The Mist's Pharmacy Scene Features A Geeky Star Wars Reference You Probably Didn't Notice [Exclusive]

15 years after its release, "The Mist" has aged like fine wine (if it was made of blood, of course). Despite some digital effects that don't look great in 2022, it's a straight-up good film that still lives in the back of the minds of the most horror-oriented folk. The thematic messages of the Stephen King adaptation work just as well as its gory parts, but the monsters are pretty neat, too. However, the bloody moral corruption of the human soul is not the only thing available for us to chew on. Shockingly enough, there is something much less sinister in the depths of "The Mist." The film is certainly not a family-friendly affair, but there is a not-so-random Easter egg that alludes to a widely-adored franchise.

According to actor Sam Witwer, who plays Private Wayne Jessup, there is a sneaky "Star Wars" reference buried in the infamous pharmacy sequence. The scene in question occurs in the latter half of the film, during the pharmacy run that sees David (Thomas Jane) and a few others venture into the mist to get medical supplies. The overall vibe of the scene speaks to the gnarliest parts of "The Mist," but knowing one small gesture by Witwer's Jessup is a direct callback to an all-time great "Star Wars" video game does lighten the mood a bit.

'It's my reverse lightsaber grip'

As a part of Eric Vespe's oral history of the making of "The Mist," Witwer went in-depth on the making of the movie in celebration of its 15th anniversary. During the lengthy discussion with /Film, Witwer revealed that he snuck in a reference to a key role he played in the "Star Wars" universe: 

"['Star Wars: The Force Unleashed'] was going to come out a year later or something like that. I think I'd shot 'The Force Unleashed,' and then went directly to "The Mist." I wasn't feeling particularly macho, so when someone gives me the knife, I hold the knife in the reverse grip because I wanted to subconsciously remind the audience that I can indeed beat up Darth Vader. Don't mess with me. It's my reverse lightsaber grip. I think that was my way of making myself feel better that I was a space tough guy."

"Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" was — ahem — unleashed a year after "The Mist," so I doubt many picked up the reference at the time. However, Witwer is a well-known face in the Star Wars universe nowadays, having voiced Darth Maul several times in addition to playing the lead character of Starkiller in "The Force Unleashed." It seems like a super niche homage at first glance, but diehard video game fans should immediately notice the reference now that it's been pointed out.

Holding a lightsaber, but cooler

Although it's not canon, "The Force Unleashed" holds a special place in my heart. Playing as Starkiller, and as his clone in the sequel, was an intimate gateway into "Star Wars" that felt fearless and unforgiving. It was up to the player to choose their side and forge their own destiny as a weapon for the Sith. You could even play as Darth Vader himself in one sequence. But the coolest part, arguably, was the fact that the main character wielded his lightsaber with that reverse grip. There was no exact logic to it, yet it looked and felt great anyway.

In "The Mist," the reverse grip on the knife is also a bit comical, but it does speak to the fact Jessup is fundamentally separated from his fellow survivors. His military background and connection to the monster invasion eventually lead to his undoing, as the mob transformed by the traumatic experience offers him up as a sacrifice to the interdimensional invaders. After all, the most terrifying aspect of "The Mist" is not the monsters themselves, but the people the survivors turn out to be because of them.

I'm not sure if a double-feature of sorts with "The Force Unleashed" and "The Mist" is the way to go, but I implore you to experience at least one of them before they get enveloped by the never-ending pop culture mist.