Here’s a good pub quiz question for you (I’ve used it twice) – what’s the first line ever spoken in a Star Wars movie?
Forget “Luke I am your father” or “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” – this momentous piece of dialogue actually comes from Anthony Daniels’ droid butler C-3PO, as Princess Leia’s ship the Tantive IV is struck in an ongoing battle with an Imperial Star Destroyer in the opening moments of 1977’s A New Hope.
“Did you hear that?” Threepio asks his diminutive sidekick R2-D2.
It’s an appropriately inauspicious start for a little sci-fi movie that became a pop culture sensation, but given its significance it’s not a huge surprise that in the saga’s conclusion, new movie Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, there’s a little nod to this beginning.
C-3PO actually has quite a bit to do in the early part of the film, but towards the end it’s also worth paying attention to him, when in the aftermath of a climactic battle (which we won’t go into too many details about) he detects the sound of a particular character arriving in an X-Wing fighter.
“Did you hear that?” he asks.
Yes, it could be a coincidence, but in a film so invested in nostalgia, it doesn’t seem out of the question that Star Wars would want to close the circle on Threepio.
“He’s the breadcrumbs, that help you recognise, as you follow the path, that this is a Star Wars path,” Daniels said of his character’s role in the saga.
And in The Rise of Skywalker, the beginning and end of that path are clearly one and the same.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is in UK cinemas now