Self-fulfilling Prophecy - Literature, Media, and The Arts - Modern - Movies


  • Some "Force Visions" in the Star Wars universe are self-fulfilling prophecies. For example, the plot of the 2005 film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was based around a self-fulfilling prophecy. The main character, Anakin Skywalker, has a premonitory dream about the death of his wife, Padmé Amidala. He searches for a way to save her and, in desperation, allies himself with the evil Sith. However, it is Anakin's turn to evil that ends up killing Padmé. It is only when he meets with his son that he actually fulfills the prophecy of destroying the Sith.
  • In the 2006 Indian film Krrish, a modern take on the story of Krishna, the antagonist Dr. Arya builds an advanced computer that could predict the future. After seeing his own future death at the hands of the protagonist Krrish, he goes looking for him to hunt him down. Krrish's friend Kristian is shot dead by Dr. Arya when he is mistaken for Krrish. After finding his friend dead, Krrish becomes intent on getting revenge against Dr. Arya, and eventually kills him, exactly as the computer predicted. Dr. Arya's attempt to prevent his death led to it becoming true.
  • The 1999 movie The Matrix heavily incorporates the idea of self-fulfilling prophecies. One recognizable scene that directly references to it is when Morpheus takes Neo to see the Oracle. When Neo walks in to speak to the Oracle, she says "I'd ask you to sit down, but you're not going to anyway. And don't worry about the vase." Neo answers "What vase?" and turns around to see what she could be talking about, but in doing so knocks over and breaks a vase that was sitting on a counter next to him. Neo apologizes and the Oracle reminds him not to worry about it. Neo asks how she knew, to which the Oracle responds, "What's really going to bake your noodle later on is: would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?"
  • In the 1995 film Twelve Monkeys Bruce Willis’ character Cole is sent back in time from the year 2035 to prevent a holocaust of the world's population. Throughout the film we see a flashback from Cole's childhood in which a man is seen to be shot dead by security in an airport. During the course of the film we discover that every act Cole makes to stop the man presumed responsible for the holocaust, in fact enables the appearance of the real responsible one, unknown in the future world. In the final reel of the film it is revealed that Cole himself is the man he saw being shot in the airport as a child, while the man responsible for the cause of the holocaust escapes undetected.
  • In the 1988 movie Willow, warned that Elora Danan's birth will lead to her destruction, the evil Queen Bavmorda orders the baby killed; however, her attempts to achieve this result in her own destruction.
  • In the 2002 film Minority Report, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, a prophecy is made when John Anderton discovers that the Precrime department predicts that he will murder a certain person, who is a complete stranger to him, in 36 hours. In trying to find his target in order to find out what is happening, John Anderton almost fulfills the prophecy when he discovers evidence that points to this person as the one who kidnapped his son years before. In the end, he does fulfill the prophecy when it turns out that the man was going to be murdered accidentally all along.
  • In the 2003 film Paycheck (also a Philip K. Dick story), Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck) creates a machine that sees into the future. He sees an apocalypse that he discovers only comes about through his knowledge of it, and his potential attempts to avoid it.
  • In the movie Premonition (2007), Linda Hanson (Sandra Bullock) acts on premonitions and thus causes the critical event to happen.
  • In the 2008 film Kung Fu Panda, Master Shifu hears a prophecy that his nemesis Tai Lung will escape from prison. Despite being warned that "one often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it", Shifu dispatches a messenger to warn the prison guards. In doing so, the messenger drops a feather, which Tai Lung then uses to escape.
  • The sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2, also features one. The Soothsayer predicted that Lord Shen would be defeated by a warrior of black and white. Lord Shen responded by massacring the pandas, causing Po to come to the Valley of Peace.
  • In the movie The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), the Lord Marshal of the Necromongers hears a prophecy that a young Furyan child would eventually cause his downfall. In an effort to prevent this, he tries to kill all of the Furyan people, and ends up causing the main character, Riddick, to seek revenge on him.

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