Sitting on Top of the World. The Phantom Menace (1999). Return of the Jedi (1983).
If you've paid close attention while watching The Phantom Menace, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that director George Lucas was quite clearly and intentionally drawing parallels between the selfless and compassionate Queen Amidala and the greedy and power-hungry Emperor, as seen in Jedi. But here are a few things you may have missed (it really helps to think in terms of opposites):
In Menace, Amidala sits on a throne in front of a large, rectangular window. In Jedi, the Emperor sits on a throne in front of a large, circular window.
The scenes inside Theed Palace use a warm color scheme while the scenes in the Emperor’s Throne Room use a cool (blue) and neutral (black) color scheme. And in both films, these scenes make ample use of shots that appear symmetrical.
The Emperor wears a simple and unassuming black robe. The Queen, on the other hand, wears elaborate gowns.
Both leaders both have pale white complexions.
Both leaders are from the planet of Naboo. (Symbolically, this could be meant to convey that both good and evil, compassion and greed, all pairs of opposites, etc. originate from the same source.) And it's so obvious it's easy to miss the fact that the Emperor is an old man whereas the Queen is a young girl.
But, perhaps most importantly, in both films the images reveal a somewhat isolated (and lonely?) ruler, that in some ways is cut off from the outside world—one of the consequences of attaining great power, light or dark. (See also: Richard Nixon, who served as the inspiration for Emperor Palpatine.) All of these connections should come as no surprise, however, given that Menace and Jedi are corresponding episodes in the Star Wars Ring Theory.
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