The Best Easter Eggs And References In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

The Best Easter Eggs And References In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
Image: Disney

It’s finally here, four years after Disney bought Star Wars back to the big screen it’s gone and finished the trilogy it started and supposedly brought an end to the episodic Skywalker saga. Whether you believe that or not, it’s fair to say this is the end of Star Wars movies for the immediate future.

With this being an ending, and the concluding segment of a nine-part series, there are plenty of easter eggs and callbacks to other films. Here are all the ones we spotted during our first watch – even though there are no doubt even more hiding in the background.

Sith Wayfinder

While it looks similar to a Sith holocron (albeit greeny, instead of crimson red), the Sith wayfinder is a very different device. While a holocron holds information, the wayfinder holds coordinates to a point in space – specifically here is the ‘hidden world of the Sith’ called Exogal.

Who the heck was Snoke?

Supreme Leader Snoke ended up being completely irrelevant, because Palpatine claims he made Snoke. In fact we even see a vat of Snoke-looking bodies that suggest Snoke himself was engineered by Palpatine and the Sith.

The Sith

We never really get a good look at the Sith subjects that follow Palpatine, but it’s confirmed they are in fact the Sith and he is their emperor. In any case they’re a lot different from the Sith species of the Legends canon who were red-skinned humanoids with tentacle-like appendages that look like facial hair.

The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise

When speaking to Kylo Ren, Palpatine mentions that “the Dark Side is a path to many abilities some consider unnatural” – a line pulled from the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis scene from Revenge of the Sith. Clearly Palpatine wasn’t bullshitting, since he was able to come back from death.

She’s Not Who You Think She Is.

Rey is not no one, it seems, and while telling Kylo, Palpatine was also telling the audience that what they thought they knew wasn’t right.


The holochess game makes another appearance here, and it’s clear Chewie has been a big fan over his 250-year lifespan. He beats Poe and Finn every time, to which they insist he must be cheating. Good thing they can’t win, though, otherwise Chewie would have to pull their arms off.

Lightspeed Skipping

The Last Jedi showed us that the First Order could track ships through hyperspace, which was previously considered impossible, so the Resistance has had to find a way round it. One tactic is Lightspeed Skimming, which seems to involve multiple short jumps to try and knock off their trail – whether that means losing them or causing them to crash on the other end of the jump.

Oh, and regular TIE fighters have hyperdrives now? Now sure that has been shown on screen.

The Shield Dish

The rectangular shield dish on the Millennium Falcon is now gone, swapped out for the classic-looking circular dish.

Leia Was Actually a Jedi All Along

Despite being told Leia chose not to take on the life of a Jedi, it seems she was trained to be one anyway and put those skills to use by training Rey. So Luke and Rey weren’t the last Jedis after all!

Of course this sequence also brought back the welding mask and the blaster droid Luke and the Jedi younglings used to train in previous films.

Darth Vader

We discover that Vader’s mask survived the destruction of Starkiller Base, and we hear his voice at points throughout the film as the voices in Kylo Ren’s head pulling him to the Dark Side. Though apparently it wasn’t Vader working from beyond the grave, it was Palpatine, because everything is Palpatine.

Don’t Shit-Talk the Force

One of the First Order generals decides it’s a good idea to shit talk the force in front of a powerful force user, and comes out all the worse for it. Except Kylo has anger management issues that would make Vader blush through his helmet, and he doesn’t give him the benefit of a slow choke.

Lando Loves Helmets

Lando first appears in disguise, and like he did in Jabba’s palace he wears a fancy helmet to conceal his identity from everyone else around him.

The Error of Starkiller Base

It seems not everyone in the First Order is so happy about their superweapon -especially when it becomes clear that Palpatine’s ‘Final Order’ has a fleet of star destroyers and troops 1000 times better than anything the First Order can muster.

It could also be a subtle hint from JJ Abrams that maybe ripping off the Death Star wasn’t such a good idea.

But the influence of the weapon lives on in the planet-killing cannons on the Final Order’s star destroyers which remind us more of Starkiller Base’s crimson shots than the green blasts of the Death Stars.

Mandalorian Influences

The Empire took a lot from Mandalore, including the idea to have its own stormtroopers flying about on jetpacks. In fact those guys look very similar to the Mandalorian troopers we saw in the final series of Rebels. Albeit with a more compact jetpack design.

C-3PO Needs to Shut Up

In typical style 3PO never can keep his mouth shut, but obviously when they need him to speak he can’t actually tell them what he read on the Sith dagger.

But like his spiritual predecessor Han Solo, Poe doesn’t want 3PO to be telling him bad news.

The Old Republic

3PO mentions that droids are programmed not to be able to translate Sith due to a senate ruling, which is no doubt a reference to the Old Republic. Back in the Legends canon the Republic and the Sith Empire went to war on multiple occasions, and when it seemed their enemies were gone it would make sense that the Republic Senate would not want people uncovering secrets about them. Hence the ruling.

I Know That Ship

It turned out the ship used by Palpatine’s ‘Jedi Hunter’ was the same one Rey’s parents used when they dropped her off on Jakku. And it was, in fact, the one people spotted in the trailer.

TIE Whisper

The name given to Kylo Ren’s newest ship(s), which looks like a TIE Silencer from The Last Jedi with a standard First Order TIE Fighter cockpit.

You Know the Odds Better Than Any of Us

3PO does know the odds, as shown many times in the past, but this is the first time anyone has actually bothered to ask him to mention them. And it turns out, in usual 3PO doom and gloom, the odds are not in their favour.

Always Getting his Memory Wiped

Poor C-3PO, he can’t not seem to get his memory wiped every so often. It happened at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and it’s happened again here, though in this instance wiping his memory banks serves a purpose beyond keeping his big golden mouth shut.

The Knights of Ren

These guys have been teased since before Episode VII, and yet we never learned a damn thing about them until now. Although the film still left a lot of the backstory to the comic Rise of Kylo Ren. Now we finally get to see Kylo’s band of merry men in action. Sort of.

Ok they were basically useless and did next to nothing, but at least we see them now.

Rey’s Parents Weren’t Nobody

Turns out Rey is special, and not a nobody like Kylo told her in the last film. It’s now claimed her father is the son of Emperor Palpatine, and both he and her mother left her on Jakku to protect her from the resurrected Emperor in the aftermath of the Empire’s fall.

They were then killed by a Jedi Hunter for refusing to give up her location. And for some reason he was not an Inquisitor, and had the Sith dagger that held the only clue to the location of the last remaining Sith Wayfinder.

Weirdly this theory first sprung up in the aftermath Episode 7 because of a book that mentions the Emperor’s interest in something on Jakku. And it turned out to be true.

The Falcon was held captive again

The Imperials love getting their hands on that ship, and always letting stowaways get away with it. And one again this sequence involved Chewbacca as a prisoner, though this time it was legit and not a ruse.

The Second Death Star

Last seen over Endor in 1983, and originally teased in early versions of The Force Awakens, we return to the Second Death Star – this time on what is supposedly the oceanic world of Kef Bir. While not named on screen, it is mentioned as being part of the Endor system. So it seems even big space explosions don’t get very far.

George Lucas’s Original Treatment

Funnily enough George Lucas’s first treatment for Episode 7 included a trip to the Emperor’s throne room on the second death star. Except it would have involved Luke and Kira (who evolved into Rey) swimming into Endor’s oceans to get there and retrieve some sort of artefact.

Another Dark Side Vision

Little bit sick of all these to be honest

Palpatine’s Return

It’s claimed by a member of the resistance that Palpatine returned thanks to ‘dark science’ and cloning, and even Palpatine himself admits that he did actually die at the end of Return of the Jedi. But he survived, because he apparently had contingencies for everything, and started pulling the strings.

It’s not clear how, though his reliance on the machinery on Exogal coupled with his gauntish appearance suggests that this may be his original body brought back to life.

Or maybe it’s a clone that his spirit is ravaging, as happened several times in the old Legends canon. To the point where he plotted to possess the body of Anakin Solo – the third child of Han and Leia. Which he also tried to do with Rey, sort of. It’s not totally clear whether Palpatine would have been in control, or if she would absorb him and the other Sith into her consciousness.

Han is back

It seems it’s not just force users that can have an influence from beyond the grave. Despite the fact he was dismissed by Kylo as a memory, Harrison Ford returns one last time to draw Ben Solo back into the light – redeeming him and ensuring he can rescue Rey from Palpatine.

I Know

Clearly Ben was about to tell his father that he loved him, leading to another of Han’s classic lines.

Kylo and Rey’s Link

Kylo and Palpatine claim that Rey and Kylo are a ‘driad’ in the force, which hasn’t been seen for almost forever. It’s not explained what this means, but it explains the link the two have over space, that lets them figure out where they are and to exchange items for some reason.

It also means their energy can be used to restore Palpatine’s withered clone body, because space magic.

I have no clue what driad (or dryad?) means, though, unless I misheard it. The only dryad that exists as far as I can tell are the mythical wood nymphs from Greek mythology, and they don’t really have any relevance here.

The Power of Two

Palpatine mentions that the power of two becoming one is key to restoring his body – an obvious reference to the Sith Rule of two that declared only two sith lords should exist at the same time to ensure the strength and survival of the order.

Back to Ach-To

Terrified of what she might become, Rey heads to the site of Luke’s exile on Ach-To. It’s hear that Luke returns one last time to tell his one-time apprentice that she needs to face her fears if she wants to become a true Jedi.

Why Leia never became a Jedi

Despite previous claims Leia wanted a life of politics and the life of a Jedi, it seems she gave up on that life after seeing a vision that her Jedi career would end with the death of her son. So she gave Luke her secret lightsaber, and he hid it on Ach-To ready to give to Rey.

Luke’s X-Wing

So I completely missed Luke’s X-Wing in the sea in the Last Jedi, but this time there’s no missing the whole ship, with Luke’s force ghost raising it from the sea for Rey to fly to Exogal. Somehow nearly ten years under the ocean didn’t break it beyond repair.

Holdo Manoeuvres

Presumably named after Admiral Holdo, who sacrificed her life to destroy the First Order flagship by blasting through it at lightspeed. It’s suggested that these tactics may be needed once again if the Resistance have any hope of destroying all the Final Order’s ships.

Resistance Fleet

The usual suspects are all here, X-Wings, Y-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings, blockade runners, as well as other miscellaneous unnamed ships.

The larger fleet at the end also includes the likes VCX-100 freighter (aka the Ghost from Rebels), hammerhead ships, rebel transport ships, as well as other capital ships seen in the rebel fleet in previous films.

Only You Have the Power to Save Them

A line he said to Rey to draw her to his side, which he also said to Luke in Return of the Jedi and Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. Palpatine is a bit of a broken record sometimes. He definitely knows how to use people’s emotions to manipulate them, though.

Past Jedi

A lot of past Jedi were heard when Rey reached out to the force, and among them were Luke, Obi Wan, Yoda, Anakin, Qui Gon Jin, and Mace Windu. No doubt other Jedi we have met that aren’t quite so recognisable from their voice alone, Like Ahsoka and Kanan Jarrus, were in there too.

Rehash of the RotJ Ending Sequence

One of the additions George Lucas made to the first ‘last’ Star Wars film was a montage of planets celebrating the Rebels’ victory. It happens again at the end of RoS, with Bespin, Endor, and Jakku celebrating the fall of the First Order. And we know it’s Endor because the Ewoks came back.

Chewie Gets a Medal

Maz Katana is good at finding stuff, apparently. Not only did she find Luke’s lightsaber, she also gave Chewie a medal that he never seemed to get at the ed of A New Hope. It was later retconned that he got one and gave it away, so it seems Maz managed to find the girl he gave it to and reclaimed it in the 35 or so years since.

Back to Tatooine

JJ Abrams takes us back to where it all began, on Tatooine at the Lars homestead. Rey buries Luke and Leia’s lightsabers there, before revealing she has her own, that she’s taken on the Skywalker name, and poses in front of the twin suns like Luke did nearly over 40 years ago.

This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.