5 points that were quite subtle moments in the Revenge of the SithStar Wars movies are not all run and gun. While many viewers just enjoy them as a spectacle, George Lucas puts plenty of subtley into his movies. You just have to pay attention. He crammed ROTS with some great little moments.
Here's 5 we found.
- 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 an you'll miss it moment, a young 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 Alderann.
- In Rogue One Tarkin 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 on troops 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...
- 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, 'Good bye 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.
- Bail Organa and Yoda step into the hallway of Organa's ship and have a nice coversation about being rebels or something? It's the actual ship that Darth Vader boards to capture Princess Leia Organa in the start of A New Hope.
- After Padme dies, 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 kept the existence of Leia and Luke a secret
- But what was the most subtle part? Killing of the Younglings 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 different students). Clever and chilling.
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:
* Edited to remove the word 'immaculate' as some people take this stuff a little too seriously. The intention was to convey a comparison to the virgin birth of Mary's child.