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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 

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