ByIan M. Simpson, writer at
I love superheroes and villains alike! I'm also a big fan of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Gaming! Follow me on Twitter! @The_Simpsonian
Ian M. Simpson

One of the most sought-after features of the recently-released Star Wars: The Force Awakens is return to the franchise's roots. After the series took a turn into a CGI-filled downfall with the prequel trilogy, director J. J. Abrams decided to return to the roots of Star Wars by referencing the original trilogy on several occasions.

Of course, they bring back several props from the original trilogy, such as the Millennium Falcon, Vader's charred helmet, and Luke's forgotten lightsaber that was lost in Empire Strikes Back. However, not all the references were that obvious. From bits of dialogue to blink-an-you'll-miss-it prop cameos, here are some of the best references that you may or may not have missed.

Warning: The topics covered below include spoilers for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'. Read only if you have only seen the movie, or if you don't care about spoilers. You have been warned.


At the very beginning of the film, we see Poe Dameron receiving a piece of a navigational chart from Lor San Tekka. When Poe talks about returning to the 'General', Tekka replies by stating that she had always been royalty to him. Of course, they are talking about General Leia Organa, and Tekka was remarking on her earlier title or Princess Leia.

Rey's Doll

After she finished her scavenging run through a wrecked Star Destroyer, she returned to her home inside a destroyed AT-AT walker. Around her home, we saw a few trinkets here and there, along with some dying flowers, but a trinket that stood out was a little doll garbed in the orange and white attire of a rebel pilot from the original trilogy.

A Clone Army

After learning that FN-2187 betrayed the First Order and helped Rey escape with BB-8, Kylo Ren approached General Hux about the quality of his trooper training program. When Hux tried to defend himself, Ren remarked that Supreme Leader Snoke should have considered using a clone army. Technically this does not reference the original trilogy, but I felt it was worth mentioning because it was practically the only mention of prequel trilogy events. In this case they mentioned the development of the clone army from Attack of the Clones that eventually grew to become the Stormtroopers.

Training Remote

When Finn was aboard the Millennium Falcon he happened upon the small, white, spherical training remote that Luke trained with aboard the ship during A New Hope. This is a very brief scene, as he casually tosses it aside only moments later.

12 Parsecs

Shortly after Han Solo reclaims the Millennium Falcon and Rey learns of his identity, she asks if the Falcon was the ship to make the Kessel Run in less than 14 parsecs. Solo correct her, by saying it was less then 12, as we learned in the original Star Wars film.

"I've Got A Bad Feeling About This."

Does this really need any explanation?

The Dejarik Board

When Finn sits down inside the Millennium Falcon, he sits right beside a Dejarik board, which you might recognize as the game that R2-D2 played against Chewbacca in the original Star Wars movie. Chewie even acknowledges the board in a fond manner after Finn actually activates the board's power.

The Dejarik game from A New Hope.
The Dejarik game from A New Hope.

"A Bunch Of Mumbo-Jumbo."

Rey certainly has a field day when she realizes that both Luke Skywalker and the Jedi exist, two things that she believed to be myths. Han replies by stating that he "thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo...", a reference to a quote in A New Hope where he expressed his disbelief in the Force to Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker.

The Sith, The Empire, The First Order

In Maz Kanata's base, Maz reveals her timelessness by stating that she has seen evil take many shapes over the years, from the Sith, to the Empire, to the First Order. This acknowledges the transition of villainy from the prequel trilogy, to the original trilogy, to the current seventh installment.

The First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


Outside of Maz Kanata's base where Rey was wandering through the forest, you can hear orders through a nearby Stormtrooper's helmet addressing TK-388. Hardcore Star Wars fans might remember the TK-troopers from A New Hope. After the Millennium Falcon lands in the Death Star and Han and the gang take out some guarding Stormtroopers, an officer tries to communicate to the trooper, saying "TK-421, why aren't you at your post?" This was just a small nod to the original trilogy, but a meaningful one to fans paying close enough attention.

Prin... General

In one of the most lovable scenes of the film, C-3PO pops up and ruins the special moment between Han and Leia's reunion. When he realizes he's intruding, he says "Excuse me prin... General. I'm sorry." Another nod to Leia's former title of Princess.

Han and Leia, reunited at last.
Han and Leia, reunited at last.

"Don't Say The Death Star"

After Han and Leia are reunited back in the Resistance base, Leia remarks on how Han doesn't help much, topping it off with "don't say the Death Star!", a throwback to the first time that Han and Leia met on the Death Star from A New Hope.

Always A Way

When analyzing the Starkiller base, Han Solo states "There's always a way to blow it up.", which is a playful remark on the plots of both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, where the Rebel Alliance had to embark on two separate missions to destroy two different Death Stars.


Garbage Chute

Though Captain Phasma didn't get a whole lot of screen time in The Force Awakens, she was a part of one of the best quotes in the movie. After she lowers the shield on Starkiller base, Finn asks what they should do with her. Han instantly pipes up. "Is there a garbage chute? Trash compactor?" Of course this is in reference to Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie's run-in with a trash compactor on the first Death Star.


That climactic moment when Han faces Kylo Ren, he get's his attention by yelling "Ben", his birth-given name. This is a clever nod to old Ben Kenobi, Luke's mentor and friend from A New Hope. Just another fact to make that scene so much more heart-breaking.

The menacing Kylo Ren
The menacing Kylo Ren

Lightsaber In The Snow

Let's face it, the ending lightsaber duel between Rey and Kylo Ren was incredible, and it all started out with Rey out-Forcing Ren by summoning Luke's lightsaber from the snow. This appears to be similar to the scene in Empire Strikes Back where Luke does the same trick in the Wampa's cave.

Well there you have it folks, there are as many references as I could pull from the film, but help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only help. What references did I miss? Let me know in the comments below, or become a Creator today and write your own article!


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