Posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
JJ Abrams is one of those filmmakers who loves to hide easter eggs in his films and television shows. And we love to go on the easter egg hunt and find them. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is packed with inside jokes, cameos, fun references to past films, as well as some things that pay homage to the inspiration and fandom of the series.
How many Game of Thrones cameos did you spot? Is it possible the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark might be hidden in this movie somewhere? Find out this and over 50 other Star Wars: The Force Awakens easter eggs, after the jump.
Boba Fett’s Mandelorian flag is featured in the scene where they arrive at Maz Kanata’s castle. Most of the other flags and symbols are from the prequels. You can even see the flag of the 501st Legion.
Force For Change Winner
DC Barnes is the Star Wars fan who won the Star Wars: Force For Change charity contest to have a walk on role in The Force Awakens. Barnes appears as a bar patron in Maz’s Castle.
J.J. Abrams is a big fan of Don Coscarelli‘s horror cult classic Phantasm. He’s such a big fan of it, in fact, that he even pays tribute to it in Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Phasma, the “Chrome Trooper” played by Gwendoline Christie, is named after the 1979 movie.
“It reminded me of the ball in Phantasm, and I just thought, Phasma sounds really cool.”
And his love for the film doesn’t stop there. Abrams’ company Bad Robot has secretly overseen a 4K restoration of Phantasm from the original camera negative.
Carrie Fisher’s Daughter
Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher‘s daughter plays a Resistance officer credited as “Lieutenant Connix” but named Kaydel Ko Connix in the visual dictionary. Notice she is wearing a variation of the famous hairbuns that her mother made famous. She can be seen in the film working with PZ-4CO, who is partially in control of the droid operations for The Resistance.
The Voices of BB-8
Saturday Night Live veteran Bill Hader and House of Lies star Ben Schwartz (who starred in the short lived Abrams produced tv series Undercovers) are both credited as “BB-8 Voice Consultants.” What does that mean? From what I’ve heard, Ben worked on the film for a couple years trying to give the new ball droid a voice.
Apparently they had gotten it to a certain point but it wasn’t sounding completely right, so they brought in Hader. Hader tried doing a voice but it sounded “too human.” So the sound you hear in the movie ended up being, according to Hader, “JJ fucking around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me. It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8’s voice.”
This isn’t the first time Hader has given his vocal talents to a film on the downlow. In fact, he’s done some vocal work for J.J. Abrams before as a voice on the Enterprise.
JJ Abrams Father
JJ Abrams often has his father Gerry Abrams have small cameos in his films. In Star Trek he was a “Barfly” in the earth bar, in Star Trek Into Darkness he was a Starfleet Memorial Admiral, and now in Star Wars: The Force Awakens he plays Resistance Captain Cypress.
Holochess Sequence Stop Motion Animated Again By
I was originally not going to feature the Holochess shot in the easter eggs post because its just so obvious, but there is some interesting bits about the making of the sequence that I thought was worth talking about. The original Holochess sequence in A New Hope was created using stop motion animation by Phil Tippett and his team. Lucasfilm brought Tippett and his team back to create the stop-motion animation sequence for the new film. You can watch an extensive behind the scenes video about the making of the sequence above thanks to Tested.
Warwick Davis Cameo
Warwick Davis, who played the Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi, plays a patron to Maz’s castle named Wollivan. According to the Visual Dictionary (above), Wollican is an “interstellar scout and hyperspace trailblazer who sells or gambles away valuable astrogational data and scavenged trinkets to smugglers and traders.”
The Ark Of The Covenant
I have not been able to confirm this is in the actual film, but the cross section guide for The Force Awakens shows that one of the cargo modules in Han’s freighter is numbered “9906753”. You can see the cargo container in question in the top left of the right hand page screen captured above.
Indiana Jones fans will recognize the number as the identifying number used on the crate that held the Ark of the Covenant in the cavernous warehouse of Hangar 51, after it was retrieved by the US government following its discovery by Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Trailer Editor Spots Starkiller Base’s Point Of Weakness
Stefan Grube might have made you cry. He edited the brilliant first two teaser trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and probably a bunch of the modern trailers you loved (above is a photo of him accepting an award for the Best Drama TV Spot Award for ‘There Will Be Blood’ backstage during the Movie Marketing Key Art Awards). Stefan appears in the film as X-Wing pilot Yolo Ziff, who spots the hole in the oscillator of Starkiller Base which ends up being the intel that allows the Resistance to land the knockout blast.