Continuing with the Star Wars theme from my previous post, here’s another dubious story that made the news rounds that very same week in 2016 that appears to reference the series as well:
Cops: Woman Burned Alive by Ex-Boyfriend as People Drove Past and Did Nothing
One of the main things I look for as an indication that a news story may have been fabricated is the inclusion of odd names of the characters involved. In this tragic tale of love gone wrong, the two principles have names that sound like they could be hinting at something: Sara Di Pierantonio and Vincenzo Paduano.
When I first saw this story, I immediately broke down the last name “Pierantonio” into “pier” and “Anthony” and checked to see if there were any other recent stories featuring those elements. Sure enough, there was a story from roughly a month earlier that also featured the element of fire!
Fire breaks out at site of former Anthony’s Pier 4
So this was a big red flag to me that this story was perhaps not all that it seems. The name of the jealous boyfriend who reportedly burned Pierantonio alive also rang a bell. “Paduano” made me think of “Padawan” from the Star Wars lexicon:
A classic example of a Padawan-Jedi relationship can be found between young Padawan Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, a loving relationship that also turned deadly and ended in fire!
At 0:18 in this scene from Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, we see Anakin leap from what is essentially a “burning pier” (Anthony’s Pier 4) onto a piece of debris in a river of lava in his duel with Obi-wan, which ends with him getting his legs cut off and burned alive:
The injured Anakin screams “I hate you!” as Obi-Wan declares his love for Anakin and pleads with him not to betray him and the light side of The Force. Seeing that Anakin has made his choice, Obi-wan turns away from his helpless former protege and allows him to slip into the lava and be consumed by fire.
The idea of love destroyed by perceived betrayal is also echoed in the story between the two young Italian lovers as well as the idea of witnesses reportedly driving by and “doing nothing” as the woman burned alive. Here’s another article on the story with the graphic mental image of her “face set on fire” specifically:
Student dies after ‘face is set on fire’ in horror attack by jilted boyfriend
At 3:20 in the Star Wars fight scene, we see Anakin’s burning face screaming in pain as we might imagine Sara did after her jilted boyfriend set her ablaze. There are also some parallels between Paduano’s actions and the “Jedi Trials” described in the Star Wars universe.
The Jedi Trials was a process that Padawans of the Jedi Order took in order to achieve the rank of Jedi Knight. During the trial, Padawans must go through nine steps of trial: teamwork, isolation, fear, anger, betrayal, focus, instinct, forgiveness, and protection.
From the Rome story:
Paduano had followed the college student as she left her current boyfriend’s house, police said. He allegedly rammed her car, forcing it to the side of a street, and got in.
Paduano did not accept “being abandoned” by Di Pietrantonio, Monteleone said. He “organized (and) planned the aggression,” she said.
Mr Silipo added: “He couldn’t accept the fact he was left by her when she ended the relationship.”
I seems Paduano, tormented by the trials of isolation, anger and betrayal, failed the trial of forgiveness in the most gruesome way imaginable!
Further connecting the story to Star Wars, we have this photo of Paduano in happier times:
This is reminiscent of Anakin Skywalker and his faithful droid R2-D2 in happier times:
In case you think this is a stretch, comparisons between R2 and this one-eyed “Minion” character have been made before:
Furthermore, the story taking place in Rome may also be another connection. Some say the Star Wars saga was partially inspired by the history of ancient Rome:
The political institutions of “Star Wars”—such as the Senate, Republic and Empire—and the pseudo-Latin names of characters such as chancellors Valorum and Palpatine echo those of ancient Rome. As Tony Keen notes in “Star Wars and History,” the architecture on the planet Naboo resembles that of imperial Rome, and the pod race in “The Phantom Menace” rivals that of the Roman chariot race seen on screen in “Ben-Hur.” The transition from the democratic Galactic Republic to the dictatorial Galactic Empire over the course of the franchise also mirrors that of ancient Rome. “It is plain that the basic structure of Lucas’s history derives from the fall of the Roman Republic and the subsequent establishment of a monarchy,” Keen writes.
The fact that these two stories appeared within a week of each other seemed to hint that “Star Wars tragedy” was in the air. The reported “death” of Carrie Fisher some six months later appears to confirm that!