The Star Wars Easter Egg You Might Have Missed In Firefly

It pretty much goes without saying at this point, but "Star Wars" has had a massive impact on pop culture since its debut in 1977. Not only is the original trilogy a seminal piece of sci-fi and fantasy for hordes of people across the galaxy, but George Lucas' films have inspired generations of people from all walks of life. A scientist might have seen the films as a kid and tried to make a more realistic prosthetic limb. An architect could have been a long-time fan that eventually got hired to work on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser in Walt Disney World. And an up-and-coming filmmaker that picked up a camera to make a "Star Wars" of their own probably included some kind of nod to the movies that inspired them so much.

Though that last one probably describes more people involved in film and television than we have space to publish in this article, it most definitely describes Joss Whedon. This is most evident in his short-lived, yet extremely beloved space western "Firefly." Even if you've seen the adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and the crew of Serenity hundreds of times, it's very possible that you might have missed these "Star Wars" Easter eggs in the show.

Ship shape

The lovable rogues of Serenity — including first mate Zoe Washburne, pilot Hoban "Wash" Washburne, resident muscle Jayne Cobb, mechanic Kaylee Frye, Shepherd Derrial Book, respected Companion Inara Serra, and fugitives Simon and River Tam — have seen their fair share of spaceships during their travels across the verse. However, eagle-eyed viewers might have noticed a few familiar vessels from a galaxy far, far away throughout the series.

The first "Star Wars" ship that you can spot on the show is an Imperial Shuttle. In the pilot episode "Serenity," you can see the ship used by the likes of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine taking off in the background as Inara docks her shuttle while Wash is parked at the Eavesdown Docks on Persephone.

The second ship is a bit more of a deep cut because it didn't actually appear in the first three movies. Instead, it can be found in the 1992 Dark Horse comic "Star Wars: Dark Empire." The ship in question is the Starlight Intruder, and it can be found in the fan-favorite episode "Shindig." Browncoats may remember this episode as the one where Mal finds himself in an old-fashioned duel with swords and all in order to land a smuggling job and Kaylee finds herself in a nice fluffy dress. But if you're paying close attention around the seven-minute mark, you'll catch the Intruder landing on Persephone as the crew walks through a busy street with their supplies.

Basically, if you're in the "Firefly" universe and you want to see ships from "Star Wars," then Persephone is the place you want to be. But the ships aren't the only things to crossover between these two universes.

Captain Carbonite Pants

When it comes to the ships, Whedon clearly drew inspiration from "Star Wars" as Serenity is designed with elements similar to the Millennium Falcon. But in addition to the two iconic ships sharing some qualities like hidden storage holds and a lovable rust bucket quality, their captains also share a number of characteristics. Mal Reynolds and Han Solo are basically two peas in a smuggling pod. Because they share a number of personality traits, creating Mal had to be a ton of fun for actor Nathan Fillion because he is also a huge "Star Wars" fan. Knowing this, members of the crew managed to sneak in a small replica of Han Solo encased in carbonite into a number of scenes. Some fans report that Han can be seen somewhere in every episode, but the TV Details Subreddit r/TVDetails on Reddit only points out four specific instances where the prop can clearly be seen.

If you're looking to revisit these episodes and go hunting for Han Solo and other Easter eggs like you're Boba Fett circa "The Empire Strikes Back," you can find "Firefly" streaming on Hulu and Tubi. The series and the sequel film "Serenity" can be purchased digitally through Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu. 

You can also check out the continuing adventures of Serenity and her crew in the ongoing BOOM! Studios comic series "Firefly" from writer Greg Pak and a cadre of incredible artists. Offering the opportunity to catch up with some your favorite characters as the possibility of a revival wanes with each passing year, these canonical tales follow the events of the show, the movie, and the Dark Horse Comics stories published between 2005 and 2017. You wanted a second season? Well, these comics are the next best thing. And there might be even more "Star Wars" references in there too! I swear by my pretty floral bonnet that it'll be worth it.