Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters right now, obliterating every box office record. And repeat viewings by fans who want to continue their Star Wars journey throughout the weekend are partially responsible for its mammoth haul. The more times you see the movie, the more likely you are to recognize a new Easter Egg or spot a costumed celebrity cameo. We have an entire list of these Easter eggs and cameos for you right here, so you can better identify them the next time you step into this galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens had its world premiere in Hollywood, California this past Monday, which was the first time this highly-anticipated film was screened for fans and critics alike. And right away, those in attendance noticed quite a few cool hidden references. And it was the first time that the voice of BB-8 was revealed. We also learned that Daniel Craig does have a cameo as a Stormtrooper.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduces three new heroes into the Star Wars universe, John Boyega's Finn, Daisy Ridley's Rey and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron, along with Adam Driver's villainous Kylo Ren. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa) are also reprising their iconic roles from the original trilogy. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens supporting cast includes Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke and Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens marks the first Star Wars movie that George Lucas is not involved in. The franchise creator was expected to serve as some sort of consultant on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the sequels that will follow, but he revealed in several interviews that Disney wasn't interested in his ideas, although he revealed earlier this month that he "really liked" the movie. Still, even without George Lucas at the helm, the franchise is in very good hands, with producer Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, who will serve as producer on the several follow-ups coming in the next few years.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to obliterate box office records as it moves into its second full day of release this Saturday. The long-awaited sequel is playing in 4,134 domestic theaters, where it has pulled in an astounding estimated $120.5 million during its Friday debut. This includes $57 million from Thursday preview screenings. This makes The Force Awakens the biggest single day opener of all time. And it is now the first film to ever break the $100 million mark in a single day. The previous one-day and opening day records were set way back in 2011 by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. Industry insiders believe that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will managed to earn at least $220 million by the time Monday rolls around. And that will break the previous opening weekend record held by Jurassic World, which pulled in $208.8 million this past June. Here are an assorted mix of Easter Eggs and Cameos that you are likely to spot in the movie.
1 Rey's X-Wing Helmet
Daisy Ridley's Rey was stranded on the desert planet of Jakku as a small child. Though we don't yet know by whom. She clearly lives in the aftermath of a great battle that took place on this scorched landscape, making her home inside a fallen At-At. She scours crashed Star Destroyers, looking for parts she can sell for food. And she has in her possession an old X-Wing fighter pilot helmet like the ones the Rebel Alliance used to wear. It is an antique, but it's impossible to say who this helmet belonged to. The alien writing on the helmet has been transcribed in the days since the movie arrived. And it says 'Rhae'. Is this the true meaning of an Easter egg for fans? Or was this helmet given to her by someone in the Alliance before she became stranded on Jakku? As she's left the helmet behind on her quest to find the missing Luke Skywalker, this is one mystery that may never be solved.
2 Simon Pegg is Unkar Plutt
It was revealed at Comic-Con this past July that Simon Pegg has a cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But who is this Star Trek star playing? He actually has quite an important role, as far as celebrity cameos go. He stars as Unkar Plutt, the junk dealer who tries to buy BB-8 from Rey. He's also the new owner of the Millennium Falcon when we're first reintroduced to the galaxy's fastest ship. When Rey refuses to hand over the droid, it is Unkar who alerts the First Order to her presence.
3 The Voice Behind BB-8
One of the big casting secrets behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens is that someone actually helped voice the new ball droid BB-8. While most assumed that BB-8 was speaking in various beeps and tones produced by a computer, that is not true. Former Saturday Night Live cast member and actor Bill Hader helped created the persona behind this scene stealer. And he had a partner in Ben Schwartz, best known for his recurring role as Jean Ralphio on Parks and Recreation.
Both Ben Schwartz and Bill Hader are credited as 'BB-8 Voice Consultant' in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Bill Hader explained exactly what voice consultant means, confirming that he helped provide the cadence and emotion heard emitting out of the little lost robot.
"It was J.J. f--king around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me. It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8's voice. At first I tried doing a voice, but we all agreed it sounded too human."
The actor spoke actual lines of dialogue, all of which were known by his co-stars, especially Daisy Ridley's Rey and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron, who are both fluent in Atro-Mech droid speak. This isn't the first time that Bill Hader has done voice over work for Bad Robot, the production studio behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He also worked with them on Star Trek Into Darkness. In that sequel, he provided the computer voice of the USS Vengeance starship. He also did voice work for Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. He has also played several characters over the years on South Park, where he also works on the writing staff. Ben Schwartz had this to say on social media about his role in helping Bill Hader bring the droid to life.
"You're looking at a bonafide BB8 voice over consultant. And nothing makes me happier. This movie is amazing. Quite possibly the hardest and coolest secret I've ever had to keep. Seeing my name in the credits of a Star Wars film made me smile so wide it almost tore my face. J.J. did this franchise so proud. Can't wait for everyone to see!!! #StarWars."
4 Jedi Training Sphere
Surely you remember the floating orb that Luke Skywalker first used as part of his Jedi lightsaber training in the original 1977 Star Wars. Obi-Wan's young apprentice was taking a bigger step into a larger world, discovering the force first hand while on the Millennium Falcon, heading towards Alderaan. This zap-happy ball makes a return midway through the movie while Finn is digging through some discarded junk on the iconic Falcon. Look for the Marksman-H combat remote in his hand. The scene goes by quickly.
5 Famous Stormtroopers
Back in May, a new rumor surfaced regarding the ultra-secretive Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which revealed that 007 himself, Spectre star Daniel Craig, has a cameo in the highly-anticipated movie. The news came straight from another actor, Simon Pegg, who himself was long rumored to have a role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was ultimately confirmed in the behind-the-scenes video released at Comic Con this summer. Simon Pegg revealed that Daniel Craig is playing a Stormtrooper, which Entertainment Weekly has confirmed.
One of the site's sources claims that Daniel Craig took on the role for "s--ts and grins," even though he vehemently denied the rumor. It does make sense, though since both Spectre and Star Wars: The Force Awakens were shooting at Pinewood Studios in London at the same time. The site reports that Daniel Craig's Stormtrooper is on the receiving end of a "Jedi mind trick," the first one ever attempted by Rey (Daisy Ridley).
At an unidentified point in the movie, Rey is captured, leading her to tell Daniel Craig's Stormtrooper, "You will remove these restraints and leave this cell with the door open." The scene is an obvious nod to Obi-Wan Kenobi's "These aren't the droids you're looking for" line in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, although it isn't as successful. Daniel Craig's character responds, "I'll tighten those restraints, scavenger scum." The site adds that most fans won't be able to recognize Daniel Craig's voice in this scene.
J.J. Abrams also gave two of his musical friends roles as Stormtroopers in the movie. Veteran Alias and Lost composer Michael Giacchino may have not contributed the score this time around, but he did get to play Stormtrooper FN-3181. And longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich appears as Stormtrooper FN-9330.
6 J.J. Sings Vocals on 2 Songs Created for the Movie
J.J. Abrams isn't only being praised for his directing job on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It seems he also contributed to the movie's soundtrack. We previously learned that Hamilton composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and composed the music for the Cantina scene in the movie, which takes place at Maz Kanata's castle. But he also wrote a second song for the blockbuster sequel. The two songs are titled 'Jabba Flow' and 'Dobra Doompa'. They are credited to the band Shag Kava. The group consists of two men and a few unknown musicians. On vocals are Lin-Manuel Miranda and J.J. Abrams. The lyrics of these two songs are in Huttese. If you listen closely, you might also hear a little bit of a Muppets flavor locked into the music.
7 The meaning of numbers
Finn gets his name from his Stormtrooper call sign, which is FN-2187. All true Star Wars fans know that in the 1977 original, Princess Leia was held in the Death Star's detention block AA-23. And she was stuck inside cell 2187! This isn't just a nod to A New Hope. The number was also the title of an abstract 1963 short film titled 21-87, by director Arthur Lipsett. It was a striking piece of cinema that George Lucas found quite inspirational.
8 The Real Poe Dameron
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Oscar Isaac plays the hotshot X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron. If you're wondering where the name comes from, it actually stems from two different sources. The first name comes from J.J. Abrams' daughter, who had a beloved stuffed Polar Bear that she called 'Po' for short. The last name is courtesy of the director's tireless assistant Morgan Dameron. Morgan actually shows up in the movie for a cameo. She plays a Resistance office who reacts with shock to the thrilling Starkiller Base assault. And guess what her name is, serving as inspiration for Poe? Commodore Meta. Will we see a Meta action figure? Knowing Disney's want and need to squeeze dollars out of every aspect of the movie, we think yes.
9 Where is Warwick?
Warwick Davis made his film acting debut in the 1983 sequel Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi playing the beloved and now iconic Ewok Wicket W. Warwick. He has since gone onto be one of the few original actors to appear in the prequel trilogy. He shows up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a background character named Wollivan. He is a cantina-dweller in Maz Kanata's castle. You have to look hard, but he's the guy with the short, pink snout and the puckered eyes. We don't yet have an official photo of the little guy.
Warwick Davis isn't the only creature cameo to find hiding in Maz's Castle. There are all kinds of weird creatures hunkered down in this watering hole. Including 30 Rock star Judah Friedlander. He is simply credited as one of the bar patrons. Also enjoying a cold beverage during this portion of the movie is D.C. Barnes. You may remember that he won a walk-on role in the movie through the Force for Change inititive, with all the money going to charity. He is seen wearing a hooded black cloak at the gambling table, just behind Wollivan.
10 Maze Runner's Newt Joins the Dark Side
Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Newt in the The Maze Runner franchise, gets a cool cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He is First Order Petty Officer Thanisson. You can see him during Finn and Poe's big escape. He is the one who warns the leaders of The First Order that a TIE-Fighter is attempting to make an unsanctioned departure from the Star Destroyer. While his role in The Maze Runner is quite a bit larger than the role he takes on in Star Wars, this might be the cooler gig.
11 It's All About Family
Carrie Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, shows up in the Resistance headquarters. She plays Lieutenant Connix, who monitors the X-WIng pilots during their raid on Starkiller base. She is joined in the movie by the first-ever confirmed female droid PZ-4CO, who also goes by the nickname Peazy. She is a communications droid, and a longtime confidante and biographer for General Leia Organa.
J.J. Abrams gave his dad a role in the movie as Captain Cypress, which is named after the Cypress Point Productions company, which the man has run since 1978. You can spot Gerry Abrams to the left of C-3PO when he declares that the Resistance needs a miracle. J.J. Abrams also squeezed one important Easter Egg in that has appeared in all of his films. And it's an ode to his Grandfather. The man's name was Kelvin. In 2009's Star Trek, there is a starship named the U.S.S. Kelvin. The gas station in Super 8 was named Kelvin Gasoline. Now, in this long-anticipated sequel, Rey speaks this line to BB-8: 'Niima Outpost is that way. Stay off Kelvin Ridge. Keep away from the sinking fields to the north or you'll drown in the sand.'
12 Lost Stars Found in The Force Awakens
Lost is one of the most iconic TV shows of the Aughts. And it's one of the things creator J.J. Abrams is most well known for. So of course there is going to be some spill over. Greg Grunberg, who has one of the bigger celebrity cameos, and actually delivers a few lines, is a J.J. Abrams regular. The pair have known each other since Kindergarten. The actor gets to play ace X-Wing pilot Snap Wexley. Snap is a nickname, and it's since been revealed that he's actually the grown-up version of Temmin Wexley, who was introduced in Chuck Wendig's post-Return of the Jedi novel Star Wars: Aftermath. Also from Lost is Ken Leung. He shows up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Resistance Admiral Statura.
13 Kevin Smith? Where?
Director Kevin Smith, who admits that he cried when stepping onto the Millennium Falcon on set, is one of the galaxy's biggest Star Wars nerd. But he did not get a physical cameo. Instead, he is credited as a voice actor. Though, we're not sure where his voice can be heard in the movie. If you rewatch the movie, perhaps you'll be able to identify where he comes in and let us know.
14 Captain Phasma is named after Phantasm
All of the new characters in Star Wars 7 got their names in unique and interesting ways. We already told you how Poe Dameron got his moniker. Captain Phasma, played by Gwendoline Christie, came about her name in a surprisingly different way. Phasma is named in honor of Don Coscarelli's 1979 cult classic Phantasm, because the iconic orb in that movie looks just like her new silver Stormtrooper armor. Just before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters, it was announced that super fan J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot production company is actually overseeing a 4K restoration of the original Phantasm, with the movie to get a re-release in 2016. Perhaps Captain Phasma, who is confirmed to return in Star Wars: Episode VIII, will help usher the movie into theaters?
15 The Beastie Boys and Lost get their Own Character
Back in October, merchandising photos from Star Wars: The Force Awakens surfaced, which revealed a brand new character called "Ello Asty." Since many know that director J.J. Abrams is a longtime fan of the legendary rap group Beastie Boys, it was believed that this character was named in honor of the group and their 1998 album "Hello Nasty." Shortly thereafter, another theory surfaced that this character name also referenced the filmmaker's beloved ABC series Lost, since it phonetically spells out the title (El-Lo-As-Ty). J.J. Abrams has confirmed that both things are true. Shortly after the news of Ello Asty's name surfaced, a Twitter user dubbed Yakface went one step further and translated the Aurebesh writing on his helmet. The translation? 'Born to Ill,' an homage to the Beastie Boys' breakout 1986 album "Licensed to Ill." If that wasn't enough, Ello Asty is part of the Abednedo species. This ties into Beastie Boys song 'Shadrach', where the group references the Judaeo-Christian parable of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. J.J. Abrams previously used the Beastie Boys' hit song "Sabotage" in his 2009 Star Trek franchise reboot. Ello Asty is described by the official Star Wars database as a skilled if occasionally reckless X-wing starfighter pilot for the Resistance. Keep a close eye on Ello in the Starkiller raid. We won't say what happens to him, but we're not sure he'll be returning for the sequel.
What do you think? Did you notice any of these the first time? Do any of these make you want to revisits the movie a second and third time? How many times do you plan on seeing the movie this weekend anyway. Let us know in the comments section below if you spot anything else worth mentioning. And May the Force be With You!