Top 6 Parallels Between Star Wars Episodes 1 and 4

Updated on December 7, 2017
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy hopes the Force is with him as he pursues a forensics career in the swamps of Louisiana.

The Star Wars Prequels

As any enthusiast of the galaxy far far away knows, the prequel trilogy heavily divided fans. Some loved it, some hated it, and many fell somewhere in-between. With a new cast and fresh setting, the impossibly high standards of the first three movies may have paved the path for an inevitable backlash of the prequels.

Regardless of your take on Episodes 1-3, they offer several fun nods to their predecessors, interesting correlations that likely dash past the casual viewer's perception. To see what I mean, let's examine six stunning parallels between the first films from each trilogy: The Phantom Menace (Episode 1) and A New Hope (Episode 4)!

Spoilers ahead.

Darth Vader and Darth Maul
Darth Vader and Darth Maul

6. Both Have Similar Names

Article
Adjective
Noun being described
A
New
Hope
The
Phantom
Menace

Rather than examine plot similarities, we'll start by considering the shared naming pattern. As the above table shows, both titles have three words and begin with an article, follow with an adjective, and end with the noun being described.

Taking it even further, each name sets the tone for its saga. A New Hope has an optimistic title, but the the movie begins in darkness. We see how the nefarious Empire reigns, yet throughout the trilogy, good slowly conquers evil and the Empire collapses.

Contrastingly, The Phantom Menace has an ominous title but begins in relative peace. Here, the universe is a moderately stable place, free of large-scale war, and Jedi help protect the diplomatic galaxy. However, things crumble throughout the trilogy as war breaks out and the Jedi dwindle.

Leia Organa
Leia Organa
Padme Amidala
Padme Amidala

5. Both Heroines Must Transfer Information

In Episode 4: Princess Leia is captured by the ruthless Empire, but not before hiding the technical readout for the planet-destroying Death Star in R2-D2. Leia must provide this information to the Rebellion, and is eventually freed with the help of a Jedi (Obi-Wan), a Skywalker (Luke), and an alien (Chewbacca)

In Episode 1: Queen Amidala is captured by the ruthless Trade Federation, and must provide the news of the Federation's blockade to the Republic. Padme is freed with the help of Jedi (Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon) and aided in her quest by a Skywalker (Anakin) and an alien (Jar-Jar).

Further similarities: Each woman meets and befriends her future husband (Han and Anakin), but the romance doesn't blossom until the following movie. Additionally, both utilize deception to further their goals: Leia lies about not being a Rebellion agent while Padme uses a decoy bodyguard to conceal her status as queen.

Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker

4. Both Skywalkers Lose Their Family

In Episode 4: Luke sulks as his uncle's farm anchors him to Tatooine. Thanks to Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke escapes the desert planet, but only after his uncle and aunt are killed.

In Episode 1: Anakin sulks as his slavery to Watto anchors him to Tatooine. Thanks to Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, Anakin escapes the desert planet, but only after leaving his mother behind (who later dies in Episode 2).

Further similarities: Both father and son are presented as earnest yet naive, and possess incredible potential with the Force despite an inability to harness it. Anakin and Luke are also abnormally skilled at piloting. Speaking of which...

Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker

3. Both Skywalkers Destroy a Space Station

In Episode 4: In the climax of the film, Luke flies into the trenches of the Death Star and fires two torpedoes to destroy it. This prevents the Rebels from being wiped out by the station's laser.

In Episode 1: In the climax of the film, Anakin flies into the innards of the Trade Federation's space station and fires two torpedoes to destroy it. This prevents the Gungans from being wiped out by the Battle Droids the station controlled.

Further similarities: Both Luke and Anakin were accompanied by R2 during their run and were new additions to their respective flying units.

Episode 4's Celebration
Episode 4's Celebration
Episode 1's Celebration
Episode 1's Celebration

2. Both End with a Victory Celebration

In Episode 4: With the Death Star destroyed, the protagonists celebrate as Princess Leia presents Luke and Han with medals for their aid (poor Chewie got gypped). Leia smiles at Luke as R2 happily chirps.

In Episode 1: With the Federation's command ship destroyed, the protagonists celebrate as Queen Amidala presents Boss Nass with a Globe of Peace for his aid. Padme smiles at Anakin as R2 happily chirps.

Further similarities: Both films end on a triumphant note, only soured by the fact that...

Darth Vader kills Obi-Wan
Darth Vader kills Obi-Wan
Darth Maul kills Qui-Gon
Darth Maul kills Qui-Gon

1. Both Jedi Mentors Die

In Episode 4: Obi-Wan, Luke's Jedi mentor, confronts Darth Vader in a lightsaber battle. Vader kills Obi-Wan by slicing him through the middle.

In Episode 1: Qui-Gon, Anakin's Jedi mentor, confronts Darth Maul in a lightsaber battle. Maul kills Qui-Gon by impaling him through the middle.

Further similarities: Both Jedi perish in front of their apprentices (Luke sees Obi-Wan die, and Obi-Wan sees Qui-Gon) and both had previously faced their opponent: Obi-Wan fought Vader on Mustafar in Episode 3, and Qui-Gon dueled Maul on Tatooine earlier in Episode 1.

Which movie do you prefer?

See results
Han and Greedo
Han and Greedo
Anakin and Greedo
Anakin and Greedo

Bonus: Both Movies Feature Greedo

In Episode 4: Greedo, a Rodian bounty hunter, confronts Han Solo but is shot and killed.

In Episode 1: Greedo, a Rodian youth, confronts Anakin Skywalker but is pummeled and beaten. This scene was deleted from the film, but can still be found on YouTube or in DVD extras.

After his scuffle with Anakin, Greedo's family hilariously caution him to be careful or he'll end up dead. Oh, the irony.

Future of Star Wars

Though far from perfect, I'll forever enjoy the Easter Eggs and references Star Wars inserts within its films. With two separate timelines as well as new movies still releasing, the future looks bright for the galaxy far far away.

Feel free to vote for your favorite film and I'll see you at our next countdown!

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Jeremy Gill

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeremy Gill 

        17 months ago from Louisiana

        Thanks Poppy! You're right, and I imagine George Lucas intended these similarities to exist to mirror the original trilogy.

      • poppyr profile image

        Poppy 

        17 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Interesting insights, Jeremy! I suppose there will always be reccuring themes within the same genres.

      • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeremy Gill 

        17 months ago from Louisiana

        Thank you, Fullerman! I also enjoy each and every film. Episode 1 understandably receives lots of flack for Jar-Jar, but I really like certain elements and characters of the film such as Qui-Gon and Maul.

        And hopefully we can one day explore comparisons from the Force Awakens trilogy to the original!

      • Fullerman5000 profile image

        Ryan Fuller 

        17 months ago from Louisiana, USA

        Wow, this brings new meaning for me in the Star Wars saga. Makes you think, and realize things that I have missed. I enjoy all the Star Wars film, but definitely more of the old school fan. I am, however, very pleased with what they are accomplishing with the newer films like the Force Awakens and Rogue One. Great hub and I enjoyed it.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)