NOTE: This article contains SPOILERS for The Cloverfield Paradox
You're going to need to watch The Cloverfield Paradox more than once to catch every Easter Egg and connection. That will be easier said than done for some viewers, as the surprise third entry in the Cloverfield series has gotten rough reviews. Producer J. J. Abrams is no stranger to controversy or passionate fan bases, but usually, it's the riddles of the larger mythology that win out. How Cloverfield Paradox connects to the other movies, for instance. And of course... what to make of Cloverfield Paradox's ending scenes.
But buried beneath the bigger questions, the most shocking sequences, and the most divisive links (or lack there of) to the original Cloverfield lies the real treasure trove for fans. We're making sure fans don't miss a single Easter Egg, connection to 10 Cloverfield Lane, or cameo from Abrams's past collaborators and friends. Whether it's a list to follow on another viewing, or catch the details you wish had played a bigger role, you won't miss a single Cloverfield Paradox secret.
With one final SPOILER warning, let's get started.
8. Simon Pegg Cameo
The collaboration between director J. J. Abrams and actor Simon Pegg goes back to Mission: Impossible III, but once it started, there was no stopping. Aside from casting Pegg as 'Scotty' in his rebooted Star Trek films, Abrams also turned to the actor for a key cameo role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In that film, he was unrecognizable beneath a massive practical suit - and for Simon Pegg's cameo in Cloverfield Paradox, fans won't get to spot him with their eyes, either.
It's only Pegg's voice that makes a mark on the third Cloverfield film, and can be heard in the opening minutes of the movie. Before the action shifts into space and other dimensions, a series of news reports establishes the energy crisis slowly gripping the planet. Pegg offers details without masking his natural voice and accent, so should be impossible to miss for fans of his past work.
7. The Star Trek/Kelvin Nod
Speaking of Star Trek connections, yet another reference to one of Abrams's long-running jokes comes immediately after Pegg's voice cameo. The audience is introduced to 'Hamilton' (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) along with her husband as the pair wait in a long line for gasoline. It's a not-so-subtle piece of evidence to emphasize the planet's growing tension (as finite resources like fossil fuels dwindle). Before the power goes out, the motionless line of cars illustrates the need for the limitless energy sought aboard Cloverfield Station.
But before it does, fans won't want to miss the corporate branding of the gas station: Kelvin Gasoline. That's the exact same gas station that appears in the first scenes of 10 Cloverfield Lane, forging just one of several connections to the previous movie. The name is a reference to Abrams's maternal grandfather, and has been used in every one of his projects to date. The most iconic being the name of the Federation ship captained by Kirk's father in Star Trek. A franchise that would have something to say about Paradox's dimension-jumping, we're sure.
6. The Newscaster Returns
The film actually skips over most of the Cloverfield crew's time in space, showing that after almost two years in space the planned collisions have consistently failed. As they prepare for yet another, a news broadcast helps lay out the pseudo-scientific dangers of the titular "Cloverfield Paradox." The strange warnings of Donal Logue's character will be what most viewers focus on, but on of the movie's most important cameos shouldn't be missed.
It's the newscaster we're referring to, going without an explicit name, but played by actress Suzanne Cryer (Silicon Valley). Why does such a small role matter so much? Because Cryer also played the unnamed woman who attempts to break her way into Howard's bunker in 0 Cloverfield Lane. It's unclear if the intention is that Cryer is playing the exact same character - one before, and one after the Paradox disaster strikes - but it's hard to believe it's a coincidence. Maybe she should have taken "The Cloverfield Paradox" theories a bit more seriously.
5. The Other Stambler Brother?
The character played by Donal Logue that we mentioned earlier is actually named, as 'Mark Stambler,' author of "The Cloverfield Paradox" for which the movie named. He's the one who may spell out the exact connection between Paradox and the prior Cloverfield movies, suggesting that their experiment could unleash unthinkable monsters onto Earth. An outlandish, colorful theory... but that's a tendency that seems to run in the family.
While John Goodman's character in 10 Cloverfield Lane is referred to only as 'Howard,' additional materials used in ARG and viral marketing tied to the movie confirm his name is 'Howard Stambler.' So, is it a coincidence? Are these Stambler brothers equally prepared for the apocalyptic onslaught Cloverfield delivers? We may never know...
J. J. Abrams has more than a few favorites in his bag of tricks and trademarks, from corporate brands and conglomerates that seem to control every aspect of his TV and movie universes. There's the Tagruato Corporation seen stamped throughout Cloverfield Paradox, having previously linked the other movies to a possible origin for the massive Cloverfield monster (which may now have been dismissed). But there is none more harmless, or more shameless than 'Slusho.'
The brand of frozen drinks has been referenced in all of Abrams's TV projects, been ordered in Star Trek's future, and been advertised in a gas station in 10 Cloverfield Lane. It was also the company that hired the star of the first Cloverfield not long before New York City was destroyed with him in it. It makes its appearance in Paradox in the form of a small figurine holding a Slusho cup prominently featured after the astronauts make their leap through dimensions.
3. "The Flash of Red Light"
Less of an explicit 'Easter Egg' here, but a small detail and clarification that might slip by even seasoned Cloverfield fans in search of theories and connections. But first, you'll need to remember how the "attack" in 10 Cloverfield Lane was described by Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.):
"It looked like a flash. Bright red. Like an explosion from way far off. It wasn't like fireworks. Naw, this was more like something you'd read about in the Bible... This wasn't like anything I'd ever seen."
At the time, neither viewers nor Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) knew what he was talking about. But when the particle accelerator aboard the Cloverfield begins to run at full power, it can be see shifting from a clear purple light to a brighter red. When it tears through our dimension into another, the light is a close match to what Emmett described, cementing the timeline of the two films even further.
2. Greg Grunberg Cameo
For actor Greg Grunberg, being a childhood friend of J. J. Abrams had paid serious dividends. Not only has it landed him a role in both the Star Trek franchise and Star Wars saga - as Commander Finnegan and "Snap" Wexley, respectively - but just about every other project Abrams has directed or produced. As the director's clear 'good luck charm,' it should come as no surprise to hear Grunberg round out the cast of Cloverfield Paradox.
Not as an astronaut (he's had enough space adventures already), but as a voice planetside. After also lending his talents on a phone call to James Kirk in Star Trek, Grunberg now plays 'Joe,' the friend of Michael's who informs him of the Cloverfield's disappearance and, in the film's closing sequences, fails to inform the survivors of the station of the nightmare that has unfolded on planet Earth.
1. The Meaning of The 'Helios' Mission
The actual station being operated by the movie's cast is the name everyone cares about. But paying closer attention to mission patches and their crew photo confirms that they're technically members of the 'Helios' mission, which sounds... well, suitably generic to most viewers. But to those who know their Greek mythology, the mission, dangers, and fate of the entire crew is easily predicted long before things go so horribly awry.
In Greek mythology, Helios was the God of the Sun, whose job it was to pull the Sun across the sky with a chariot of fiery horses. So when the time came for Phaethon (the son Helios fathered with a mortal woman) to attempt his father's work, disaster followed. Phaethon could not control the chariot, came too close to Earth, and severely burned it.
In other words, his efforts to 'play God' with the awesome power wielded by Helios ended up devastating the Earth. Sounds familiar.
So there you have it, Cloverfield fans: every Abrams Easter Egg, series connection, inside joke, and celebrity cameo we could spot in The Cloverfield Paradox. There are sure to be more, so let us know of ones YOU spotted in the comments.