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The Star Wars movies have become such a part of pop culture that references to those films can be found all over cinema today. The fact that so many movies make reference to Star Wars may be the reason that we apparently didn’t dig into the movies themselves for references to other movies, but it turns out they’re there. The prequels came out many years later, after all. It turns out that one of them actually includes a reference to another science fiction film, and that reference has only now been noticed.
The scene in question takes place in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. Obi-Wan and Anakin have entered a bar and another patron tries to sell Obi-Wan a "death stick." The actor in question, in the image above, is named Matt Doran and in addition to playing the "death stick" guy, he also plays the role of Mouse. Mouse was one of the crew members on board the Nebuchadnezzar in The Matrix. He’s the one who offers Neo some time with the "woman in the red dress" who had successfully distracted him (along with many of us in the theater) earlier in the film. No big deal, right? Doran is just an actor playing another role in another movie. Well, according to Imgur user Robertissimo, there’s a lot more going on.
You see, about 15 seconds after the scene at the bar, a blonde haired woman tries, and fails, to get Anakin’s attention, in much the same way that the woman in the red dress did with Neo.
While it may appear to just be an odd coincidence, it starts to seem like less of one when you realize that both women are played by the same actress, Australian model and actress Fiona Johnson. Robertissimo theorizes that the reference is intentionally planted to show that Anakin is not distractible, either because of his Jedi training or his unwavering love for Padme.
While it could be easy enough to chalk all this up to coincidence, it’s actually several coincidences stacked on top of each other, which would make it much less likely that it’s a coincidence at all. Whether it was a previously planned reference or one that simply came together when they realized all the pieces were available to put into place, it certainly does appear to be intentional.
What do you think? Unlikely coincidence, or intentional reference? Keep in mind that neither of the two Matrix sequels were out yet when Attack of the Clones was released, so the idea that the Keanu Reeves movies were on the verge of becoming another Star Wars level trilogy was still a possibility in many people’s minds.