Most ‘Star Wars’ Fans Missed This Clever Easter Egg In JJ Abrams’ New Movie

Star Wars includes so many Easter eggs in its movies that one wonders how JJ Abrams hasn’t turned into a bunny by this point. He’s getting so “deep cut” with them that even people who consider themselves sharp-eyed fans are missing them.

One of the latest ones uncovered in The Rise of Skywalker involves a moment where Lando’s old blaster pops up. This might sound confusing, but that’s because this is the kind of Easter Egg that you won’t really spot if all you know is the movies.

JJ Abrams on the red carpet
J.J. Abrams | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

There’s more to Star Wars than just the films

Since Star Wars started out as a movie, it naturally follows that many people are only really into the movies. That said, there’s a whole world beyond the movies, including novels and animated series, like The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

While it is not absolutely necessary to know these stories to follow the movies, these works outside the movies are making their presence known more and more in the movies.

The most prominent example of this is Solo: A Star Wars Story. Many fans were surprised to see an appearance by Darth Maul. If viewers only knew the movies, the last they saw of him was falling down a shaft, having been sliced in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi near the end of The Phantom Menace.  Generally speaking, if you’re sliced in half, you’re pretty much down for the count. 

It wasn’t a question of the timeline. Darth Maul did die before the events of Solo, but he lived on in The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Turns out after his nasty fall, he was sewn back together with a robotic lower half, a fate not unlike that of Anakin Skywalker, who lost his legs after he failed to heed Obi-Wan’s warnings about the high ground. A similar trajectory explains how Han Solo’s blaster pops up in the newest movies. 

What about Lando’s  blaster? 

Spoilers follow, so catch up later if you haven’t seen the new movie. 

According to Screen Rant, the Star Wars novel Aftermath by Chuck Wendig established that Lando Calrissian had given the future Kylo Ren, Ben Solo, a blaster for his birthday. Wisely heeding the warning that children should not play with blasters, Lando decides to leave Ben a note for the young man to find it when he is ready. 

This is the same blaster that Lando used in his younger days, as we saw him in Solo.  And there’s even more to the story. It turns out the blaster is made with metal mined from one of the moons of Naboo.

Just as the original trilogy was said to be about the redemption of Anakin Skywalker, the sequel trilogy is about the redemption of Ben Solo. So it’s a kind of poetic justice that when Kylo/Ben uses the blaster because it’s from the homeland of his late maternal grandmother, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). 

‘Rise of Skywalker’ goes by arguably too fast

This is just one of a ton of Easter eggs in the movie. While it’s all too easy to miss the one about Lando’s blaster, it might be easier than intended to miss other references because the movie goes by so quickly. 

Abrams, who directed both The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, is known for his brisk action sequences. However, some have contended that the editing of The Rise of Skywalker seems harried, even for him.

One of Abrams’ regular editors, Maryann Brandon, recently admitted the production on the movie was rushed because they had a shorter production schedule, but they still had to meet a December release date. 

This has led to stories that a three-hour version, known as “the JJ cut” rests in an editing bay somewhere. It’s hardly unheard of for Star Wars films to be edited after release. George Lucas has almost made a game out of fans spotting changes in the Special Editions of the films.

The sequel trilogy movies have not been given Special Editions — yet. If and when they do, they will undoubtedly lay more eggs.