4. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn and Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Before we delve into the semantics of whether it counts as foreshadowing when it’s part of a prequel, we’re going to make something clear. No one cares. With that out of the way, let’s just use this entry to appreciate how well Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace sets up Anakin’s story.

He’s introduced as the prophesied Chosen One who will bring balance to the Force. Though the film implies that Qui Gon Jinn was mistaken (because the audiences knows Anakin is destined to become Darth Vader), this prophecy is actually true. By the time Anakin becomes Vader, he only leaves two Jedi alive. Two Jedi, and two Sith. Sounds like balance to us.

Also, he then later fulfills the more hopeful interpretation of the prophecy by killing Palpatine, so either way, it works. The Phantom Menace also introduces him as a slave on the desert planet of Tatooine, which feeds into his later hatred of sand and the supposed reason that Obi-Wan hid Luke there. So basically, The Phantom Menace foreshadows Anakin’s entire story. Neat, huh?