Paying tribute

The Last Jedi might push Star Wars in a bold new direction, but it doesn’t ignore the series’ past. While fans will be uncovering the Easter eggs, throwbacks, and homages in the latest Star Wars adventure for years to come, here are the coolest things that we’ve found so far. Warning: spoilers ahead!

1. Hardware Wars

Remember that shot of a spaceship that turns out to be an iron in the First Order’s laundry room? That’s not just a silly joke. It’s a tribute to Ernie Fosselius’ 1978 short film Hardware Wars, one of the earliest Star Wars parodies. Hardware Wars opens with a space duel between a toaster and an iron, before going on to tell a brief story about heroes Fluke Starbucker, Ham Salad, and Princess Ann-Droid.

2. Luke’s Compass

Luke didn’t bring much with him to Ahch-To, but among the knick-knacks scattered on his shelf is a compass that might look familiar to video game fans. Luke stole that device from an Imperial stronghold in Star Wars Battlefront II, and it’s implied that the compass helped him locate the original Jedi temple.

3. Carrie Fisher’s Dog

Before her passing, Carrie Fisher didn’t go anywhere without her French bulldog, Gary. In tribute to Fisher, director Rian Johnson gave Gary a cameo in The Last Jedi, where he’s been reimagined as a companion for one of Canto Bight’s well-off aliens. See that pointy-eared creature over on the left? That’s him (and don’t worry: according to first-hand accounts, Gary loved the movie).

4. Poe’s Necklace

It’s hard to see, but in The Last Jedi Poe Dameron wears a chain around his neck that holds his mother’s wedding ring. Poe’s parents, Shara Bey and Kes Dameron, appeared in Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto’s Shattered Empire comic series. They were part of the team that beat the Empire at Endor, and helped Han Solo, Leia, and Luke found the New Republic.

5. Other Accessories

Poe isn’t the only Last Jedi character rocking some stylish space jewelry. According to The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary, Luke wears a fragment of a Sith lightsaber crystal around his neck, while Supreme Leader Snoke’s ring is decked out with obsidian taken from Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar.

6. Colored Milk

While in exile, Luke survives on a diet of fish and green milk, which he gets fresh-squeezed from Ahch-To’s grotesque thala-sirens. The drink is a callback to the blue milk served at the Skywalker moisture farm on Tatooine, although that beverage was harvested from yak-like banthas and not busty sea mammals.

7. Justin Theroux

Mulholland Drive and The Leftovers star Justin Theroux appears in The Last Jedi as the stylish Master Codebreaker, but don’t panic if you didn’t recognize him. He’s only on screen for a couple of seconds, and he’s practically unrecognizable under that thin, suave moustache.

8. Mouse Droid

While infiltrating Snoke’s flagship, the Supremacy, BB-8 goes undercover by hiding under a box. As he rolls through the Supremacy’s hallways, he makes the same chirps and warbles as one of the Empire’s famous MSE-6, or “mouse,” droids, even though he’s about four times bigger.

9. Gold Dice

The gold dice that Luke finds in the Millennium Falcon (and later hands to Leia) are more than just kitschy decorations. According to The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, those are the dice that Han used to win the Falcon from Lando in a game of Corellian Spike, a variant of the popular card game sabaac. The dice also appeared in A New Hope and The Force Awakens, and should feature prominently in Solo, too.

10. Twin Suns

As Luke succumbs to fatigue after his battle with Kylo Ren and right before he ascends into the Force, he looks out to sea, where two suns hang in the sky, recalling Luke’s introduction way back in the first Star Wars film.

11. Gareth Edwards

The Rogue One director returns to the Star Wars universe in The Last Jedi, playing one of the last remaining Resistance fighters during the battle on Crait. You can see him in the trenches standing next to Resistance Trench Sergeant “Salty” (i.e. the “It’s salt” guy).

12. Leia’s Message

It’s hardly an Easter egg, but it’s still a reference. When R2-D2 convinces Luke to help train Rey (and maybe save the Resistance in the process), he replays Leia’s iconic cry for help from Episode IV. That’s the same recording that got Luke involved in these Star Wars all the way back in 1977. His life has never been the same.

13. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has appeared in all of director Rian Johnson’s films, and The Last Jedi is no exception. In the latest Star Wars outing, Gordon-Levitt voices Slowen Lo, one of the guests at Canto Bight. His character’s name is an Easter egg, too: it’s a reference to the Beastie Boys song “Slow and Low,” following in the tradition of The Force Awakens’ Ello Asty (“Hello Nasty”) and Ilco Munica (“Ill Communication”).

14. Lifting Rocks

While training Rey in the ways of the Jedi, Luke sarcastically mentions that the Force is about more than lifting rocks. Clearly, Luke still harbors some resentment towards Master Yoda, who made Luke stack rocks with the Force while they trained on Dagobah. Of course, Rey ends up lifting a pile of stones during The Last Jedi’s final moments, making boulder-levitation an unofficial Jedi rite of passage–whether Luke likes it or not.

15. Luke’s X-Wing

Not only is Luke’s X-Wing submerged under the water at Ahch-To, recalling how his ship sunk in Yoda’s swamp during The Empire Strikes Back, but the metallic door that guards Luke’s hut on his island getaway is made out of one of the starfighter’s wings–or at least it was, until Chewbacca decided to knock it in.

16. The Throne Room

The stand-off between Rey, Kylo Ren, and Supreme Leader Snoke has The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi’s fingerprints all over it. The scene in which Snoke uses the Force to taunt Rey right before his apprentice strikes him down is very similar to the climactic showdown in Episode VI, while Kylo’s attempts to recruit Rey during the aftermath echo Vader’s pleas to Luke at the end of Episode V.

17. Don’t Join

Benicio del Toro’s shifty hacker isn’t named during The Last Jedi, but the end credits and promotional materials refer to him as DJ. That’s short for the character’s mantra, “Don’t join.” In case that’s not clear enough, DJ also has “don’t join” engraved on a metal plate attached to his cap, although you might have trouble reading the inscription: the slogan is written in Aurebesh, Star Wars’ fictional alphabet.

18. Rebel Scum

Finn’s proud declaration of allegiance after beating Captain Phasma is a throwback to Return of the Jedi, when Han Solo takes offense at being called “Rebel scum” by an Imperial officer. Since then, the epithet has become a Star Wars catchphrase, showing up in spin-off media like Dark Forces and Battlefront II.

19. Double Duty

In The Last Jedi, Mark Hamill didn’t just steal the show as Luke Skywalker. The veteran voice actor also donned a motion capture suit to play Dobbu Scay, who Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo confirmed is the gremlin-like creature who mistakes BB-8 for a slot machine.

20. Never Tell Me The Odds

When the few remaining Resistance fighters decide to delve into Crait’s cave system in order to escape the First Order’s army, C-3PO tells them the exact odds of the plan working–and they’re not good. That’s one of C-3PO’s most annoying habits throughout the Star Wars saga, and in the Last Jedi, Poe Dameron appreciates it about as much as Han Solo did when the droid made a similar observation in The Empire Strikes Back (which is to say, not at all).

21. Kylo Ren’s Helmet

In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren rejects his grandfather’s legacy and decides to follow his own path. To mark the occasion, he smashes his helmet to pieces. The end result recalls Darth Vader’s mangled headpiece in The Force Awakens, where it’s one of Kylo Ren’s most prized possessions.

22. A Threat Decades In The Making

It’s impossible to track ships through hyperspace in the Star Wars universe–until now. While the hyperspace tracking tech that drives The Last Jedi’s plot is brand new technology, the bad guys have been working on it for a while. While searching for the Death Star plans in Rogue One, Jyn Erso finds something called “Hyperspace Tracking” in the Empire’s files, meaning that the project’s been in development for at least 34 years.