Star Wars: The Last Jedi completely catapulted the franchise into a new direction, while bringing a pretty obscure prop along the way.
Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi below!
In the film's third act, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) finally joins the Resistance in their crusade against the First Order. He arrives on Crait and catches up with his sister, Leia (Carrie Fisher), before stepping out to face off against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). As he leaves, he hands Leia a particular artifact - a pair of gold dice, which were originally hanging on the Millennium Falcon.
For some eagle-eyed Star Wars fans, these dice are pretty easy to place. But for those who aren't as familiar with them, here's the crash course.
The dice first appeared in A New Hope, as a touch from set director Roger Christian. As Christian later wrote in his autobiography, Cinema Alchemist: Designing Star Wars and Alien, the dice served multiple purposes. They were both an homage to Harrison Ford and George Lucas' previous collaboration, American Graffiti, and a way of symbolizing Han being "of reckless chance and a gambler."
If you keep an eye out for them, the dice can be seen in shots of the Falcon throughout the original trilogy, with Chewbacca even hitting his head on them at one point.
The origin of exactly how Han got the dice, however, is still a bit of a mystery. Pablo Hidalgo, who serves as Lucasfilm Story Group's creative executive, has one mindset for how Han came to have the dice.
“The story that you would hear if you traveled to cantinas or watering holes around the Star Wars galaxy,” Hidalgo told Vanity Fair earlier this year, "is that those dice were involved in a game of Corellian Spike—a dice-using version of a card game called sabacc. Rumor has it Han won the Millennium Falcon [from Lando Calrissian] with those dice. Whether or not that’s just bar talk, I can’t say.”
But an alternate version of how Han got the dice can be seen in Smuggler's Run, a young adult novel released around The Force Awakens. According to it, the dice were nothing more than a "novelty", which Chewie hung on the Falcon as a joke.
Regardless of what in-story origin the dice have, Lucasfilm ran into a unique position when trying to include them in the "sequel trilogy." According to Metro, Lucasfilm didn't realize they were missing the dice until filming on The Force Awakens started, and they ended up buying a fan's replica off of eBay. As fans of the film will probably argue, that purchase - and its impact on The Last Jedi - was more than worth it.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.