Star Wars fans have been buzzing with all of the new developments lately, especially with the recent announcement of director Colin Trevorrow stepping down from the helm of Star Wars: Episode IX, and The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams taking the lead instead. We’ve also gathered major news about the upcoming Untitled Han Solo Anthology Film. In the past week, we’ve even heard rumors that The Last Jedi might have the longest running time of any Star Wars film to date.
Even though there’s so much to look forward to, it’s always a good idea to take a moment to reflect. With the anticipation for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi skyrocketing, we thought it would be best to take a moment and revisit some lesser known facts about The Force Awakens. Who knows, you might even stumble upon a tidbit of trivia or an Easter egg or two that may lead to a major reveal in time for The Last Jedi in December!
We’re ready to take a closer look at some of the celebrity cameos from The Force Awakens, and also a few scenes which pay homage to the original Star Wars trilogy.
Here are 15 Things You Completely Missed In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
15. BB-8’s voice(s)
Let’s face it, the orange and white astromech known as BB-8 is ridiculously adorable. Believe it or not, not one, but two actors were employed to help with BB-8’s charismatic presence. On screen, the droid is known for delivering a series of boops and bleeps, but they were actually created by actors Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz.
According to ABC News, Schwartz helped create BB-8’s unusual sounds with director JJ Abrams through, “…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.”
Hader is no stranger to voiceover work, having voiced Alpha 5 in the recent Power Rangers reboot, and Fear from Disney’s Inside Out. Schwartz’ recent voice over credits includes Rutabaga Rabitowitz from BoJack Horseman.
Since BB-8’s official debut from The Force Awakens, the droid has captured the hearts of many fans, but with The Last Jedi introducing two other cute contenders—Porgs and BB-9E, BB-8’s evil counterpart– it remains to be seen who will be deemed the cutest.
14. Boba Fett’s flag
When Rey, Finn and Han Solo arrive at Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana, it seems as though Rey wasn’t the only one who was completely amazed by her new surroundings. Sharp-eyed Star Wars fans have scouted out a familiar looking symbol on the flags displayed in front of Maz Kanata’s hideout.
A certain flag bears the signature Mandalorian design, leading many fans to believe that Boba Fett may be the true source of the design. In front of the entrance, one of the flags seems to depict the Mandalorian symbol, while another shows Boba Fett’s Mandalorian Crest in the form of a wheat symbol.
Other flags include symbols for podracers, while others feature the symbol for the nefarious space pirate, Hondo Ohnaka. Although this is purely speculation, just like with everything else, it seems like only time will tell!
13. Daniel Craig has a cameo as a Stormtrooper
Daniel Craig, who many will remember as the actor from the recent James Bond franchise, actually appears in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Having film credits like the Bond franchise and Star Wars on your resume is a pretty impressive feat.
When Rey (Daisy Ridley) becomes captured by Kylo Ren and the villainous First Order, she makes a desperate attempt to escape using a familiar technique. While her Jedi mind tricks are still a little rough around the edges, she did manage to convince a certain Stormtrooper to release her restraints.
12. Finn finds Luke’s Training Remote
In The Force Awakens, the mere glimpse of the Millennium Falcon is bound to cause waves of nostalgia for longtime Star Wars fans. In the film, director JJ Abrams has amassed a ton of other Easter eggs and references to the original Star Wars trilogy.
In one scene, Finn (John Boyega) stumbles upon a familiar looking spherical item, which he abruptly tosses aside. The moment is quick and fleeting, but die-hard fans can definitely recognize it—the combat remote is actually the same remote which Luke Skywalker used to train with in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Obi-Wan Kenobi had tasked Luke with the challenge of blocking a series of blasts from the droid with his lightsaber.
11. Warwick Davis plays Wollivan at Maz Kanata’s castle
As soon as Rey, Finn and Han Solo entered Maz Kanata’s castle, a certain pink alien quickly spins around to see the unexpected guests. Although not explicitly stated in the film, The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary notes that this character was named Wollivan, and was played by beloved Star Wars alum, Warwick Davis.
Davis is best known for his roles as Wicket the Ewok from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Davis has also starred in Willow and the Harry Potter films as Professor Flitwick and the Goblin named Griphook.
The actor has made numerous appearances in other Star Wars films, including The Phantom Menace, where he played W. Wald, a Rodian friend of young Anakin Skywalker. Last year, Davis appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Weeteef Cyu-Bee, and purportedly will also appear in bot The Last Jedi and the Han Solo spinoff.
10. Finn’s number “2187” pays homage to A New Hope
In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, fans were first introduced to John Boyega’s mysterious Stormtrooper character, designated with the seemingly-random number “2187”. Of course, as many Star Wars fans can attest, hardly anything in the universe is picked arbitrarily.
If the string of numbers sounds familiar, you might want to refer back to the early scenes from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. When Princess Leia is held prisoner on the Death Star, she is relegated to cell number “2187”.
Not only is Finn’s number a nice nod to the original trilogy, but the numbers also share a connection with director George Lucas. When Lucas was working on his first film, THX 1138, it is said that he was inspired by Arthur Lipsett’s short film entitled 21-87.
9. “I Have A Bad Feeling About This”
For Star Wars fans, the familiar phrase of, “I have a bad feeling about this”, has become an ongoing trend within the franchise. The iconic quote can actually be found within every single Star Wars movie, and even in other mediums and projects.
In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Luke utters the phrase while aboard the Millennium Falcon, gazing upon the monstrous Death Star that’s looming in the distance. Amusingly enough, Han Solo echoes his sentiments a little later on in the film, right when the heroes become entangled in the trash compactor. In Empire Strikes Back, Leia repeats the phrase while inside the bowels of the space slug, while C-3PO mentions it in Return of the Jedi, right before stepping foot into Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tattooine. Han Solo also repeats the phrase later, when nearly being cooked alive by Ewoks with Luke and Chewbacca.
8. Simon Pegg plays Unkar Plutt
In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, actor Simon Pegg plays Unkar Plutt, the dastardly alien character that works as a boss at Niima Outpost on Jakku. In the film, Plutt is shown trading a minuscule amount of portions for Rey’s salvaged items, and he later wants to buy BB-8 from Rey.
Pegg, who is best known for his work on Shaun of the Dead, also appeared in director JJ Abrams‘ Star Trek series as Scotty. While it seemed like we’d only be getting a quick glance of Pegg as Unkar Plutt, it remains to be seen if he will reprise his work for future work.
7. Droid cameo to honor a little girl who died of cancer
If you haven’t heard of R2-KT and the astromech’s deep connection to the 501st Legion, don’t worry, we’ll quickly get you up to speed.
Albin Johnson, the founder of the Star Wars fan group known as the 501st Legion, initially had wanted an R2 astromech unit for his daughter, Katie, who became diagnosed with a brain tumor. While the Star Wars fan group called the R2 Builders Club worked on creating the droid, Katie tragically passed away before seeing the completed droid.
For years, the droid has continued to honor Katie’s legacy with community outreach programs, fundraising events, and visiting children in hospitals. Amazingly enough, Lucasfilm took note, and R2-KT was actually featured in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. In a brief scene featuring the Resistance base on the planet of D’Qar, the bright pink droid, R2-KT, can be spotted beneath an X-Wing.
6. Maz Kanata was supposed to have a fight scene
In the months leading up to The Force Awakens, many were anticipating the debut of the Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, and her role as Maz Kanata. Nyong’o brought the character to life through a complex process involving motion capture work, but it seems like there was much more to Maz Kanata than what we saw on screen.
In fact, fans were going to be able to see Maz Kanata in action, taking on a series of Stormtroopers who infiltrate her castle. In the scene, Maz would have also helped Finn and Han Solo return to the Resistance base, and also take a closer look at Luke’s lightsaber with Leia.
5. Daisy Ridley’s instense mind-probe performance
In a behind the scenes look at Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, one of the biggest challenges faced by Disney was finding a fresh face for the role of Rey. After processing dozens of auditions, British newcomer Daisy Ridley stood out from all the rest.
Director JJ Abrams Abrams was looking for a new actress for the role, but someone experienced enough to be tough yet vulnerable at the same time. Michelle Rejwan, co-producer on the film, noted that the casting directors were tasked with the large responsibility of finding someone perfect for the role of Rey.
In the video, Secrets of the Force Awakens, Abrams noted that it wasn’t until they saw Ridley, that they finally felt like they found someone capable of handling the task. After bringing her in for an audition, Abrams asked her to perform an intense interrogation scene. Displaying her emotional range and intensity, Abrams said that Ridley’s performance completely blew his mind.
4. Jessica Henwick from Game of Thrones and Iron Fist
In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Ridley wasn’t the only British actress who made an impact on Disney. In fact, Jessica Henwick, who fans might remember as Nymeria Sand in Game of Thrones, also appeared fleetingly in The Force Awakens.
In The Force Awakens, a panicked Henwick appears in the cockpit of an X-Wing, as a Resistance pilot named Jess Testor. On screen, her character only has a minor appearance, but the pilot has a much more expanded role in the Star Wars comics, books and other mediums. Also known as Jessika Pava, she was featured in the book, The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure, and also the Star Wars: Poe Dameron comic series.
Recently, Henwick has starred as Colleen Wing in Marvel’s Iron Fist and The Defenders television series exclusively found on Netflix.
3. Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher’s daugher, plays Lieutenant Connix
Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, also made an appearance in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. In the film, Lourd stars as a Resistance officer who credited as “Lieutenant Connix”. Interestingly enough, it was recently reported that Lourd also auditioned for the role of Rey, leading some fans to speculate on whether or not Rey is actually a Skywalker.
In an interview on The Ellen Show, Lourd said, “J.J. Abrams called me to come in for Star Wars because he couldn’t find someone for the lead. He ended up finding Daisy Ridley, who’s an incredible actress — so talented! But I went in and he ended up giving me this tiny role with a couple lines.”
Lourd is credited with reprising her role as Lieutenant Connix in the upcoming film and director Rian Johnson has officially confirmed that Rey’s parents will definitely be discussed in The Last Jedi. Looks like we’ll have to play the waiting game with this one.
2. Chewbacca almost tore off Unkar Plutt’s arm
Decapitation and removal of limbs certainly stand as another long-standing joke within the Star Wars franchise. Whether it was from Luke Skywalker’s own arm from the original trilogy, or the Wampa in the ice caves of Hoth, it’s clear that losing an arm is a pretty common occurrence in the fandom. I
n a deleted scene, it looks like the film was about to go in a similar fashion, with a sequence showing an angered Chewbacca ripping off the arm of Simon Pegg’s alien character, Unkar Plutt. In the context of the scene, Unkar Plutt was supposed to track down the Millennium Falcon to Takodana, bringing him head to head with the heroes at Maz Kanata’s castle.
1. Flashback sequence included voiceover work from Alec Guinness, Ewan McGregor and Frank Oz
In one of the most enigmatic scenes from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Rey is mysteriously drawn to the cellars of Maz Kanata’s castle and discovers a familiar blue lightsaber in the process. Upon finding the weapon, Rey is instantly transported into a dream-like, flashback.
In the sequence, there are bits and pieces of audio overlapping each other, including Luke’s infamous cry of, “Nooo!” from Empire Strikes Back, and another recognizable Jedi voice calling out, “Rey… these are your first steps.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director JJ Abrams revealed that the audio was created with a mash-up of voice-over work from Ewan McGregor, Frank Oz (Yoda), and the late Alec Guinness. In the editing process, a line from Alec Guinness saying the word, “Afraid” was tweaked to become, “Rey…” which is also heard in the scene.
Are there any other things we missed from The Force Awakens? Let us know in the comments!
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