If you've gone on the Internet at all in recent days, you probably know that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is debuting in theaters this weekend.
While fans begin to speculate about the future of the franchise to the chagrin of those trying to avoid spoilers, others are looking back at Star Wars and its massive impact among the cultural landscape. And while the list of Star Wars references in films and television always seems to grow, there are a few that stand out above the pack -- including The CW's Arrowverse of shows.
The quartet of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow hardly shy away from a pop culture reference, to the point where it's become an in-universe joke among the shows. But all four of the shows have referenced a certain galaxy far, far away -- in ways that range from delightfully overt to just subtle enough. There are almost too many to count at this point, but here are, in no particular order, 10 of our favorite Arrowverse references to the world of Star Wars.
While not necessarily a single reference or Easter egg, Maisie Richardson-Sellers being in the Arrowverse serves as probably the most consistent reference to the world of Star Wars.
Richardson-Sellers entered the Arrowverse in Legends of Tomorrow's second season, bringing to life Amaya Jiwe/Vixen. But before entering the DC Comics world, she actually appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Richardson-Sellers played Korr Sella, a military officer who helped the resistance. Korr Sella had a brief but prominent single scene in The Force Awakens as she experiences the destruction of Hosnian Prime. The character was given a larger role in one of the film's deleted scenes, which revealed that she was on Hosnian Prime to deliver a message for General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). She also factors quite a bit into the canon novel Bloodline.
Richardson-Sellers isn't the only Star Wars actor to enter the Arrowverse, with Luke Skywalker himself making semi-annual appearances.
After portraying James Jesse/The Trickster on the 1990s The Flash series, Mark Hamill reprised his role in a rather flamboyant fashion on the first season of the current version of The Flash. Hamill's character served as a deadly terrorist/chaos agent in Central City, ultimately landing him in Iron Heights Prison. Team Flash was introduced to him in the episode "Tricksters" -- and probably wouldn't ever be the same.
Hamill then returned to play The Trickster in the Season Two midseason finale which saw him partnering up with Captain Cold and Weather Wizard. Fans later got a look at The Trickster's Earth-3 counterpart, creating plenty of avenues for Hamill to potentially return. (While he waits for Episode IX to start filming, of course.)
The Trickster's first appearance not only delighted fans of the original Flash series, but it brought a perfectly overt Star Wars reference into the fold.
In the episode, Jesse was broken out of prison by Axel Walker (Devon Graye), a younger boy who was copying the original Trickster's tactics. As Jesse soon realized, the pair had a bigger connection beyond The Trickster's mantles; they were actually father and son.
As the music swelled, Jesse put his hand on Axel's shoulder and proclaimed "I am your father." It was a moment that made even the most casual of Star Wars fans chuckle.
This one jumps a little bit ahead in the Arrowverse timeline (in more ways than one), to Legends' Season Three premiere, "Aruba-Con".
The episode saw the team essentially getting the band back together after Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) disbanded the group and took over the Waverider. The Legends went back to the Waverider, which was being used as a simulation vehicle in a hangar. Once Sara Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz) got back in the captain's chair, she decided the best idea was for the ship to time-jump out of the hangar.
After being asked if the Waverider even can do such a thing, Sara casually remarked, "We're about to find out." For some, this felt like a sort of homage to one exchange in The Force Awakens.
In the film, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) reunites with the Millennium Falcon, as it's being held in an adversary's ship. He decides to bring the ship to lightspeed, which Rey (Daisy Ridley) wonders if is even possible. What's Han's response? "I never ask that question until after I've done it."
This might be the earliest The Flash reference yet, occurring only four episodes into the show's first season.
During "Going Rogue", Iris (Candice Patton), Eddie (Rick Cosnett), Barry, and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) -- in a double date set up that might even more awkward now -- decided to participate in a trivia night at Jitters. At one point, Eddie accidentally answered a Star Wars-themed question incorrectly, and the group tried to console him. But as Felicity pointed out, the other group - named "Pride & Padawans" - probably got it right, before panning over to a group of four Star Wars cosplayers.
Again, this is probably one of the more overt references, but it's still pretty charming. It also raises a pretty big question: does anyone in Central City realize that one of their domestic terrorists looks exactly like Luke Skywalker?
Yes, Arrow - the show that has attempted to be the most "grounded" of the Arrowverse - had a pretty massive Star Wars homage last season.
The scene happened during the "Invasion!" crossover, which saw the shows' ensembles fighting off an attack from Dominators. During the Arrow portion of the crossover, the Dominators abducted Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and his friends, keeping them in an alien dream world while they probed their minds for information.
Ultimately, Oliver and company found a way to escape, trying to return home through a pod on the Dominator ship. The Dominators quickly realized what was going on, and sent a battalion of ships after the pod. What followed was a high octane, space-hopping fight scene - something that felt right out of Star Wars.
This is one of The Flash's first Star Wars references, appearing in the Season One episode "The Sound and The Fury."
A flashback sequence followed Cisco Ramon/Vibe (Carlos Valdes) on his job interview at S.T.A.R. Labs. It was clear that Cisco wasn't making a good impression for Harrison Wells (who was really Eobard Thawne in disguise) -- including with his choice in wardrobe. As Wells!Thawne pointed out, Cisco was wearing a "Keep Calm and Han Shot First" shirt, something that didn't seem formal enough for the situation.
At the time, Cisco's eclectic collection of nerdy T-shirts was just starting to be noticed by members of The Flash's fandom. So the combination of this shirt - which references the iconic Han/Greedo duel and those iconic British signs - certainly made fans happy.
This is one of the newest Star Wars references, which made its way into last week's Supergirl midseason finale.
During Team Supergirl's holiday party, J'onn J'onnz/Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) struck up a conversation with his father M'yrnn (Carl Lumbly), who is essentially experiencing Earth culture for the very first time. M'yrnn remarked about his love for hot chocolate, and about how nice it is that Earth celebrates the end of the year in such a way. He then compares it to Life Day -- something that catches the very eager (and confused) ear of Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan).
For the uninitiated, Life Day is a Wookiee holiday celebrated in the now-infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. And as we speculated about when the episode aired, the fact that M'yrnn knows about this, but not about almost any other facet of Earth culture, raises some questions.
Do Martians have their own version of Life Day? Are Wookiees - and their celebrations - canonical to the Supergirl universe? Or do the Martians just have access to one of the many bootleg copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special?
As we previously mentioned, Cisco is a pretty frequent supply of pop culture references, including ones about the Star Wars universe. While the Flash fan-favorite has done everything from talk like Yoda to utter "May the Speed Force be with you", his prequel trilogy-inspired speech might take the cake.
In the Season Two episode "Versus Zoom", Cisco began to become more in touch with his Vibe powers, and began to grow worried about what effect they would have on them. He voiced his concerns to Barry, in a speech you can check out below:
"It's like right now I'm Anakin Skywalker. I got the midi-chlorians. I've got the goods. The Force is strong with me. That is something I can feel, but if I start opening breaches into other worlds, doing all this other crazy stuff Reverb was doing, then... what if this is how I become Vader?"
In a way, this gave fans a pretty reflective moment for Cisco, while tapping into his geek culture-loving tendencies. Plus, it unintentionally foreshadowed a pretty major Anakin-like storyline in The Flash's subsequent season.
And finally, the Arrowverse's biggest homage to Star Wars came in Legends of Tomorrow's Season Two midseason premiere, "Raiders of the Lost Art".
The episode saw the Legends and the Legion of Doom traveling to 1970s Los Angeles, where Rip had been time-displaced as a Hollywood director. As they soon discovered, Rip was working alongside a familiar face: a young George Lucas (Matt Angel). If George ended up being kidnapped by the Legion of Doom, he would end up giving up filmmaking altogether, and Star Wars' effect on the world would completely disappear.
What unfolded was a sort of love letter to the Star Wars franchise, complete with laser guns, a trash compactor escape, and way too many Easter eggs to mention here. Along the way, it showed audiences just how much of an impact Star Wars has had on our culture, and how many people it has inspired along the way.