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The 25 best Star Wars references in other movies

6. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Harrison Ford's big break is all down to George Lucas. The man plucked him from his carpenter's day job and awarded him the role of Han Solo. And so, Ford and director Francis Ford Coppola chose to reference him in Apocalypse Now by naming Ford's character Colonel Lucas. George himself was originally in line to direct the Vietnam flick but wound up too busy working on Star Wars. This throwback is a fitting tribute to what could have been.

5. Clerks (1994)

Of all the Kevin Smith movies that reference the holy trilogy, this lengthy tirade from Randal is by far the most amusing to watch. It's a testament to Smith's intimate knowledge of the series. Randal argues that during construction on the second Death Star, the people aboard who were killed weren't just the expected villains. If the Empire had designs on getting the new one built quickly, that would have required additional contractors to complete it on time. They weren't part of the evil regime, just regular joes earning some extra cash.

4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Given that this is a film that posits the existence of sentient entities from a place lightyears from Earth, it's fitting that Steven Spielberg snuck in a cheeky ode to Star Wars. Towards the end of the movie we see the mothership descend from the perspective of Jillian, who's hiding in the rocks. If you look carefully at the ship's edge, you can spot a little droid upside down. He's just to the left of the three round lights. R2-D2 really does get around.

3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

A popular easter egg that's well-known in cinephile circles. It connects the world of archaeologist Indiana Jones to a galaxy far, far away by way of... inter-galactic branding? The movie opens with lounge singer Willie Scott belting away a showstopper onstage at a glamorous club. It just so happens that Indy is conducting business there too, which goes horribly wrong, and he winds up taking Willie with him. The name of the establishment? Club Obi-Wan.

2. E.T. (1982)

Elliot is a massive Star Wars fan. His bedroom - like Robbie's in Poltergeist - is a shrine to the movies that doubles as a sort-of cinematic museum. Hardly any of the toys that he has are available any more unless you've got money to burn. The coolest items are Han Solo's blaster and a Greedo figurine that would fetch thousands today. And, of course, let's not forget the other big wink: during the Halloween sequence, there's a kid dressed as Yoda out trick-or-treating.

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1980)

Everyone's favorite pair of bickering droids appear in Raiders. In his early career, Spielberg could barely stop himself from dotting his films with subtle links to his buddy George Lucas' series, but this one outshines the rest. As Indy and Sallah retrieve the Ark of the Covenant, the Well of Souls features hieroglyphic carvings of C-3P0 and R2-D2, that can be spotted on a pillar to the right of Indy (the left side of the shot). It makes sense that Star Wars takes place "a long time ago." These etchings look ancient.

Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.