J.J. Abrams’ hotly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens is—predictably—chock full of easter eggs for longtime fans. You knew you’d have to watch out for them, and that you might have to pay extra-close attention. As it turns out, that wasn’t quite true. That’s because there are so many easter eggs in The Force Awakens, we’re not even sure we caught them all. Here are some of the hidden treasures that were, well not so hidden. And of course, beware: major spoilers ahead.
Gonk Droids, Because Why Not?
One of the crappier robots from the original Star Wars trilogy is the GNK power droid, known more colloquially as the “Gonk Droid.” Why? Because that’s what he says: “gonk.” It’s basically a little garbage can with legs, and it sucks. But despite its utter lameness, and the fact that the filmmakers are more than capable of improving on its terrible design, the Gonk Droid shows up a couple of times throughout The Force Awakens. The droid has no bearing on the narrative whatsoever, so it’s hard not to interpret its presence here as director J.J. Abrams’ way of telling fans that he gets what they love about Star Wars, gonks and all.
“This Is A Rescue”
When Finn takes Poe out of captivity early in the film, he takes off his helmet and tells the pilot, “This is a rescue!” That bit of dialogue is a clear reference to the very first time Luke meets Leia in the original Star Wars. You remember: he takes off the helmet of his Stormtrooper disguise and says, quite simply, “I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you!” Finn may not be the next Luke Skywalker (that seems to be Rey’s role) but he’s definitely on a similar path. Another great moment comes later when Han utters that oft-repeated line from the franchise, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Still, no one says “delusions of grandeur,” but hopefully that’ll show up in Episode VIII.
The Wilhelm Scream
If you know what the “Wilhelm Scream” is, then congratulations: you are a true film nerd. For the rest of you, however, here’s a quick primer. First recorded in 1951, and made famous by a character named Private Wilhelm in the 1953 film The Charge at Feather River, the Wilhelm Scream has been inserted into every single Star Wars film, not to mention about 200 others. If you keep your ears sharp during Finn and Poe’s escape from the First Order hangar bay, an anonymous (and unlucky) Stormtrooper belts the scream out after being killed by a turbolaser.
More Fuzzy Parsec Math
One of the most infamous lines in the original Star Wars is Han Solo’s boasts that the Millennium Falcon “made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs”…despite the fact that a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. It’s a gaffe that the nerdiest fans love and hate at the same time—and it the cast of The Force Awakens confront it head first. We hear Rey and Han talking about just how many parsecs it took to make the Kessel Run when the two meet on the Falcon…and neither of them seem to care much about what a parsec actually is.
Finn Finds Some Old Toys
While rifling through the Millennium Falcon’s stuff to care for Chewbacca’s wounds, Finn finds a pretty familiar looking sphere: the flying remote that Luke trained with on the Falcon way back in the first Star Wars film. He pulls it out of a drawer, looks at it, then tosses it aside as he keep searching for medical supplies. Later, he bumps into the holo-chess board that featured so prominently in the original movie, too.
These aren’t necessarily Star Wars easter eggs, but they’re definitely part and parcel with the involvement of J.J. Abrams. Two actors known for working with the Force Awakens director have relatively big cameos in the film. First there’s Greg Grunberg, who’s appeared in Abrams’ shows Alias and Lost, as the hilariously named X-Wing pilot Snap Wexley. Then there’s Lost‘s Ken Leung, who shows up here as Admiral Statura. We’re pretty sure we also spotted Lost‘s Henry Ian Cusick as another X-Wing pilot, but he doesn’t show up on IMDB, so we could be wrong on that one.
The Starkiller Base
This is by far one of the biggest easter eggs in all of The Force Awakens, and true fans spotted its significance right away. The film’s villains, the First Order, have taken a page from the playbook of the Empire, and built themselves a gigantic super-weapon capable of destroying entire systems, suns and all. It’s not the size of a moon—rather, it’s the size of an entire planet. But instead of calling it the Death Star, or the Death World, or the Super Space Gun (our choice), it’s called…the Starkiller Base. And what’s so important about the name “Starkiller”? It’s the original surname that George Lucas had intended to give his protagonist—before he decided on “Skywalker.” While replicating the Death Star, but bigger, isn’t necessarily the most inspired move in the galaxy, you gotta give props to Abrams and company for picking such a perfect name.
The Biggest Easter Eggs In The Force Awakens