Even without digging any deeper, the Star Wars films are honestly pretty epic. Back in the ’70s when Star Wars was first released, the technology was completely revolutionary for that decade. George Lucas managed to intrigue moviegoers with special effects, while telling a unique, universal story that has truly withstood the test of time.
However, upon further inspection, it seems that the folk behind the scenes of Star Wars had a little bit more fun than the casual viewer would even realize. Leaving clues and small symbols known as “Easter eggs” for the audience to find, the staff behind Star Wars has fueled the Internet into a frenzy over various interpretations of these clever hidden messages and fun cameos. Thank goodness for the pause and rewind function! Some of the following finds are basically blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments. Here are the best movie and DVD Easter eggs of the Star Wars franchise.
1. R2-D2 and C-3PO Show Up in Raiders of the Lost Ark
During the scene where Indy and Sallah lift a heavy stone slab to get to the Ark of the Covenant, you can clearly see C-3PO and R2-D2 drawn in hieroglyphics on the pillar to Indy’s right (the viewer’s left). Also, it’s a little harder to spot, but when Indy and Sallah lift the Ark, you can faintly make out what looks like Princess Leia uploading the Death Star’s plans – and her holographic message to Obi-Wan – into R2-D2 in more hieroglyphics on the wall behind them.
2. The Millennium Falcon Makes a Cameo in Revenge of the Sith
The Falcon has a storied history, dating back to before the Galactic Empire. Naturally, it makes a cameo in Revenge to solidify that history.
3. E.T.’s Alien Species Can Be Seen in The Phantom Menace
Everyone remembers the character in Stephen Spielberg’s E.T. dressed like Yoda on Halloween, but did you notice that George Lucas repaid the shoutout in Phantom Menace? At Spielberg’s suggestion, Lucas included a new species called Asogians that definitely look like relatives of everyone’s favorite extraterrestrial.
4. The Eva Pod from 2001: A Space Oddyssey Can Be Spotted in Watto’s Junkyard
The EVA Pod from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddyssey can be seen in Watto’s Junk Shop in The Phantom Menace.
5. Han’s Hanging Gold Dice in the Millennium Falcon
Han has a pair of gold dice dangling from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.
6. The Actor Who Played Boba Fett in the Original Trilogy Came Back as a Pilot in Revenge of the Sith
Jeremy Bulloch, the actor responsible for bringing Boba Fett to life in Star Wars IV, V, and VI, makes an appearance in Revenge of the Sith. He plays Captain Colton, the pilot of the Rebel Blockade Runner, Tantive IV.
7. Star Wars Posters in the Tantive IV
In A New Hope, you can clearly see posters for the film hung up in the Tantive IV ship.
8. George Lucas Makes a Cameo in Revenge of the Sith
Yep, that’s George Lucas under all that blue body paint! Lucas had a cameo as Baron Notiuwiski Papanoida, a Pantorian statesman who lived during the final years of the Galactic Republic. He based the character after himself; according to canon, Papanoida used to be a successful playwright who built an entertainment empire on his home planet, Pantora, that expanded into the far reaches of space.
9. The Busts in the Jedi Archives Were Modeled After Members of the Star Wars Staff
Richard Miller designed the busts seen in the Jedi Archives in Attack of the Clones to look like various staff members. Director George Lucas, animator Rob Coleman, visual effects supervisors John Kroll and Pablo Herman, and model effects supervisor Brian Gernand were all models for Miller’s bust designs.
10. The Ark of the Covenant Has Alien Origins
The Book of Exodus described the Ark of the Covenant as a chest that housed the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. In Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones is assigned to find and protect the Ark of the Covenant from the Nazis. According to the theory of ancient aliens/ancient astronauts, it is possible that extraterrestrial beings visited Earth long ago, leaving their mark in historic artifacts and cultural practices. The Ark is one of the historic artifacts thought to have extraterrestrial ties attached to it. This theory touched upon again, briefly, in the most recent Indiana Jones film, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Are aliens responsible for the markings on the Ark? Do they know where it is hidden? Could the Star Wars universe be attached to this somehow?
11. Luke’s Landspeeder Is in the Background in a Scene on Mos Espa in The Phantom Menace
As Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are entering Mos Espa, you can see Luke’s land speeder from Tattooine parked behind two aliens.
12. Mickey Mouse Has a Cameo in Empire Strikes Back
A hidden Mickey appears during the big fight seen between Luke and Vader – right before Vader reveals that he’s Luke’s biological father.
13. Two YT-1300 Ships Make Appearances in Attack of the Clones
In Attack of the Clones, you can clearly see two YT-1300 ships fly by when Anakin and Padme arrive at Naboo. For those whoa aren’t aware, the Millennium Falcon is a YT-1300 ship.
14. Han Gropes Leia in Return of the Jedi
During the battle on Endor against Storm Troopers, there’s a split-second take where Han Solo gets a little handsy. Maybe it was a slip of the wrist, or a joke between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, but either way, Captain Solo is definitely a scruffy-looking nerf-herder for copping a feel.
15. The Flying Tennis Shoe in Return of the Jedi
This was corrected in the remake of the Special Edition DVDs, but in the original VHS tapes, you can see a tennis shoe fly by during the battle of Endor.
16. The Actor Who Played Boba Fett Is Also One of the Guards on Cloud City
In the scene where Leia, Chewie, and 3PO are being sold out and escorted away by Lando Calrissian, the guard that uses Leia as a human shield as she calls out to her brother, “Luke! Don’t! It’s a trap!” is actually Jeremy Bulloch again.
17. The Outrider Can Be Seen Leaving the Spaceport in Mos Eisley
In the Special Edition DVD of A New Hope, you can see Dash Rendar’s ship from Shadows of the Empire taking off as Luke, Obi-Wan, R2, and 3PO are entering Mos Eisley.
18. Jett Lucas Makes an Appearance in Attack of the Clones as Zett Jukassa
Seen in the Jedi Library, George Lucas’s son approaches the librarian after Obi-Wan is finished speaking with her.
19. A Stormtrooper Crowd Surfs in Return of the Jedi
In the newly-released special edition version of Return, the ending features different cities, planets, and species rejoicing the destruction of the Death Star. In one scene, it appears that a Stormtrooper is crowd surfing in celebration.
20. Batman’s Tumbler Can Be Found on the Millennium Falcon
J.J. Abram’s production company, Bad Robot, released a video clip of footage of the Millennium Falcon in Episode VII. When the camera zooms in on the underbelly of the Falcon, you can clearly see the Tumbler: Batman’s ride from the Christopher Nolan films.