For all its subversions and deviations from the Star Wars norms that we’re used to, The Last Jedi still has all the self-aware references, winking nods, and clever pieces of connective tissue that a fan could hope for. In fact, given how the film has only just come out, and no one will have chance to forensically study the whole thing frame-by-frame until the home release, there’s a good chance that some of the best Easter eggs are still yet to be discovered.
Nevertheless, here’s 15 you might have missed and no, we’re not including Leia’s message from A New Hope - no one missed that! There are major spoilers for The Last Jedi beyond this point, so don’t complain if you start reading without having seen the movie first.
The golden dice
You may have noticed Luke Skywalker picking up a pair of gold coated dice from the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit during The Last Jedi’s early scenes, before eventually handing it over to Leia as a Force projection on Crait, but what’s the significance there?
Well, those dice first appeared in the Falcon’s cockpit all the way back in A New Hope, and originally belonged to Han Solo himself, who kept them as a good luck charm after winning the notorious spaceship off of Lando Calrissian in a round of Sabacc, a gambling game in which those very dice were used. In The Last Jedi, Luke takes it as a memento to remember his old friend by, but it’s more than likely the trinket will appear again in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which will reportedly show how that famous sabacc game between Han and Lando actually unfolded.
The Wilhelm Scream
Cinema’s most famous sound effect, the Wilhelm Scream (trust me, you’ve heard it), has appeared in every Star Wars movie to date so far, and The Last Jedi is no different. This time, however, it’s slipped into the most unlikeliest of places; Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. Yep, in a blink and you’ll miss it moment during Kylo’s fight with Luke on Crait, the infamous scream can be heard as the new Supreme Leader swings his sabre towards his former mentor. It’s hard to hear it if you’re not paying attention, but it’s definitely there.
Whether you love or hate The Last Jedi, most of us have been wondering how the First Order is now apparently capable of tracking the resistance’s ships through hyperspace, something which has never been seen in a Star Wars movie before. It turns out that last year’s standalone Star Wars movie, Rogue One, has provided the answer this entire time.
If you remember the final act of that movie, Jyn Erso infiltrates an Imperial base on Scarif to search a database for the Death Star plans. In the process, she stumbles across a project called “Hyperspace tracking.” In other words, it turns out the Empire had been attempting to crack this technological conundrum for quite some time, though judging from the events of the original trilogy, they never figured it out. Luckily for the dark side, the First Order must have finished the work their predecessors started, before finally putting it conveniently to use during the events of The Last Jedi.
From dusk till dawn
During Luke’s final moments in The Last Jedi, he peers out at the vista before him, as Ahch-To’s twin suns paint the sky with a warm orange glow. You can interpret this a bittersweet homage to Luke’s humble beginnings in A New Hope, specifically the scene in which he looks out towards Tatooine’s own pair of suns, yearning to discover adventure beyond the mundanity of his life as a farm boy. That makes this moment in The Last Jedi all the more poetic, as if the character’s saga has finally come full circle... no, you're crying!
The Dameron clan
For most of his scenes in The Last Jedi, you can just make out a chain that Poe Dameron is wearing around his neck. At the end of that chain is a ring; his mother's own wedding ring, no less. We know this thanks to the Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic series, which tells the story of Dameron's parents, Shara Bey and Kes, during Return of the Jedi's fight on Endor against the Empire, in which they fight alongside Luke, Han, Leia, and all the rest.
Enough about sunsets, though. It’s time to talk about that milking scene. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll already know what I’m talking about, but it’s the moment in which Luke casually saunters over to a giant, reclined alien on Ahch-To, squeezes its teat, and gulps down the milk that comes out, before grinning at Rey like some sort of brazen-faced madman.
Aside from the weirdness of it all, the milk’s green hue could actually be seen as a cheeky reference to the blue milk that Luke drinks with his family on Tatooine in A New Hope. Is there anything to make of it all? Not really, except that the guy must really love his coloured milk.
Slow and Low
If you’re wondering who Joseph Gorden-Levitt cameos as in The Last Jedi, it’s an alien named Slowen-Lo, the aristocrat who rats Finn and Rose out to the authorities on Canto Bight. The name Slowen-Lo is itself a reference to “Slow and Low”, a Beastie Boys song, making this the third Star Wars character to be named in homage to the famous hip hop group. The other two are Ello Asty (“Hello Nasty”) and Illco Munica (“Ill Communication”) both of whom appeared in The Force Awakens.
The seemingly random (but admittedly hilarious) joke involving a First Order iron being mistaken for something much bigger doesn't come from nowhere, you know. It's a reference to Hardware Wars; a 1978 short film that was one of the first attempts at parodying Star Wars, and did so to a relatively successful degree too. The spoof opens with a fight between a toaster and an iron, so you can be pretty certain what The Last Jedi is referring to here.
Eagle eyes viewers may have spotted a compass in the corner of Luke’s cabin on Ahch-To, and it’s more than just a knick-knack for the aging Jedi Master. In fact, EA’s recently released video game, Star Wars Battlefront 2, tells the story of how Luke finds the compass just after the destruction of the second Death Star. This is the tool which then helps him discover the location of the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-To in the first place, so it’s no wonder that he’s kept it ever since.
A handy callback
When the camera focuses in on Rey passing over the lightsaber to Luke at the beginning of the movie, you can spot a small, but noticeable dent on the back of his robotic hand. This calls back to Return of the Jedi, when Luke’s newly crafted bionic hand gets shot by a blaster during the rescue mission on Jabba’s sail barge. There’s still no explanation for why his hand is now fully mechanical, though, without any of the fake skin seen in the original trilogy.
Once again, Luke has managed to flood and submerge his X-wing beneath the waters of Ahch-To, similar to how he did so in Dagobah’s swamp during The Empire Strikes Back. Rey finds it near the shores, looking completely out of use, but apparently the man must have had to time to salvage it for parts at some point, as the front door of his hut is made out of a piece of the ship’s exterior. Funnily enough, Luke must learnt this DIY trick from his former teacher, Yoda, since the little green guy also used his escape pod from Revenge of the Sith as the basis for his cabin home on Dagobah.
In memory of Raddus
The Resistance’s main cruiser (the one which Holdo uses to blow up the First Order’s destroyer) is called The Raddus, which is actually named after a character we met last year in Rogue One. Admiral Raddus was the captain of the Profundity: the cruiser which Jyn Erso transmitted the Death Star plans to during the fight on Scarif. Sadly, Raddus perishes alongside the rest of his crew after Darth Vader boards the Profundity to retrieve those aforementioned plans, but it looks like the Resistance never forget his valiance, and has commemorated him by naming their very own cruiser in his honour.
I’ve got a bad feeling about this
It’s a Star Wars tradition to include someone, somewhere saying the line “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” at least once during every movie, but audiences might be confused by the fact that The Last Jedi doesn’t seem to feature the catchphrase anywhere. Not so! After Rian Johnson confirmed that the line was in there, it didn’t take people long to realize that BB-8 is the one who gets to say it this time, albeit in a manner that our human ears can’t recognise.
Right at the beginning of the movie, when Poe is about to begin the Resistance’s bombing of the First Order’s destroyer, BB-8 begins noising off an indistinguishable series of beeps, before a hesitant Leia says “Just for the record, Commander Dameron, I'm with the droid on this one.” That has to have been it, right?
You can tell that Luke isn’t too keen on the Jedi anymore, as he now disparagingly refers to lightsabers as nothing more than “laser swords.” It’s a self-aware acknowledgment of the weapon’s inherent ridiculousness, but this also works as a meta-reference to George Lucas’ history with the famous franchise symbol. Before the term ‘lightsaber’ was ever a thing, Lucas would instead name the Jedi’s weapon of choice as ‘laser swords’, and he is often heard still using that term in interviews to this day. It turns out both Lucas and Luke are very much on the same wavelength when it comes to Star Wars jargon.
R1, reporting for duty
That whole business with the hyperspace tracking isn't the end of The Last Jedi's references to Rogue One. Not only does that movie's director Gareth Edwards make a cameo appearance during the battle on Crait (he's the soldier in the trenches, next to the Resistance fighter who realises the planet's surface is covered in salt), but his very uniform is a fashion statement to the man's recent Star Wars portfolio.
It's apparently difficult to spot, but Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo recently revealed that the badge on Edward's outfit says "R1" in Aurebesh, a well-known fictional language from the Star Wars universe. A neat little wink and nod, yes, or - thinking more logically about it - perhaps Edwards' character is paying his respects to the Rogue One crew that stole the Death Star plans all those years ago...
When Finn wakes up from his coma on The Rassus, you’ll notice he’s sporting a giant, water filled medical suit designed to keep his vital organs alive and stable. At one point in the movie, this is referred to as a Bacta suit, and if you recognise that word, it’s because Luke woke up in a Bacta tank after his run in with a wampa during The Empire Strikes Back. I’m not sure why the Resistance now favours suits over tanks, especially as that thing doesn’t look too comfortable on Finn, but it’s a neat little bit of connective tissue that suggests the world of medicine in Star Wars has evolved at least somewhat since the early days of the rebellion.