Star Wars fans are some of the most detail-oriented fans out there. They’ve spent decades combing over and cataloguing every last detail from the films and the Expanded Universe.
The original Star Wars trilogy has its fair share of internal mythology and Easter eggs. However, by the time the prequels came out, the franchise had grown so much and the films had many more resources and special effects available to add to their worlds.
The Easter eggs in the prequel trilogy are numerous. Some are quiet nods to the in-universe and behind the scenes history of Star Wars, while others are thinly disguised references to other franchises entirely.
Whether you’re a fan that loves or hates the prequels, they have added so much lore to the franchise and given us so many details to notice in the films themselves. It would take quite the learned and well-watched film buff to recognize all of the Easter eggs below. For some of them it would be impossible to connect the dots without the ubiquitous online resources we’re accustomed to today.
Only the finest Jedi archivists may know of these 15 Star Wars Prequel Easter Eggs You Definitely Missed.
15 QUINLAN VOS IN PHANTOM MENACE
This is something of a retroactive Easter egg in Phantom Menace. George Lucas and other Star Wars Expanded Universe creators have been known to take momentous background characters from the films and flesh them out in expanded material.
One such character appeared in the scene where Sebulba pounces on Jar Jar Binks in the streets of Mos Espa. The distinctive dreads and face paint line caught Lucas’ eye and the named character Quinlan Vos was created by writer Jon Ostrander and artist Jan Duursema.
Vos went on to have a heavily morally gray arc over the course of various stories in Clone Wars. Fans debated for a while as to whether or not his initial anonymous appearance in Phantom Menace was canon.
It was officially retconned to canonically be Quinlan Vos by the Ultimate Star Wars reference book released by Dorling Kindersley in 2015. It’s gratifying, but it does raise a question of why Vos was coincidentally on the same planet where Qui-Gon Jinn met Anakin Skywalker.
14 KATIE LUCAS IN THE WHOLE TRILOGY
Ever since the first Star Wars film, there have been plenty of extra boots to fill for all the scene-setting alien characters in locations like Mos Eisley and Coruscant. So if you are George Lucas, why not have your likely eager children fill in some of the parts?
Katie Lucas is the middle adopted daughter of George Lucas. She had three different cameo roles in each of the three films of the Prequel Trilogy. In Phantom Menace, Katie plays Amee, one of the gaggle of Anakin’s friends who comes to tease him while he’s working on his pod racer.
In Attack of the Clones, she plays a purple skinned Twi’lek named Lunae Minx in the club on Coruscant and gives Anakin a very interested look when he passes by. Finally in Revenge of the Sith, she plays a dignitary at the Coruscant opera named Chi Eekway Papanoida, alongside her dad’s cameo, while Anakin enters the Chancellor’s box.
In all these scenes, Katie Lucas always appeared alongside Anakin Skywalker’s character.
13 LUKE'S LANDSPEEDER IN PHANTOM MENACE
In the original Episode 4: A New Hope, Luke gets around Tatooine making using of a hovering X-34 Landspeeder. He and C-3PO ride it in the Jundland Wastes while chasing after R2-D2.
He also hops into it to speed back to his homestead when he realizes that the Stormtroopers are coming for his family. When he and Obi-wan reach Mos Eisley, Luke sells the old model, lamenting the popularity of the new XP-38.
One then has to wonder just how attractive the X-34 was around the time of Phantom Menace, when it might have been new. When Qui-Gon, Padme, Jar Jar, and R2 wander into Mos Espa, they spot plenty of vehicles and denizens bustling around.
In the pan-up shot to the right the very same style of Landspeeder can be seen against a wall behind two figures. It is the very same vehicle prop used for Phantom Menace as during the filming of the original Star Wars, but there is no official source saying if it is the exact same unit that Luke pilots later in-universe.
12 JEREMY BULLOCH IN REVENGE OF THE SITH
Jeremy Bulloch was the actor who wore the iconic armor of Boba Fett during Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. He became very popular among Star Wars fans even as an actor, frequently attending conventions and donning the Mandalorian armor for cosplay.
He made a few other cameo appearances in the Star Wars movies including one in Revenge of the Sith. Part of the interesting thing about Bulloch’s performance as Boba Fett was that he didn’t provide the voice of the character.
In Revenge of the Sith he does get to speak on screen. After Senator Organa recovers Obi-wan onboard the Tantive III, they return to Coruscant to confront Palpatine and reconfigure the retreat signal from the Jedi Temple.
Bulloch plays the pilot Captain Colton. He alerts Organa that the Chancellor’s office is summoning him to an emergency session of the Senate. It’s a one-line, one-scene part, but fans were happy to recognize Bulloch all the same.
11 STAR WARS EPISODE 1 RACER IN ATTACK OF THE CLONES
We get quite an extensive look at Coruscant when Obi-wan and Anakin chase the assassin Zam Wesell in Attack of the Clones. From Senator Amidala’s apartment to the dingy surface level streets, the Jedi pursue in their speeders until Anakan forces Zam to crash on the street. She hides in a club and the chase becomes a much quieter cat and mouse game.
This scene is absolutely packed with Easter egg details in the setting and cameo characters. There’s a shout out even to Star Wars video gamers.
One of the best licensed games to come out of Phantom Menace was Star Wars Episode 1 Racer for the N64. It let players race on tracks from around the galaxy as all of the competitors that appear in the film’s Boota Eve Classic.
At the sports bar in the club in Clones, several spectators are watching a pod race, and the footage is actually taken right from the video game. Lucas reportedly wanted to emphasis the popularity of pod racing in the Star Wars universe.
10 2001 EVA POD IN PHANTOM MENACE
A junkyard would be the perfect place to hide Easter eggs, with already mishmashed pieces lying about. When Qui-Gon goes into Wato’s junkshop to acquire replacement hyperdrive parts, Wato’s shop and junkyard are littered with Easter eggs and details. One of the most interesting Easter eggs lies near the entrance to the junkyard.
To the right of Wato and Qui-Gon, behind a rusty maintenance droid is an EVA pod from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is the very same prop from that film made more than 30 years before Phantom Menace.
In 2001, the Extravehicular Activity pods were used by the crew of the Discovery One to safely maneuver outside the ship to perform maintenance. The Discovery had a total of three pods and lost two over the course of the mission. The murdering computer HAL 9000 locks Dr. Poole outside of one of the pods and hurls it into deep space, and the other pod was absorbed by the Monolith.
9 THE KITCHEN SINK DEBRIS IN REVENGE OF THE SITH
Out of all the long establishing shots that follow the opening crawls in Star Wars films, the one in Revenge of the Sith is the longest and most detailed by far.
We start with a pan down towards a Republic cruiser in orbit above Coruscant when two new Jedi Starfighters zoom in front of the camera. They dive down past the bow of the ship and straight into the raging space battle between the Republic and General Grevious’s fleet.
The special effects team at ILM put so much detail into every frame of this shot, they reportedly joked that it has everything but the kitchen sink. So, sure enough, they added in a kitchen sink.
Near the end of the shot, a Republic ship blows a Separatist frigate in half and one of the smoking trails of debris is a kitchen sink that crashes back into the hull of the Republic ship. The camera even tracks the pierce of wreckage.
8 BUSTS OF THE FILMMAKERS IN ATTACK OF THE CLONES
The merits of the Jedis’ philosophy about knowledge and experience are debatable, but they have got a tricked out futuristic Library. The Archive Library in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant is comprised of many more halls and chambers than we see in the film. The hall where Obi-wan confers with Jocasta Nu is comprehensively based off the Long Room library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
The Long Room has busts of its more notable alums at the ends of its towering book shelves, and thus the Jedi Archives have busts as well. In universe, the figures are meant to be likenesses of a group of Jedi called The Lost 20.
They are Jedi Masters who voluntarily left the order over ideological differences, including Count Dooku. Behind the scenes, the appearances of the busts were based on several Attack of the Clones filmmakers, including Writer/Director George Lucas, ILM Employees Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, and ILM CCO and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor John Knoll.
7 X-WINGS AND TIES IN ATTACK OF THE CLONES
Star Wars isn’t above screwing with their own continuity for the sake of letting their visual effects teams have some fun. In Attack of the Clones, Jango Fett hires Zam Wesell to help assassinate Senator Amidala. Zam lets loose poisonous kouhuns in Amidala’s apartment but her Jedi guardians Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi kill the vermin and give chase to Zam in an air speeder.
Towards the middle of the sequence, the Jedi speed after Zam in a near vertical nose dive. In that shot there’s a deep luminous trench on the left side of the frame with vehicles moving through it like all the gridded traffic on Coruscant.
In that traffic, if you look closely enough, you can see the silhouettes of an X-wing being pursued by three TIE Fighters. The formation is somewhat similar to the Death Star trench run in A New Hope. Some fans have tried to imagine an in universe explanation for the appearances, but most fans agree that it’s just eye candy for the most studious observers.
6 BLADE RUNNER SPINNER IN PHANTOM MENACE
In Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, “spinner” is a colloquial term for the vertical take-off and landing craft common used by the authorities to survey the population. We see Rick Decker and plenty of other law enforcement and privileged characters use them in the film, lifting off the street levels and flying through the add-bedazzled buildings.
These vehicles from Blade Runner can be seen in one Coruscant nighttime shot before Qui-Gon tells Anakin about midi-chlorians (ulgh) in Phantom Menace. In the DVD audio commentary for the film, ILM CCO John Knoll points them out in the corner of the shot.
They are specifically meant to be an homage to Blade Runner added by the animation team. While the vehicles in Blade Runner were primarily used in law enforcement, they appear to be more commercial or personal in Phantom Menace.
However, their exact canonicity in terms of design and name in Star Wars is unknown.
5 MATRIX ENSEMBLE IN ATTACK OF THE CLONES
In the Wachowski’s The Matrix, Mouse is a lewd crewmember aboard the Nebuchadnezzar played by Matt Doran. As part of Neo’s training to become the One, Mouse writes an agent training program to impress upon Neo that agents can possess anyone in the Matrix.
He also designs a standout blonde bombshell to intentionally distract Neo so an agent can ambush him. That woman in the red dress was played by Australian model and actress Fiona Johnson.
Both Doran and Johnson have similar bit parts in Attack of the Clones. Doran plays the hoarse-voiced dealer who tries to peddle death-sticks to Obi-wan in the Coruscant bar. It’s a good thing that Elan Sleazebaggano was never named on screen; the mind trick interaction is funny enough.
In the very next shot from Anakin’s point of view, Johnson plays the glitzed-up blonde who gives Anakin a sultry look as he passes by. Her appearance in the film was uncredited but her character is named Hayde Gofai. They may have been type cast but that makes two major franchises they have connected parts in.
4 THE MILLENNIUM FALCON IN REVENGE OF THE SITH
The battle in and around General Grievous’s Invisible Hand takes up almost the entire first act of Revenge of the Sith. The sequence concludes with Anakin Skywalker crash-landing the front half of the Separatist cruiser rather conveniently on a Coruscant landing strip. “Another happy landing.”
The next shot transitions to a shuttle speeding over the city back to the Senate. In another shot the camera tracks the shuttle as it touches down on the landing pad. The shot is packed with background detail, but even most fans should be able to spot this Easter egg with even a cursory look.
A Corellian model freighter can be seen pulling into a lower dock. George Lucas has confirmed that this is indeed the Millennium Falcon. Who’s at the helm and what it was doing on Coruscant at the time is still unknown. The two similar ships that appear later in the film aren't the same Millennium Falcon.
3 STAR WARS COW ASTEROID IN ATTACK OF THE CLONES
“That’s no asteroid, it’s a… bulbous space cow thing?”
Space may be empty but Lucasfilm still finds ways to throw visual Easter eggs into a back drop that is supposed to be empty. The asteroid field surrounding Geonosis in Attack of the Clones made for a tense and dynamic space dog fight between Obi-wan’s Jedi Starfighter and Jango Fett’s Slave I.
Obi-wan tracks the bounty hunter to Geonosis but the Slave I has plenty of ordinance to deter the Jedi. Obi-wan has to pull some very careful maneuvers to avoid the explosions from the seismic charges which rip dozens of asteroids apart.
After that, Jango tries to lose Obi-wan in large cavernous asteroid. In the shot where Jango pulls up into a 360 loop, there’s an asteroid shaped like a Star Wars cow-like herd animal called a Shaak. We see Anakin ride on the back of one of these on Naboo. It doesn’t stand out unless you’re looking for it, but it’s bulbous back, legs, hand, and head can be made out.
2 E.T. SENATORS IN PHANTOM MENACE
Star Wars is known for its imaginative alien denizens that populate the galaxy far far away. Lucasfilm often put incredible amounts of detail into the alien characters that just fill in the backgrounds of shots, and were left to go unnoticed by many viewers.
Some shots with alien extras are not so inconspicuous, however. In Phantom Menace, Queen Amidala finally arrives at the Senate to find that the Trade Federation Senators and other obstructionists are hamstringing the Republic’s authority to act on the Naboo Crisis.
She sees that Supreme Chancellor Valorum will not challenge them, so she moves for a vote of no confidence. Senators throughout the chamber break out into a chorus of “Vote now!”
One of the shots shows three Senators waving their arms rather prominently. These senators look just like E.T. from Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are close friends from the same generation of filmmakers and this is obviously one of Lucas' more visible shoutouts to his friend’s work.
1 JETT LUCAS AS A JEDI PADAWAN
Jett Lucas is the adopted son of George Lucas. If you’re the son of the creator of Star Wars, it might be a more feasible dream to appear in a Star Wars movie than for most kids. Jett Lucas got to do just that.
He played a Jedi youngling named Zett Jukassa in Attack of the Clones. It’s a "blink and you’ll miss it" part, but he can be seen in the Jedi Archives scene. After Jocasta Nu tells Obi-wan, “If an item does not appear in our records it does not exist,” she turns, leaves. and goes to talk to the young Zett.
Zett gets a much more memorable role in Revenge of the Sith. When Senator Organa lands at the Jedi temple to investigate the massacre he’s forced to turn back by the clone troopers.
Zett Jukassa jumps onto the scene and attacks the troopers with his lightsaber. He manages to cut down and deflect shots back at several clones before he’s fatally struck with blaster fire. It was a cheer-worthy moment, but not many fans knew that this was the same actor and character from the Archives right away.
Are there any other Easter eggs you know about in the Star Wars Prequels? Let us know in the comments.