That's no moon! That's a SPOILER! This system is filled with SPOILERS! Don't read this article unless you're prepared for copious spoilers about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You've been warned!
Ah, the Easter Egg. For big fans of any property, the second, third, and subsequent viewings have an extra element of fun to them: looking for hidden elements you missed the first time.
That's exactly what I did on my second viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and boy, did I find a bunch. See what I found here, and let us know if you found any others I missed in the comments!
When we first get to the First Order Super Star Destroyer, Poe looks around the incredible vessel in awe. But I was too busy freaking out about the familiar "baa baa bip bip" sound as a diminutive MSE-6 droid, commonly referred to as Mouse Droids, zipped by in the background.
When Rey sat in her hollowed-out AT-AT she called a home (itself a bit of an Easter Egg, despite us knowing she lived in and scavenged the Battle of Jakku remnants already), there was a small doll on a shelf. It was all orange and white, and really looked quite a bit like it was in the garments of a rebel pilot. It could mean any number of things: I'm looking too hard at the background items, it's just an Easter Egg, Rey has some recessed memory of a Rebel pilot uniform, or she found such a uniform in the wreckage one day.
She also scavenges a downed Imperial Star Destroyer, and wears an old stormtrooper visor as goggles, so Rey is basically a walking set of Easter Eggs.
Rey's Rebel Helmet
If you missed this one, there's not much hope for you becoming a Jedi, sorry. While eating dinner, and just before meeting BB-8, Rey pops on a Rebel pilot helmet.
When Luke was first learning to use his lightsaber, he practiced his skills with a combat remote, a small ball that flits around shooting you with needle-prick blaster bolts. These same (or very similar) remotes were used by younglings training in the Jedi Temple during the days of the Old Republic, as well.
Finn finds one on the Millennium Falcon, looks at it quizzically, and tosses it aside like trash.
It's got a Bad Motivator!
What's wrong with the Millennium Falcon? "The motivator's busted!"
Of course, this isn't the first time we've dealt with a "bad motivator," as the R5-D4 astromech Uncle Owen first picked out turned out to have a bad motivator. This led to them attaining R2-D2 instead, a fateful choice.
Holo Chess (Dejarik if you're nasty)
Finn leans on a familiar-looking table in the Millennium Falcon and the Dejarik game (or Holo Chess) springs to life. Chewbacca gets excited about it, too, as it's one of his favorites. Remember, Finn, if you play against him, LET THE WOOKIEE WIN!
Maybe We Should Use Clones
When it's discovered that Finn has turned against the First Order and helped Poe Dameron escape, Kylo Ren tells General Hux, "maybe we should use a clone army."
That's of course a shout-out to the Clone Wars, where the Republic used an army of clones of Jango Fett as their main troops. As it stands, the stormtrooper conditioning doesn't sound too far off from the Clone programming, just minus the accelerated growth.
I got a feeling I get to say the line from every movie
Han Solo is the lucky one to rattle off the second most famous line in Star Wars history, "I've got a bad feeling about this." He says the line when the Rathtars get loose in the freighter.
The line is said at least once in every Star Wars movie, along with frequently appearing in TV, video games, and other offshoots and adaptations. It's Han Solo's third time uttering the line on screen. And, sadly, his last.
Dark side initiation
Kylo Ren is obsessed with Darth Vader, with following in his footsteps and "finishing what he started."
Well, it looks like that goes back to when he first turned to the dark side, as Rey's vision revealed. Kylo and the Knights of Ren went to Luke Skywalker's Jedi training ground, and slaughtered several dozen - the zoomed out shot looked like at least fifty bodies - of Jedi-in-training. Darth Vader, when first christened, made one of his first dark side moves going to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and slaughtering all the trainees there.
A Red R5 Unit?
Hey, speaking of a red R5 unit, it looks like it may have found its... motivation... as an astromech that looks suspiciously like the R5-D4 from A New Hope is sitting in the back of one of the Resistance X-Wings, gearing up for the final battle.
Cameos are so much better when they're familiar aliens, aren't they? We knew both of these were coming, but it was still nice to see both Ackbar and Nien Nunb in the war room, and Nien then piloting an X-wing of his own. He doesn't play second fiddle to lousy Lando anymore!
Ah! It's Temmin!
Greg Grunberg's character in the movie is credited as "Snap" Wexley. Yes, it has been confirmed by Lucasfilm, this is in fact a grown-up Temmin Wexley, the youngest (and most reluctant) hero of Star Wars: Aftermath, the novel that kicked off the "Journey to The Force Awakens" in September of this year. It's the first direct crossover between the novels and the films, showing how tightly bound the canon across all mediums now is wound.
Of course, Grunberg being in the movie is kind of an Easter Egg of its own, because JJ Abrams puts him in everything. Sweet gig.
They Fought in the Clone Wars
We mentioned the Clone Wars a bit ago, and this is the first Easter Egg we found out about at the premiere. Several voice actors and crewmembers from Star Wars: The Clone Wars contributed to the film in ADR, voicing stormtroopers and aliens.
I easily picked out Cat Taber's voice (she has a pivotal line when Rey escapes), and I was fairly certain about a few others, but it'll take a few more listens/watches to figure it out for sure. Hopefully these talented folks get to share their individual roles at some point soon.
Oh, and since that last row got cut off in the picture, it's Catherine Taber, Fred Tatasciore, James Arnold Taylor, Emily Towers (not Clone Wars alum), Sam Witwer, and Matthew Wood.