When it comes to spectacle and grandeur, movies can't get much bigger and more lavish than the Star Wars series. Even in the original trilogy George Lucas achieved something that had never been seen before in film, and he clearly didn't want to or need to hold back on anything when he decided to make the prequel trilogy years later. And, because Lucas and his team love to pay attention to detail, there are about a million little details that any average audience member is bound to miss.
There are dozens of Easter eggs buried throughout all three of the prequel films that are either incredibly easy to miss or that the moviemakers themselves went out of their way to hide. So, here are 10 interesting and barely-perceptible little details that you likely never noticed in Star Wars: Episode I, II, and III.
10 E.T. Makes An Appearance
Star Wars is a story that spans an entire galaxy, so, unsurprisingly, it's chock-full of every kind of alien creature that George Lucas could possibly dream up. But one of the aliens featured in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is not one of George Lucas' creations, it's actually Steven Spielberg's. In one of the scenes in the Galactic Senate, the same kind of alien species that appeared in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial can be seen sitting in one of the senate seats. Lucas included the little Easter egg as an homage to his long-time friendship with Spielberg.
9 Mustafar's Lava Is Real
Obviously, one of the most iconic moments within the entire Star Wars universe is when Anakin Skywalker slowly surrenders himself to the dark side and transforms into Darth Vader on the harsh world of Mustafar.
The planet itself seems to be a physical representation of Anakin's experiences at that moment, and, while Mustafar does look totally out of this world, there are elements of the scenes that came directly from mother earth. Much of the lava effects that are seen on Mustafar are digitally enhanced versions of real lava eruptions that are blended together and then edited into the scenes themselves.
8 The Cast And Crew Appearances In The Attack Of The Clones Bar
You would think that it would go without saying that the cast of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones appears in the bar scene on Coruscant, but the cast appearances aren't quite what you might think. Clearly Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen are there, along with a whole party's worth of extras, but a lot of the actors who appear as non-human characters in the movies make cameos in this scene as well. That includes Ahmed Best, who plays Jar-Jar, and Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO, as well as some of the puppeteers who handle the other non-human characters.
7 Liam Neeson's Communicator Is A Gillette Razor
Throughout the course of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Qui-Gon Jinn uses a communicator. While it looks like your fairly standard Star Wars gadget, the prop that Liam Neeson uses in the movie is actually a Gillette razor. More specifically, it's a Gillette Sensor Excel Razor for Women that has been spruced up and modified to look like a tech gadget worthy of one of the most famous and expensive science fiction movies of all time.
Obviously, it's hard to identify in the movie, but it'd be interesting to know if Gillette paid for that kind of product placement!
6 Obi-Wan Teaches Boba Fett How Han Solo Will Hide
George Lucas actually put an interesting callback/call forward to The Empire Strikes Back in Attack of the Clones. When Obi-Wan is trying to avoid detection while en route to Geonosis, he hides among an asteroid field.
Boba Fett is with his father Jango when Obi-Wan pulls this move, so, years later when Han Solo tries a similar trick in The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett is easily able to find him. Director and writer George Lucas confirmed that this connection was intentional and that Boba did, in fact, discover Han decades later because of his childhood experience with Obi-Wan.
5 Luke And Leia Were Puppets
A lot of galaxy-changing things happen throughout Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, but, obviously, one of the most important events is the birth of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. They're only seen as infants in the movie, but the death of Queen Amidala and the birth of the twins is one of the climactic moments of the film.
And, while there are portions of their birth scene where the twins are played by real babies, some of the scenes use animatronic puppets in place of children, presumably because there is no time limit for animatronic babies to be on set.
4 The Darth Vader Easter Egg At The End Of Phantom Menace
Obviously, the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace take place long before the era of Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire, and, at that point, little Ani doesn't look like he could have even an ounce of darkness in him. There is also very little in the film to foreshadow the dark path that Anakin will eventually be going down.
It's hard to remember the film era before the MCU, but, prior to their film series, it was relatively rare to have a post-credits Easter egg, so the little homage to Darth Vader—his signature breathing can be heard after the end of the credits—at the end of Phantom Menace was easy to miss.
3 The Serial Numbers On Clone Trooper Helmets Is THX 1138
Now this detail isn't so much a hidden detail that no one noticed, it's more of a hidden detail that literally no one could have noticed. It's not visible on the actual screen, but the helmets of the clone troopers all have a serial number embedded in the back of their helmets, and each serial number reads THX 1138.
Surely, George Lucas fanboys will recognize that, but, for those of you who are unfamiliar, one of George Lucas' earlier and less successful films was titled THX 1138. It's a dystopian sci-fi film in the same vein as 1984, and THX 1138 is the title as well as the main character's name.
2 Goodbye, Old Friend
One of the most memorable scenes in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is when Obi-Wan and Anakin are going their separate ways. Obi-Wan closes the conversation by saying "goodbye old friend," which seems to have a literal as well as a symbolic meaning for the film.
Obi-Wan doesn't know it at the time, but this is the last time he's going to see the "good" Anakin before he switches to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader. So, his final goodbye seems to foreshadow Anakin's transition and the conclusion of a relationship that Obi-Wan will never have with him again.
1 Keira Knightley
If anyone saw Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman walking down the street together, they would undoubtedly think "wow, what beautiful women," but they probably wouldn't think they look like near-identical twins. Actually, they'd probably be thinking "holy crap, it's Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman," but, again, they wouldn't be thinking they're doppelgangers.
However, Keira played one of Queen Amidala's handmaids and her body double, and, in the whole Queen Amidala hair, makeup, and costume, it is legitimately difficult to tell the two actresses apart. So difficult, in fact, that Keira's own mother had trouble telling the actresses apart when they were fully done up.