This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It's no secret J.J. Abrams is a geek, giddily enthusiastic about his favorite worlds. With his work on Star Wars, he got to live every superfan's dream — actually playing around with beloved characters and further extending the stories of that galaxy far, far away. And if there's one thing true nerds can't resist, it's hiding easter eggs referencing that love in plain sight — small test-rewards for the true faithful to spot and enjoy. Here are 15 Star Wars easter eggs in The Rise Of Skywalker.
The Force Awakens, Abrams' first Star Wars movie, was rife with nods not just to the Star Wars universe, but to Abrams' own show Lost, experimental Canadian films that inspired George Lucas, and even oddball horror movie Phantasm (Captain Phasma's armor recalled the film's shiny murder-orbs). Fans should expect no less in what Abrams acknowledges as the end to a trilogy he started, and a capper to the nine-film series Lucas began back in 1977. While there's plenty in the film directly calling back to the original series, like Lando Calrissian finally getting back his beloved Millennium Falcon to fly for the Resistance, and showing up as cavalry yet again, other nods are far subtler... some so subtle you probably missed a few on first viewing.
1. GNK Droid
This beloved walking trash can has been around since A New Hope and pops up in Rise of Skywalker still doing the exact same thing — bopping along repeating its own name in a monotone.
2. "...I know."
One of Star Wars' iconic lines gets a nod during a final father/son goodbye between Han Solo and Kylo Ren. Though the conversation is also a callback to their final talk in The Force Awakens just before Kylo kills him. This time around, standing on the wrecked remains of the Death Star as Kylo clearly struggles to say how he feels, Han nods and spares him the need.
3. Baby Snokes
The Emperor said he created Snoke, but we didn't realize he meant it so literally — guess there was plenty of equipment lying around after the Clone Wars to cook up some proto-Snokes and have them floating in the Sith chambers.
4. Billie Lourd's Braids
5. Chewy Finally Gets A Medal
You might be wondering why, during the celebratory post-battle reunions in The Rise of Skywalker, Chewy's given a medal seemingly out of nowhere. It's an award several decades overdue, when for some reason he didn't get one at the end of A New Hope.
6. Wedge Antilles
The space ace who bailed Luke Skywalker out in Episodes IV-VI shows up towards the end of Rise of the Skywalker. Actor Denis Lawson had previously turned down an offer to appear in Episode VII, but since is the last film in the cycle, he decided to put on the helmet and miraculously skirt disaster one last time.
7. "I have a bad feeling about this..."
Considering it's become a running gag throughout the series, this isn't exactly an easter egg. This time, Lando voices concerned vibes to Nien Nunb regarding Stormtroopers chasing their tread tank into the desert.
When we first see the team in The Rise of Skywalker, Poe and Finn are playing Chewbacca at a familiar looking game — a type of holographic stop-motion chess first seen in A New Hope. They're not about to let the Wookie win, though.
The latest little droid to join BB-8 in helping the Resistance is D-O. It speaks in brief phrases, voiced by the film's director J.J. Abrams.
10. OK, Sometimes Tell Me The Odds
Asking C3P0 about their chances to find the way to the hidden Sith planet without the translation of the Sith writing, Rey says, "You know the odds better than any of us." It's a total 180° from C3PO trying to tell Han the odds, and Han yelling "Never tell me the odds!"
A quick flash to the Ewoks at the end of Rise of the Skywalker echoes the original trilogy finale, which took place among their victorious singing. Not only that, but one of the Ewoks is actually from the OG battle — a graying Wicket W. Warrick is played one last time again by actor Warwick Davis.
12. Palpatine's Catchphrase
When Kylo expresses shock Emperor Palpatine's still alive in Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine gives him the same line he gave to Anakin way back in Revenge of the Sith — "The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be... unnatural."
13. Celebrity Cameos
14. Jedi Voices
Fans long suspected Abrams might sneak in a reference to The Clone Wars, and it finally happened. Ashley Eckstein, who voices Ahsoka Tano, animated in The Clone Wars, was one of the many voice cameos who came to Rey's aid when she needed the Force. All the voices of her Jedi fore-bearers speak to her — including fellow Clone Wars Jedi Luminara Unduli, Aayla Secura, and Adi Galli, Hayden Christensen's Anakin, Freddie Prinze Jr. as Star Wars Rebels' Kannan Jarus, Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, Ewan McGregor and Alec Guiness as Obi Wan, and of course, Frank Oz as Yoda.
15. Double Sunrise
The series ends with an iconic image in new context: where the double sunset was the sad beginning of Luke's journey, the double sunrise marks the happy ending of Rey's.
Now, it's time to go back for another watch and catch even more Easter eggs. May the force be with us.