perfect Sith coming out and not even realizing it. And when he jumps into the speeder in the next frame, it is dark. The sun has set on him, her, everyone, and now the darkness falls upon the entire Republic at once with his decision. Everything else that happens is simply set on a rail that follows from this train put in motion.

    Anakin’s connection to Padme is, perhaps, self forged. He can’t bear to lose her like he did his mother. Like with his mother, nobody cares about his pain except, falsely, Palpatine. The Jedi have no time for his feelings and teach him he’s wrong to have them. Of course, he does lose Padme… and perhaps he is even subconsciously, with or without Palpatine’s help, killing her in the process of his final destruction of his original self. In the end, he is encased in his armor when his flesh and his passion is no longer enough, and she dies to give Luke and Leia and, possibly, Anakin himself life.

    I hadn’t really drawn a parallel to Kylo and Rey… but it could be taken as being there. Vader doesn’t even really stop with Padme — he clearly has a second, possibly even stronger one with Luke during the original trilogy. It might well start as early as the Death Star trench when he senses the Force is unusually strong with this Rebel pilot he’s trying to kill. Then, when the first probe droid images from Hoth come back to him, he immediately perks up and says, “That’s it. The Rebels are there.” He is certain enough that he talks over Ozzel moments later, “That IS the system, and *I’m sure Skywalker is with them.*” (Emphasis added.)

    Then when he encounters him at Cloud City, he calls out to him after their duel from the bridge deck of the Executor… and Luke answers him from the Falcon. They *hear* each other. Luke can hear, and feel, his father’s voice and who is speaking to him across the space over Bespin.

    When they cross paths again at Endor, Vader and Luke both know they’re near once another. Luke knows, and says, Vader is on the ship they see before them, with complete certainty, and understands instinctively, even if he can’t describe it to anyone, that Vader will know he’s here. It isn’t a simple matter of family affinity — Vader clearly doesn’t have this connection with Leia. (Granted… Lucas largely retconned the idea that Leia is also his child, but even after this is decided, Vader still has this connection with Luke and not Leia in ROTJ.) And it’s also not a simple matter of Force power or skill — Palpatine not only doesn’t share this sense that Luke is nearby, he thinks it strange that Vader would sense his and he himself would not, and says as much when Vader tells him this.

    Perhaps this is a hint that Vader’s connection to the Force is still more powerful than Palpatine’s own, even if his life has gone mangled enough that he’s too depressed to act upon it, that Vader can forge such a connection on his own and Palpatine not only can’t, he can’t even understand it. He had one with Padme, and did it again — even crippled — with Luke. Perhaps he even has this with Ahsoka in Rebels, when he realizes exactly who is reaching towards him with the Force… and perhaps Ahsoka even instinctively suspects it, trying to figure out if this is Anakin behind this mask right up until they fight.

    At all times, when Vader encounters beings he knows or is close to, he identifies them just by pure Force sense. Palpatine is never shown to be truly able to do this, much less communicate with them… not even with Rey. So although Rey and Kylo do this between them, Anakin/Vader repeatedly does this largely on his own, throughout his adult life.

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    1. Wow. Oh my goodness, I never thought about the use of the sunset and Anakin being left in the shadows as a poetic way of depicting his fall from the light. And the movie only got that much better.

      Thanks!

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      1. Well, we’ve advanced each other’s understanding a bit then. Because yeah… I think Anakin/Vader forged smaller versions of the Force connection Kylo and Rey had throughout his life. Padme was the first, but Luke clearly was the same way, even more intensely — he can speak to Luke across space, and be heard. They never portray it in the way that Kylo and Rey see each other, but there is clearly a sense on Luke’s part of, “my father is not dead, he’s out there, calling to me… and I don’t know what to think.”

        And yeah… the shadows/sunset/darkness poetry of the moment Anakin makes the decisions that led to his fate were, I’m convinced, completely intentional. Lucas had weakness on writing dialogue, but he was a master craftsman of the visual and audial arts of film. The establishing shots of the scale of Imperial ships are similarly subtle and brilliant. In ANH, there’s the initial shot of Vader’s Star Destroyer needing a significant time to fly over the camera view in the famous establishing shot, memorable enough to be ripe for the absurd parody in Spaceballs. (I first saw ANH in theatres when I was about four, and the one visual I remembered most through grade school before VHS finally let me see it again was that giant ship flying by.) Then all that is then used as fodder when the ship is itself dwarfed next to the Death Star.

        In Empire Strikes Back, they do it again when we first see Vader’s fleet. You see fighters buzzing around a Star Destroyer. As you do, the ship begins to pass into shadow. You might not think of it much, until they reverse field and you realize what it’s passing into the shadow OF: there’s another, much bigger ship nearby that literally overshadows it.
        The shot is brilliant enough that Rogue One pays homage to it in a way with the way the Death Star’s laser dish has a similar effect on a Star Destroyer becoming unshadowed as the dish is drawn into the Death Star itself. This conflicts a little bit with the closing shot of Revenge of the Sith, where we see what’s clearly the skeletal beginnings of the dish in the Death Star under construction, although it’s possible what they’re showing us is that the Empire needed to replace it with Galen Erso’s handiwork because the initial Geonosian designs were insufficient.

        This kind of stuff is all over the (good) films in the first two trilogies and Rogue One. If anything, it’s one more way in which the sequels pale before those seven movies, for their _lack_ of such poetry. There’s no real point in any of the Abrams-Johnson movies where you see anything anywhere near that subtle and yet brilliant. If you know of an example, I’d love to see it. I simply haven’t found it yet.

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      2. Well, the closest I can think of which feels very blatant and not nearly as poetic is when Kylo is about to kill Han Solo and the light fades from the sky, casting everything into darkness. With nothing but Kylo’s red saber lighting his face in a blood red glow, it’s very clear that Solo’s journey is about to come to an end.

        But like I said, that feels very blatant as if Abrams was like, “Look, I’m being artistic with the whole light and dark situation. Do you see what I’m doing there? *wink wink*” The sequels were a fancy cash grab that introduced characters that I still legitimately love but were given crappy storylines…unfortunately.

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      3. In some ways, the character of Snoke and the creative process (or lack thereof) that went into him is kind of a microcosm of the whole sequel trilogy. There were things that were interesting, he had potential for a new direction for where this guy came from and what his own motivations were… and then they got lazy, killed him off for the drama and lulz, and never bothered to do their homework to come up with an interesting backstory for who he was. And no, what we eventually found out was not interesting. Maybe it was very “Sidious” in creating a cats paw similar to Dooku to run the show while he sits back and prepares his own plans, in a way… but given that Dooku held the no-arguments title for least interesting major Force user in the saga before Snoke came along, this is not a comparison that helps an estimation of the character.

        And that’s really just the whole trilogy in a nutshell. Had potential. Had some interesting ideas that could’ve been fleshed out way, way better — Rey was a good character, Kylo was an anti-hero villain Sue with a hilariously meta chip on his shoulder about not being Vader (which… maybe I could even credit as being on purpose in poking fun at themselves over it, if I’m feeling forgiving and giving them credit for self awareness that they were never going to come up with a villain as good as Vader for this thing), Finn and Poe and What-Was-Left-of-Leia had their minor value — but they got lazy and took every single easy way out. I mean… Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker didn’t even bother to come up with a whole movie for either of them, they just had three or four ideas, and stretched some of the least interesting of them out to fill the whole damn movie. (And in Last Jedi’s case, most of the movie was a rip off of the reboot Battlestar Galactica episode “33”…. which, if they wanted to rip off BSG, that wasn’t even a good one to pick.)

        Meh. MEH, I say!

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