5 Superbly Subtle Moments During ‘Revenge of the Sith’

5 points that were quite subtle in the Revenge of the Sith 

Star Wars movies are not all run and gun. 

While many viewers just enjoy them as a spectacle, George Lucas puts plenty of subtlety into his movies. 

You just have to pay attention. 

For instance, did you know Star Wars was a commentary on Vietnam?

Lucas crammed Revenge of the Sith with some great little moments.

Here's 5 we found, the first being this cameo of Moff Tarkin sidling up to Vader and the Emperor (and in case you missed the obvious, that's the first Death Start being built out in front of them).

  • A quick character cameo occurs when Vader and the Emperor are standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer, overlooking the initial construction stage of the Death Star. In a blink and you'll miss it moment, a young-looking  Moff Tarkin quietly sidles up to the Sith Lords. Moff Tarkin features heavily in A New Hope, it is he who orders the destruction of the planet Alderaan. In Rogue One Tarkin's character is actually given an extended role. Guy Henry was motion captured acting out the role and a CGI version of Tarkin was placed over Henry's head. The character was quite great, showing a strong sense of ruthlessness in his ability to assume command over the Death Star from Krennic and to destroy his own troops left on the ground when he fired the Death Star on his own Scarif base.
  • During the opera scene, Palpatine tells Anakin about how Darth Plagueis was so powerful he could create life. While it's never made explicit, the film could have been suggesting that Darth Plagueis caused the ‘conception*' of Anakin Skywalker. The Expanded Universe novels show that Plagueis certainly was capable of such an amazing act...
    last time anakin biwan spoke as friends
    Goodbye, old friend
  • Darth Vader‘s head was symmetrical for the first time in a Star Wars film. It was developed using precise machinery – the original was hand sculpted and was mildly aspherical!
  • As General Kenobi is about to leave to hunt down General Grevious, he shares a nice moment with Anakin which finishes with a very loving, ‘Goodbye old friend' from Kenobi. This is the last time in the movie the two Jedi converse as friends. A key thing is the lighting – Anakin in the dark and Obi-Wan in the light – it is a literal case of foreshadowing what was to come.
  • Near the end of the film, Bail Organa and Jedi Master Yoda step into the hallway of Organa's ship and have a nice conversation about becoming. It's the actual ship that Darth Vader boards to capture Princess Leia Organa at the start of A New Hope, the Tantive IV. The ship was later seen again in The Rise of Skywalker and Rogue One.
  • After Padme Amidala dies giving birth to Luke and Leia, she is returned to Naboo for burial – her body has been altered to make it appear like she was still pregnant – this is all part of the ruse to keep the existence of Leia and Luke a secret.
  • But what was the most subtle part? The massacre of the Younglings by the newly minted Sith Lord Darth Vader was a pretty obvious move. While the murder is off screen, it is blatant what Anakin has just done. He has murdered innocent children. Nothing subtle about that. The subtlety is that this moment was set up and a call back to the prior film, Attack of the Clones. Recall the scene where in front of the Younglings, Obi Wan and Yoda chat about how Obi want has lost a planet (how embarrassing!). This is the same class (but with different students). Clever and chilling. *

Bonus subtle moment! 

Revenge of the Sith also featured a very cool reference to one of the films by a Japanese director that inspired the original Star Wars film.

We have mentioned before how Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress was a major influence on George Lucas. It’s no surprise then that Lucas deftly slipped in a visual reference to Akira Kurosawa’s famous Seven Samurai film. 

As Yoda brings his hand to his head, this is lifted directly from Akira's film:
akira kurosawa yoda refence revenge sith
* This scene was re interpreted when it was used in the opening shot of Obi-Wan Kenobi – Reva, the Inquisitor known as Third Sister was one of the younglings herself. Anakin left her for dead. The same as he did in Episode 5 of the Obi-Wan show – meaning she is the only person in the Star Wars universe to have survived TWO lightsabers to the torse by Darth Vader!

Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.