Jan 4, 2018

The Last Jedi's call backs and references to other Star Wars films

last jedi crait concept art

The Last Jedi made a genuine effort to make call backs and references to the past Star Wars films, from the prequels to the sequels.

Here's what I can remember from having one viewing so far...

Spoilers naturally...
  • What I'm going to call the 'Battle for Crait' is a major riff on the evacuation of Hoth but in reverse. AT Walkers advance, there's a trench line, vehicles fly out to meet the advancing threat etc. Also, the beginning of the movie where the Rebels flee is a similar riff.
  • When Rey tries to turn Kylo to the light side of the Force, this a Return of the Jedi moment that parallels the Luke and Vader plot. This goes right down the path of Rey surrendering herself to Kylo (as Luke did Vader) and being placed in hand cuffs and taken before Snoke. 
  • Whereas in Jedi, Palpatine wanted Luke to turn to the Dark Side, Snoke simply doesn't want Rey around. He does do the same thing Palpatine did to Luke in that he gives her a bit of Force torture and shows her that her friends on the ships outside are dying.
  • Yoda's return featured him being happy and playful - just as he was in the Empire Strikes Back.
  • Rey's trip to the bottom of the Island mirrors Luke's cave exploration in Empire.
  • Poe and Finn's attempted assault on the cannon that would blast open the Rebel's defensive position was a riff on the attack on the first Death Star. There were some subtle moments that were carried over too - Finn taking off his head piece was just Luke turning of his head piece during the trench run. 
  • When Luke is on the Millenium Falcon, R2D2 shows him the old hologram projection of Leia seeking help from General Kenobi is a blatantly obvious reference to A New Hope!
  • After Rey and Kylo have defeated Snoke's Royal Guard, Kylo makes it clear he is seizing control of the First Order and invites Rey to join him. Vader made the same offer to his son in Empire. Both Luke and Rey refused the offer. 
  • Poe Dameron's attack run on the Dreadnought and subsequent space battle takes the concept of The Empire Strikes Back and has the 'big battle' at the start of the movie and not the end.
  • When Leia reunites with Luke on Crait, she mentions her hair. This is a call back to The Force Awakens when Han Solo mentions the change when they too reunite.
  • When Poe introduces himself to Rey at the end of the movie, she says her name, and he says "I know" which is a call back to when Han and Leia say it to each other in the Original Trilogy. In this context, it has a special meaning for Rey about her identity.
  • Leia's ship is the Raddus - named after General Raddus from Rogue One.
  • The dice from the Falcon were first seen in ANH. They were a different design. It's use in the TLJ is a way to reference the death of Han Solo in The Force Awakens. Indeed, there was actually a deleted TFA  scene where Solo touches the dice and reminisces.
  • When Rey and BB-8 are reunited on the Falcon, Rey observes that her robot friend's antenna had been repaired and gently touches with it. This is a call back to The Force Awakens when she made the original repair following her rescue of him.
Those are good and all but our favourite callback in Star Wars is still when Annakin massacres the Younglings...

The concept art above of Crait's defence is from The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi which you can grab from Amazon.

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