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The best hidden video game homages to Star Wars

10. Ask not what Star Wars can do for you in Call of Duty: Black Ops

Technically it would've made more sense for Jimmy Carter to drop this line, but timeline be damned, Kennedy is more fun. In the Call of Duty: Black Ops zombies mode (which focuses on President Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Robert McNamara, and Fidel Castro fighting their way through a hungry horde of zombies that interrupt their peace talks), President Kennedy will occasionally mention the undead's olfactory unpleasantness, saying "I thought they smelled bad on the outside," like a true Hano Solo admirer.

9. Deus Ex liked Star Wars before it was Star Wars

This one's such a deep cut that if you catch it on your own, you get to call yourself a Star Wars superfan. After you uncover the secret compartment in Paul Denton's suite at the 'Ton Hotel, you'll find his computer, and can use your brilliant sleuthing skills to snoop through his emails. One of his messages is particularly boring, an automated email saying that his order for two films called Blue Harvest and See You Next Wednesday is confirmed and awaiting payment. However, it turns out Blue Harvest is the name of a real film, or more specifically, a pseudonym: it was the working title for Return of the Jedi to keep its identity a secret during production. Family Guy has since ruined the joke, but for a time this was pretty clever.

8. Saints Row 4 makes Luke look delicious

The Frosting is strong with this one or was. In an out-of-the-way cave in the How the Saints Saved Christmas DLC for Saints Row 4, you can find a gingerbread man hanging from the ceiling, his head and arm long since eaten by something dreadful. Beneath him is a glowing stick that's clearly supposed to be a candy-cane lightsaber, proving you're looking at the remains of Luke Ovenwalker. Why have a Star Wars reference hidden in a Christmas DLC? The same reason you add a pretty gross Doctor Who joke a few meters away: Saints Row.

7. BioShock Infinite goes forward in time for a throwback

Here's another one you might not spot if you don't know what you're looking for, but luckily the internet noticed almost instantly. In BioShock Infinite's first gameplay trailer, Elizabeth opens a tear to 1980's Paris, and you get a long look at a cinema marquee advertising Revenge of the Jedi (the original name for Return of the Jedi) before she's nearly hit by a bus. This scene didn't make it into the final game, but was replaced with a similar, much less terrifying one with the marquee and movie name still in full view (and in the right language this time).

6. Fallout: New Vegas doesn't want you to be happy

The veritable Uncle Bens of the Star Wars universe, Luke's Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru can never catch a break no matter where they show up. Case in point, Fallout: New Vegas - if you have the Wild Wasteland character trait and visit the town of Nipton, you can find a destroyed house with two charcoal-covered skeletons lying outside the front door. Hover over them, and their names will pop up as Owen and Beru, proving that the world of Fallout really does want to hurt us. But the Courier can also do a sweet Han Solo impression at one point, so I guess that softens the blow a bit.

5. Deja vu hits hard in the Monkey Island games

Of all the silly LucasArts games to toss in references to the franchise that made their existence possible, the Monkey Island series definitely takes it the farthest. In Curse of Monkey Island, for instance, Guybrush can pull a bona fide Jedi mind trick to try and sneak into an exclusive pirate resort (which nearly works, but the Force apparently isn't strong with this one). But that pales in comparison to Monkey Island 2, where Guybrush and LeChuck reenact their own version of Darth Vader's confession to Luke in Empire Stikres Back. Their version of Jedis mask-removal scene is rather less emotional than the original though.

4. Spot the father-son moment in Resogun

You really need a keen eye in order to catch this one, and even then, you still might not get it. On the lower section of Resogun's Mefitis level (which you won't really see while playing the game normally, so you'll have to fire up photo mode to find it) there are two minuscule green figures, one standing on solid ground and the other on a dangling bit of architecture. Some intense zooming reveals that the two figures are recreating the galaxy's worst father-son outing between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in Empire Strikes Back. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

3. Biggs and Wedge will never die in Final Fantasy

It may be weird to attribute a reference to an entire series, but they're all part of it, so it'd be unfair to give credit to just one. Starting in Final Fantasy VI, nearly every game in the series has included a pair of minor characters named Biggs and Wedge, referencing two of Luke Skywalker's fellow Red Squadron pilots from A New Hope. There's little consistency between their various incarnations, and you'll have watch closely to find them each time - in FF7 they're a pair of AVALANCHE vigilantes, in FF10 they're Blitzball players, and in FF13 they're business partners behind the B+W Outfitters shop who never appear on screen.

2. Get a nostalgia kick in The Talos Principle

Good to know The Talos Principle doesn't take itself too seriously. If you look off the rightmost cliff in the Weathertop area, you'll spot a small platform below that you can safely drop down to, which leads to a cave in the side of the cliff. Inside you'll find Serious Sam - the protagonist of developer Croteam's most famous franchise - sealed in carbonite in the exact same configuration as that rascal Han Solo. Looks like that trademark humor hasn't gone anywhere.

1. Feel the love in every game with a lightsaber

No More Heroes, Time Killers, Super Smash Bros, Dead Rising, Silent Hill 3, World of Warcraft, Kirby and the Crystal Shards - every single one has some version of a lightsaber. Ever since Star Wars first solidified the image of a light-based laser sword and gave it a catchy name, it's dug into our collective conscience right alongside Excalibur, so it's no surprise that plenty of games work these swords of light into their arsenal. Unless a game goes out of its way to show that its laser-blade is definitely not a lightsaber (Halo flirts with the idea, but never quite commits), we can probably assume that these are the utmost compliment to Star Wars, the series that gave us the 20th century's most iconic mythical weapon.

Former Associate Editor at GamesRadar, lover of FPS's, horror games and stealth games. If you can see her, you're already dead.