Study Guide

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Memory and the Past

Memory and the Past

OBI-WAN: But Master Yoda said I should be mindful of the future.

QUI-GON: But not at the expense of the moment. Be mindful of the living Force, young Padawan.

OBI-WAN: Yes, Master.

Qui-Gon thinks he's giving his young Padawan good advice. But during this scene, the voices of a thousand moviegoers suddenly cried out in terror, "No, the future's a wreck! You should totally pay attention to it!"

GUNRAY: My lord, is that legal?

SIDIOUS: I will make it legal.

GUNRAY: And the Jedi?

SIDIOUS: The chancellor should never have brought them into this. Kill them immediately.

It is pretty obvious how a senator could become an emperor here. Palpatine, disguised as Sidious, wants absolute power, a prerequisite for an effective tyrant. He deems himself worthy of making the laws and deciding who should live and die.

BIBBLE: How will you explain this invasion to the Senate?

GUNRAY: The Queen and I will sign a treaty that will legitimize our occupation here. I have assurances it will be ratified by the Senate.

SEBE [as Queen]: I will not cooperate.

GUNRAY: Now, now, your highness. In time, the suffering of your people will persuade you to see our point of view. Commander.

Padmé's story parallels her daughter's. In A New Hope, Princess Leia was captured so a villainous military could extract what they wanted from her, and the same is happening here. Thanks to some generational girl-power, we see Padmé reflected in her daughter, as neither woman is willing to submit to her captors.

ANAKIN: Are you an angel?

PADMÉ: What?

ANAKIN: An angel. I heard the deep space pilots talk about them. They're the most beautiful creatures in the universe. They live on the moons of Iego, I think.

PADMÉ: You're a funny little boy. How do you know so much?

ANAKIN: I listen to all the traders and star pilots who come through here. I'm a pilot, you know, and someday I'm gonna fly away from this place.

Just like Leia and Padmé, Anakin and his future son, Luke, share similar origins and goals. Both live on Tatooine but have dreams they will escape thanks to their skills as pilots.

ANAKIN: He's a protocol droid to help mom. Watch.

C-3P0: Oh. Oh. Uh—Where is everybody?

ANAKIN: Whoops. Yeah.

C-3P0: Oh, hello. I am C-3P0, human-cyborg relations. How might I serve you?

Here, we learn that Anakin Skywalker built C-3P0, um… yeah. Let's just move on.

KI-ADI-MUNCI: Your thoughts dwell on your mother.

ANAKIN: I miss her.

YODA: Mmm. Afraid to lose her, I think, mmm?

ANAKIN: What has that got to do with anything?

YODA: Everything. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Returning to the Anakin/Luke parallels, we see how each character treaded similar paths but to different fates. Both experienced loss, fear, and anger in their quests to become a Jedi knight. The difference is that Luke learns to conquer his fears and sadness while Anakin does not.

OBI-WAN: It's not disrespect, Master. It's the truth.

QUI-GON: From your point of view.

OBI-WAN: The boy is dangerous. They all sense it. Why can't you?

QUI-GON: His fate is uncertain. He's not dangerous.

Fans of Star Wars will recognize that Obi-Wan drops that "truth from a certain point of view" line on Luke in Return of the Jedi. The scene is showing us how Qui-Gon's teachings had an impact on Obi-Wan and his own worldview.

QUI-GON: Obi-Wan. Promise—Promise me you'll train the boy.

OBI-WAN: Yes, Master.

QUI-GON: He is the chosen one. He will bring balance. Train him.

Obi-Wan assumes Qui-Gon's defiance, which leads him to train Anakin to bad results. But it also leads him to push Yoda to accept Luke as his apprentice in Empire (to much better results). Also, Qui-Gon's belief that Anakin will bring balance to the Force does come true. Anakin just took a very roundabout, very murderous way to it.

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