With The Force Awakens coming to home media in just two weeks, Star Wars fans are hitting a fever pitch yet again, this time to pick apart the movie. No, I don't mean picking apart the various plot holes, vagueries, burning questions or character inconsistencies (for more on those, please visit here). I mean all the hidden references to the other Star Wars movies from both the Original and Prequel trilogies.
The joy of Blu-Ray means getting to freeze frame all those blink-and-you'll-miss-them moments that you may have missed in the theatre, even upon repeat viewings. With Rogue One set to hit cinemas later this year, rewatching The Force Awakens ad-nauseum, despite the movie's flaws, can offer a fix for fans eager to jump to hyperspace once more.
10 Finn's Jacket
If that fine leather jacket that Poe Dameron gives to Finn looks very familiar, it's because you have seen it before, or one almost just like it. Luke Skywalker himself wears a jacket almost identical to Finn's at the end of A New Hope.
9 The Remote
One of the most talked about scenes of A New Hope found Obi-Wan instructing Luke in the use of a lightsaber. To demonstrate, Obi-Wan launches a flying ball that shoots laser blasts, and has Luke try to deflect them.
8 The Chessboard
The Millennium Falcon of course, still has its famous combination chessboard and coffee table located in the passenger cabin of the ship. During The Force Awakens, Rey and Finn accidentally turn it on to reveal a series of animated monsters.
7 Nien Nunb
Though nobody calls him by name in The Force Awakens, the movie sees the return of one of Return of the Jedi's favorite characters: Nien Nunb. Nunb piloted the Falcon alongside Lando Calrissian at the Battle of Endor; he's the "catfish" alien that rambles in some alien dialect (actually Kenyan).
6 Mandalorian Banner
Maz Kanata's castle hosts a number of various alien species from across the galaxy, much like Jabba's Palace in Return of the Jedi or the cantina in A New Hope. Another familiar icon makes a cameo outside the castle too...
5 Daniel Craig
Viewers won't spot this hidden gem with even the keenest of eyes. Rather, they'll have to use their ears! If the stormtrooper that Rey manipulates with the Force sounds familiar, there is a very good reason.
4 Yoda & Obi-Wan
Speaking of familiar audio, during Rey's Force vision, some iconic Star Wars voices have cameos: Yoda and Obi-Wan. The soundtrack reuses audio from The Empire Strikes Back to allow actor Frank Oz to reprise his role as the miniature Jedi master.
Even better, both Obi-Wans have a cameo. The late Sir Alec Guinness speaks from beyond the grave, courtesy of some clever audio editing, calling out Rey's name. The Prequel incarnation of Obi-Wan gets most of the dialogue though, with actor Ewan McGregor once again stepping into the role.
The Death Star-like base, which the characters go out of their way to insist is not the Death Star, bares a familiar name, or it should to Star Wars devotees. The Starkiller name traces its origins all the way back to the very first draft of what would become the original Star Wars movie. In that version, the hero wasn't named Luke Skywalker, he was Luke Starkiller!
2 The Damn Plot Itself
If, watching The Force Awakens, viewers felt an eerie sense of deja-vu, there's a reason: the plot is exactly the same as A New Hope! Think about it: a piece of data (the Death Star plans/the Map) vital to the survival of a fringe group (the Rebellion/the Resistance) working to stop a fascist government (the Empire/First Order) is hidden in a droid (R2/BB-8) and lands on a desert planet (Tatooine/Jakku). A poor teenager (Luke/Rey) discovers said droid and escapes aboard the Millennium Falcon to return the droid to Princess/General Leia...
1 BB-8's Name
Legend has it George Lucas concocted R2-D2's name from reel two, dialogue two during editing of American Graffiti. He noticed the abbreviation, and the name stuck. The Force Awakens provides the lovable BB-8, a droid with the same sassy attitude as R2. He's even based on an early possible design for R2, and serves an identical function in the film (see above).
The origin of BB-8's name has been the subject of speculation, but there are two logical candidates. One is the initials of producer Bryan Burk, who collaborates frequently with J.J. Abrams. The other, more likely germ: sound designer Ben Burtt. Burtt has worked on the Star Wars films since their inception, even taking up writing duties on the Droids animated series. He had good reason. Burtt developed the soundscapes of the Star Wars galaxy, most importantly that of R2-D2. He did the same as BB-8 whose name likely provides a subtle nod to the man who gave him a voice.
Sources: www.slashfilm.com; blogs.indiewire.com
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