The Ultimate Guide To Star Wars: The Force Awakens Easter Eggs

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.

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Maz's Flags

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.

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Phantasm

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

Carrie Fisher's Daughter

Billie LourdCarrie 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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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.

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Thomas Brodie-Sangster Cameo

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who played Jojen Reed in Game of Thrones appears in the film very briefly 20 or so minutes into the film. You can spot him after Poe and Finn steak the TIE fighter as he says "We have an unsanctioned departure from bay two." Brodie-Sangster is credited as "First Order Officer," although the visual dictionary credits him as "Petty Officer Thanisson."

Game Of Thrones Cameos

It's not just Max Von Sydow, Jessica Henwick, Gwendoline Christie, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster representing Westeros in The Force Awakens. A handful of other Game of Thrones alum appear in the film, but blink and you'll miss them.

  • Jessica Henwick who played Nymeria Sand is a Resistance x-wing pilot named Jess Testor.
  • Mark Stanley who played Jon Snow's doomed friend Grenn is credited as a "Clan Leader," so I'm guessing he's one of the masked fellows in the Knights of Ren?
  • Miltos Yerolemou who played Arya's fencing master Syrio Forel, is a patron in Maz Kanata's bar.
  • Emun Elliott who played singer Marillion is one of the Resistance fighters. He says the line: "A laser cannon?"

Its also worth noting that The Force Awakens and Game of Thrones share the same casting director, Nina Gold.

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Rey's Glasses

Rey's glasses were surely scavenged from the wreckages on Jakku. If you look carefully you will notice that the protective eyewear have actually been removed and repurposedr from the inside of a Empire-era Stormtrooper helmet she may have recovered in the sand dunes.

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Kevin Smith

Filmmaker and notable Star Wars fan Kevin Smith supposedly has a voice cameo in the film, but it has not been revealed.

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FN-2187

Finn's Stormtrooper identification number was FN-2187. The number is a fun homage to detention cell 2187 located in Detention Block AA-23 aboard the first Death Star. Star Wars fans will recognize that as the cell that was used for the interrogation and detainment of Princess Leia Organa in A New Hope.

The number itself is a filmic homage "21-87," the 10-minute experimental short film made in the mid-'60s by Canadian filmmaker Arthur Lipsett, which influenced Lucas as a young film student. Lucas has acknowledged that a line in the film spoken by the film's cinematographer actually influenced the naming and concept of "the force." Also worth noting the unintentional connection between that film and The Force Awakens: Roman Kroitor, the cinematographer heard in "21-87," developed IMAX.

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Daniel Craig's Cameo

While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was filming at Pinewood, it took up every stage on the studio lot but one: the Bond stage. And while filming was underway next door to the Spectre set (also on the Pinewood lot), we heard rumors that Daniel Craig was to have a secret cameo in the film, and despite the actor's public denials, he does appear in the film as a stormtrooper.

But which one? After Rey is interrogated by Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base, she tries to convince a Stormtrooper to release her from her restraints and leave her cell door open.

"You will remove these restraints and leave this cell with the door open," Rey tells the stormtrooper, played by Craig.

"I'll tighten those restraints, scavenger scum," Craig's character responds.

You can't tell its Craig's voice but you can hear that it's a British actor. The rest of the performance is hilarious.

The Hosnian System

The First Order blows up a bunch of planets in the Hosnian system, wiping out the Galactic Senate. The name of the system is actually a homage to film teacher Jim Hosney. You can read more about the man here.

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Michael Giacchino's Cameo

Longtime J.J. Abrams collaborator Michael Giacchino was unable to score Episode VII due to the return of franchise symphonist John Williams, but that doesn't mean he isn't a part of the movie. Giacchino also appears in the film as a stormtrooper, credited as "FN-3181" in the movie. I'm not sure if his number is an inside reference, but some are suggesting that its a jumbled up version of 1138, a reference to George Lucas' science fiction film THX1138. Giacchino's stormtrooper is the one who throws Poe Dameron down in front of Kylo Ren on Starkiller base.

Giacchino has a history of making cameo appearances in films (but usually ones he is involved in musically). He recently appeared in Brad Bird's Tomorrowland as an operator on the Small World attraction at the New York World's Fair (screenshot above). He appeared in Abrams' Super 8 as Deputy Crawford. And he provided an uncredited voice appearance as a reporter in Bird's Pixar animated feature Ratatouille.

Luke Skywalker's Training Ball

Luke Skywalker's Training Ball

Finn finds Luke Skywalker's old Marksman-H combat remote still stashed somewhere on the Millennium Falcon. You may recall that Obi-Wan Kenobi used the ball to train Luke in the ways of the lightsaber.

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Nigel Godrich's Cameo

And finally, English producer and unofficial sixth Radiohead member Nigel Godrich has a cameo in the film. Guess what kind of character he plays? Yup, a stormtrooper. Goodrich is credited as stormtrooper FN-9330 in the credits, however we don't know which stormtrooper he plays.

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Kelvin Revine

After helping BB-8 escape from Teedo, Rey warns the droid to "stay off Kelvin Ridge." This is actually the area of Jakku that gets invaded by the First Order — you know, the first scene featuring Max Von Sydow. There has been no water in Kelvin Revine for quite some time. This is JJ Abrams' favorite and most personal easter egg, a reference to Abrams' grandfather Harry Kelvin. You may have heard Abrams tell the story about how his grandfather gave him the now infamous, never-to-be-opened magic box. He also gave him his first film camera.

References to Harry Kelvin have been planted in most of Abrams films:

  • Star Trek: Kirk is born aboard the U.S.S. Kelvin. The starship's registry number (NCC-0514) nods to Kelvin's birthday.
  • Super 8: Kelvin is the name is on the convenience store/gas station.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: The archive blown up in London is the called "Kelvin Memorial Archive", in the story it is named for George Kirk's ship destroyed by Nero.
  • Lost: Clancy Brown played a DHARMA Initiative member named Kelvin Joe Inman.
  • Fringe: Walter and William Bell worked on programs at a firm called Kelvin Genetics
  • Mission: Impossible III: Ethan Hunt receives a postcard addressed to "H. Kelvin."

Ewan McGregor in The Force Awakens

 Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda

Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy), Alec Guiness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy) and Frank Oz (the voice of Yoda) can be heard in the film. If you listen closely during Rey's (Daisy Ridley) force vision in the basement of Maz Kanata's castle, you can hear a few snippets of echoing dialogue from Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.

Yoda's line is one from The Empire Strikes Back that was re-recorded by Frank Oz while Obi-Wan Kenobi's was something new entirely. The line in question comes at the very end of this Force flashback, and it says, "Rey, you've taken your first steps." Ewan McGregor recorded the line for the film, and they were able to repurpose Alec Guinness saying 'Afraid,' and turn it into "Rey." So when you hear Obi-Wan talk to Rey it is both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor doing the voice." You can read the story about how this happened, here.

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Slusho?

JJ Abrams has often included a frozen drink called Slusho in many of his tv shows and movies, including Cloverfield, Alias and the Star Trek films. When asked if the cult Japanese frozen slushy would appear in The Force Awakens, Abrams refused to answer — which makes us believe its probably in there somewhere in the background, most possibly in the sequence in Maz's Castle.

The Batmobile

During production, director JJ Abrams and Batman V Superman filmmaker Zack Snyder had a fun back and fourth can-you-top-that feud. At one point Abrams' production company posted the above video called "HUNKA JUNK" revealing that they painted the Batmobile and used it as part of the junk on the practically built Millennium Falcon used in the film. While it might be hard to see it in the movie, it was actually on there. The painted Tumblr now sits on a shelf near the reception area at Abrams' production company Bad Robot.

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Poe Dameron's Namesake Makes A Cameo

When JJ Abrams explained the meaning behind some of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens character names, he revealed that Poe Dameron, the X-Wing pilot played by Oscar Isaac, is named partially after his assistant Morgan Dameron. Morgan can also be seen in the film as she has a cameo as a Resistance officer named Commodore Meta. How meta indeed.

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Rey Has A Thing For X-Wing Pilots

After Rey scratches another mark on the wall of her AT-AT home, you can see a Rebel X-Wing pilot doll in the corner of the shot. The Visual Dictionary notes that she crafted this doll from debris she found in the junk fields — the orange fabric came from a New Republic cargo container.

She also has a salvaged Rebel X-wing pilot flight helmet, which apparently once belonged to Captain Dosmit Raeh of the Trierfon Yellow Aces. In the film's prequel book Before the Awakening, we see Rey spending her free time learning how to pilot ships from a flight simulator.

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Judah Friedlander Cameo

30 Rock star Judah Friedlander makes a very random cameo as a humanoid character in Maz Kanata's Castle. You see him briefly when Maz yells out Han's name in the bar and everyone stops to look. If you look closely you'll see a shot of Friedlander seated at a table as "Bar Patron" turn his head.

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Cloud City Corridor

During Rey's Force vision, she finds herself transported to the the corridor where Luke and Darth Vader dueled in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. If you listen carefully, you can hear Luke yelling, "Noooo!" after Vader reveals that he's his father. The film was originally going to have her walk down the hallway to see that event from the broken window across the way, but it was cut from the final film.

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New X-Wing Pilot Pays Tribute to Lost & the Beastie Boys

One of the new X-Wing pilots introduced in this film is Ello Asty, an Abednedo known for his "superb abilities behind the stick – and for his trouble remembering that a squadron must act as a team, not a loose collection of individuals." The character is both an homage to the Beastie Boys and also to the television show Lost.

Abrams is notoriously a fan of the rap trio, and has featured their songs in his other films ("Sabotage" can be heard in the first act of Star Trek). Abrams has confirmed that the character is a tribute to the group's 1998 album "Hello Nasty" as well as his ABC series Lost (the name phonetically spells out the title – El-Lo-As-Ty). Here is what Abrams told Yahoo! Movies:

"It is for me. But I'd be lying if I said I came up with that name. It was suggested to me from the creature department. And I loved it for that reason, because it referenced the album, and also because it spells out Lost. And so both of those felt like, they were funny reasons to approve that name. Some names came from the creature department; some came from us, from me, from other people I'm working with. But it was one of the things that just felt like something funny that people might smile at."

Another cool detail you probably wouldn't notice is that the Aurebesh writing on his helmet translates to "Born to Ill," an homage to the Beastie Boys' breakout 1986 album "Licensed to Ill." Ello Asty is part of the Abednedo species, which ties into Beastie Boys song 'Shadrach', where the group references the Judaeo-Christian parable of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Another Lost connection, Ken Leung plays Resistance Admiral Statura.

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Kylo Ren's Name

Kylo Ren was born Ben Solo. Most fans probably got that the name was most likely inspired by old Ben Kenobi.  In the Legends expanded universe (no longer canon), Luke and Mara had a son named Ben Skywalker, who was Jacen Solo's apprentice until the young Jedi fell to the Dark Side.

The name Kylo Ren is not his given name. The last name "Ren" is a title given to members of the Knights of Ren. Kyle's first name is probably a combination of sKYwalker and soLO. George Lucas' character names were often either very literal like Luke Skywalker or with hidden deeper meaning like Darth Vader. I think this is Abrams and Kasdan's way of carrying on that tradition.

Simon Pegg Is Unkar Plutt

Simon Pegg Is Unkar Plutt

Unkar Plutt, the scavenger that Rey trades in parts to on Jakku, is played by Simon Pegg. Pegg has a history with Abrams, having played Benji Dunn in Mission: Impossible III and Scotty in Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. He is also a huge Star Wars fan, which is evidenced by some of the films and television shows he's been involved in over the years.

The Force Awakens Starkiller Base

 Starkiller Base

The First Order's new base/mega-weapon is called Starkiller Base, inspired by the original surname for Skywalker in the first draft of the script for the first Star Wars movie.

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JJ Abrams' Good Luck Charm: Greg Grunberg

Actor Greg Gunberg has been friends with director JJ Abrams since childhood, and the filmmaker has tried to include him in most of his films and tv projects, calling him his good luck charm. He played Sean Blumberg in Felicity, Eric Weiss in Alias, Airplane pilot Seth Norris in the Lost pilot, Kevin in Mission: Impossible III, the voice of the stepdad in Star Trek, a sitcom actor on television in Super 8, and now he appears as Resistance X-wing pilot Temmin "Snap" Wexley. The character is first introduced in Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig.

"I Have A Bad Feeling About This"

"I have a bad feeling about this" is a well-known phrase in the Star Wars series which has become a running gag. The phrase is spoken at least once in every Star Wars movie released so far and has appeared in every LucasArts Star Wars video game and in most of the books and comic books.

  • Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace: Obi-Wan Kenobi says this at the beginning of the film when Kenobi talks to Qui-Gon Jinn onboard Saak'ak[src]
  • Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones: Anakin Skywalker says the line at Geonosis in the arena.
  • Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith: Obi-Wan Kenobi says the line to Anakin Skywalker as their starfighters approach a large, closing blast door.
  • Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope: Luke Skywalker says it when the Millennium Falcon approaches the Death Star and Han Solo says it before the walls of the trash compactor start to close in.
  • Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back: Princess Leia says it while inside the belly of the space slug.
  • Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi: C-3PO says it to R2-D2 when entering Jabba the Hutt's palace and Han Solo, says it after the Ewoks begin the preparations to roast him, Luke & Chewbacca.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Han Solo speaks the line when Rey accidentally releases the Ranthars into his bulk freighter.

Nien Nunb and Admiral Ackbar

Nien Nunb and Admiral Ackbar

While not really easter eggs, I thought its worth pointing out that the film also features a couple returning Rebel alien characters: Nien Nunb, the Sullustan who co-piloted the Millennium Falcon with Lando Calrissian during the Battle of Endor, and Admiral Ackbar, who now works for the Resistance. Nun can be seen flying alongside Poe Dameron during the Battle at Starkiller Base. Tim Rose and Mike Quinn who respectively played Akbar and 

R2-KT

A pink droid called R2-KT appears somewhere in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Over the past couple years, the little pink astromech droid called R2-KT has appeared in various Star Wars stories. The droid is a tribute to Katie Johnson, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2004 and given only months to live.

You can read the whole story here, but this is the gist of it: Johnson grew up with Star Wars all over because her father was Albin Johnson, one of the founders of the 501st Legion.  Johnson commissioned the R2 builder's club (who worked on the droids for The Force Awakens) to create an R2 astromech droid to accompany her in her final days. But the timetable for the droid's creation wasn't going to arrive in time, so another fellow droid builder named Andy Schwartz simply decided to paint one he had already created for himself in Katie's favorite color, pink.

When the little droid arrived, she gave it a hug and enjoyed her company up until she passed away on August 9th of 2005, prompting a great outpouring of support from the Star Wars community, including the original commissioned droid from the R2 builder's club and a limited edition action figure of the droid that came to be called R2-KT.

When Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni heard the story behind the droid he brought her into the animated series under the name QT-KT, a droid owned by Jedi Aayla Secura. And now R2-KT appears briefly on screen in the Force Awakens thanks to Kathleen Kennedy.

Oscar Issac in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Oscar Isaac's Uncle Cameo

Force Awakens Easter Eggs

More Force Awakens Easter Eggs?

PopSugar asked the JJ Abrams what easter eggs expect in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While the filmmaker didn't reveal anything, he teased where you might find some of them:

We put some Easter eggs in, but they were Easter eggs that weren't sort of the normal, from-another-movie type of Easter eggs. They were things we knew people would discover upon later viewings. Small things. But there's a chase that involves the Falcon, and if you look at it carefully, there are a couple of things that happen in it that might be fun to recognize.

 The Inspirations Of Ralph McQuarrie

Many fans credit much of the visual genius of the original Star Wars trilogy to concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. His beautiful concept paintings and early sketches inspired much of what we love about the galaxy far, far away. In fact, the current Lucasfilm creative team are using parts of McQuarrie's original unused concept art as inspiration for the new Star Wars films and movies.

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Chewbacca's Early Concept Designs Inspired The Hassk Triplets

The original concept art for Chewbacca has recently been used to inspire Zeb in Star Wars Rebels, but it also appears to have inspired a set of characters in Maz's Castle. The Hassk Triplets are near-feral sub humanoids thugs who frequent the main hall of the Castle. They appear in the Journey to the Force Awakens book "The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku".

Ralph Mcquarrie R2-D2 concept design inspired the Force Awakens ball droid

R2-D2’s Original Design

BB-8 is actually inspired by Ralph McQuarrie's original design for R2-D2. Here is McQuarrie talking about how his initial design for our favorite droid, R2-D2 was very different than the one we eventually saw on screen:

"I think Artoo was just described as a small robot. I thought of him as running on a giant ball bearing — just a sphere, a circle, wheel-like. He had gyros so he could go in any direction on this ball."

While his initial sketch (Above) is very different, it still uses the core idea.

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Snowtrooper and Flametrooper Insignia

The Snowtroopers and Flametroopers carry the same insignia as the Stormtroopers originally designed by McQuarrie during the production of The Empire Strikes Back.

Jabba's Palace Gate in Force Awakens

Jabba’s Palace Gate

The gate/arch  seen in Jakku was originally designed by Ralph McQuarrie for the exterior of Jabba's Palace. The Force Awakens takes place three decades after the death of the famous Hutt, who lived on another desert planet. According to the Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, the archway is the entrance to Nima Outpost, , "a crumbling settlement of rickety landing bays, dusty salvage yards, and shady businesses." But the origins of the area have ties to McQuarrie's early concept designs as it turns out that the outpost was started by Nima The Hutt ("though Nima was later killed by a bounty hunter").

Daisy Ridley's Glasses

 Daisy Ridley’s Glasses

Above you can see Ralph McQuarrie's early work on Luke Skywalker, previously Luke Starkiller, but here at a point when the character was going to be a woman. After Lucas finished writing the second draft of A New Hope, he realized it had no major female characters and tried reworking the plot to change Luke's sex to female. He asked Ralph McQuarrie to incorporate the idea in his next illustrations. The designs seem to have inspired Rey's look.

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X-Wing

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens X-Wing design looks more like Ralph McQuarrie's early X-wing concept art based on Joe Johnston's early design than the ships seen in the original trilogy. Notably, look at how Ralph's X-Wing's (above, left) featured only one engine on each side, which split in two. The X-Wings from the original trilogy (above, lower right) had two cylinders on each side, one for each wing.

JJ Abrams' new X-Wing does something clever that McQuarrie's original concepts didn't feature: the wings interlock to combine to form one wing on either side.

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