Today is the day we've been waiting two years for, with Episode VIII of Star Wars' Skywalker Saga arriving in cinemas. By all accounts The Last Jedi is one of the best Star Wars films ever made, and even though the bar wasn't set very high *cough* Attack of the Clones *cough* it's still quite an accomplishment.
Like any instalment of a big film franchise, The Last Jedi was packed full of easter eggs and references for the die hard fans to enjoy. Here are all of the ones we spotted.
The Opening Crawl
The crawl for The Last Jedi seems a little bit redundant since this film begins almost immediately after the events of The Force Awakens. Still it's a bit of a recap of what's going on, explaining that while the Resistance managed to strike a huge blow against the First Order (which had just decimated the New Republic in a single action) it was not without its consequences.
General Hux later confirms that the Republic is gone, and that the handful of resistance members of the only things willing to stand up to First Order supremacy.
Carrie Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd had a tiny cameo in Episode VII as Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, but in VIII she has a much bigger role. Not huge, but bigger than a lineless cameo. She's the first resistance member to speak on screen, and she's a part of Poe's failed mutiny.
We see a few glimpses of the evacuated resistance base on the planet D'Qar following the crawl, the scenes of which were filmed at the former RAF base at Greenham Common in Berkshire.
You might remember that C-3PO had a red arm in the last film, which he insisted on pointing out. That red arm is now gone, replaced with the classic gold. Somehow, during the hustle and bustle of evacuation, 3PO managed to find time to swap arms for no apparent reason.
Game of Thrones
Does the First Order communications officer look familiar? That's because she's played by Kate Dickie - well known for her role as Lysa Arryn in Game of Thrones. She's the mad one that coddles her son and then falls out of the Moon Door in season 4.
Andy Serkis has gone on record to say that Supreme Leader Snoke is more powerful than Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, which becomes apparent throughout the film. Nowhere is this truer than during his introductory scene where he manages to use the force to attack Hux through a hologram. Darth Vader managed to choke one of his admirals over communications, but he was in the same fleet at the time. There's no telling how far away Snoke happened to be.
It's also shown later on with how effortless he's able to manipulate the minds of Kylo and Rey, and how he flings Rey around the room by wagging his finger.
The Finale of VII
The final moments of The Force Awakens are replayed here, showing Rey meeting Luke Skywalker for the very first time. It's not quite the same, as the trailers have shown, since Luke looks far more bedraggled than he did in the previous film. Someone get that man a comb!
Originally we were told that Luke's first line to Rey would be "who are you", and while we get to see that later on his actual first words are "Go away!"
Star Wars is mostly associated with blue milk, but Luke managed to get his hands on a regular supply of green-tinted milk from Ahch-To's native wildlife.
The tree is basically a library for the first recorded Jedi texts, which Luke later admits he never actually read. What's interesting is that the sounds you hear when Rey first approaches the tree are reminiscent of the Boga - Obi Wan's lizard mount from Revenge of the Sith. It could be the Porgs, who apparently never shut up, but it didn't sound quite right.
One of the many Dagobah parallels on Ahch-To, we see Luke Skywalker's X-Wing submerged by the shore. Clearly Luke was serious when he decided he wanted to be left alone to die on the planet. A planet he refers to as 'the most unfindable planet in the galaxy', referencing the fact people spent years of their lives searching for him there.
The book pulled from the shelf also features the symbol of the Jedi order from the prequels.
Despite being dead, Han is a lingering presence in the film. Kylo is clearly somewhat broken after killing his father, and it's clear that Leia is still grieving his death mere days earlier (though she's also grieving the lost resistance pilots).
Luke also asks where he is, before seemingly realising what happened - later taunting Kylo with the knowledge that the fact he killed his father out of anger meant he will always be with him. The exact opposite of what Kylo wanted.
Snoke mocks Kylo Ren for his failures, having assumed that his lineage as Darth Vader's grandson would provide the Supreme Leader with a worthy apprentice. Instead he got a child in a mask who was too busy trying to emulate Vader. A child who managed to lose a fight with someone who'd never held a lightsaber before - with Snoke mocking him in exactly the same way fans did after TFA came out.
This scene also includes a few bars of the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back, which is the music most commonly associated with the Sith Lord.
Rey claims to be from nowhere, and when pressed she admits to being from Jakku. Luke relents and admits that it is basically nowhere, which references the fact that the only thing worth any value on Jakku are the skeletons of the ships and armaments dumped that after the final battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire a year after the end of Return of the Jedi.
The Force is Awake
Rey mentions that something inside her has awoken. Something that has always been there but never showed itself until now. That something is the force, and it references the title of the previous film that some people still don't get. Rian Johnson confirmed that the title also related to the force awakening in Kylo Ren.
Not Everything Can be Solved By Blowing it up With an X-Wing
Though you could easily understand why Poe might think this way. Luke blew up the Death Star in an X-Wing. Poe himself destroyed Starkiller Base with an X-Wing (by destroying the thermal oscillator). The Second Death Star was destroyed by Wedge Antilles' X-Wing and the Millennium Falcon blowing up the reactor's power regulator.
Balance is a big theme in the film, and was a hot topic during the prequels. Luke mentions that the force was in balance, but his own actions with Ben/Kylo Ren changed that. Benicio Del Toro's DJ also plays both sides of the war, preferring not to show favouritism to one side or the other. Balance.
Snoke himself also claims that he told Kylo Ren that as long as he grew in power, there would be a counterpart on the light side that would grow alongside him. That counterpart being Rey, meaning the two were in effect balancing each other out. It makes me wonder whether the Jedi prophecy that someone would need to physically balance the force had any merit. From what Snoke said it sounds like the force is very capable of balancing itself out.
Erik Bauersfeld, who voiced Ackbar in RotJ died in 2016 and was unable to return to The Last Jedi. Ackbar himself did make a brief appearance, however, though he was killed off pretty quickly. At first it wasn't clear whether this was Ackbar or a different Mon Calamari officer, but it was later confirmed it was actually him.
Tracking Through Lightspeed
It's been established many times (particularly in Rebels) that tracking a ship's lightspeed jumps is impossible, requiring a shared navigation computer or tracking device to follow. The First Order figured it out, though, and in such a way that makes it damn near impossible for resistance ships to get away safely.
A lot can happen in 30-35 years.
May the Force be With You
The common farewell/good luck phrase for the Jedi and the rebels obviously makes a comeback. Unfortunately no force users actually say it to one another - instead the classic phrase is used exclusively by members of the resistance.
Snoke's flagship is one of a kind, coming complete with a throne room for the Supreme Leader and enough factories to build an entire army. It's also been established in marketing materials that the Suprememcy is capable of building new Star Destroyers from scratch and repairing ones that are already damaged.
If you look closely, you'll be able to see a Star Destroyer docked on the top of the ship - showing just how big the Supremecy really is.
Leia Finally Uses the Force Properly
We know Leia is force sensitive, and while she apparently chose not to train in the Jedi way, she clearly knows how to harness her connection to it - utilising the force to pull herself back inside the resistance flagship and (presumably) keep herself alive until she did so.
If Anakin can use the force to stop literal lava from killing him, Leia can survive in the vacuum of space for a few minutes longer than a normal person.
The Classic Hologram
Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.
Obviously this one needs no explanation, and it is a great way to emotionally blackmail Luke.
Porgs are Clearly Delicious
Chewie seems to be quite annoyed that they're trying to guilt him into not chowing down on a couple of the weird furry birds. They're also like rats, spreading into the Falcon and leaving destruction in their wake.
Finn Loves to Run Away
Finn ran away from the First Order, then nearly ran away from the fight on Takodana. Here he recovers from his life-threatening injuries, then proceeds to try and run away again - all out of fear of the First Order. Selfish prick.
At least he redeems himself by the end, once again utilising his skills as a First Order janitor to aid the resistance,
Maz is back for a brief scene, pointing out where Finn and Rose need to go if they want to infiltrate Snoke's ship.
The Force Isn't About Lifting Rocks
Despite what Yoda might have you think. Luke is clearly still bitter than Yoda made him stand on his head and lift things around, and won't be using that teaching technique.
Darkness Beneath the Island
The pit Rey climbs into is somewhat reminiscent of the Dark Side cave Luke has to face during his training on Dagobah. Again this place seems to show the person their greatest fear. Luke's was that he might be like Vader, and Rey's seems to be that she's alone.
These two places aren't the first time places of significance to the Jedi have been close to areas powerful in the dark side. The Jedi Temple on Coruscant was built on the ruins of an ancient Sith temple in the Legends canon.
Canto and Mos Eisley
Rose refers to Canto as being populated by the worst people imaginable, all of whom turn out to be wealthy weapons dealers who profit from the First Order's war and expansion. It's not so dissimilar from the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is Tattooine's Mos Eisley - albeit much, much more upscale.
The casino music isn't that far from the stuff from the Cantina band either.
While unrelated to Mos Eisley, Rose and Finn escape from prison through the sewers, a clear reference to the escape from the Death Star's detention centre through the trash compactor.
The Jedi Were Pretty Bad at Their Jobs
Luke dispels the myth that the Jedi were wonderful and perfect guardians of peace, accusing them of hubris, hypocrisy, and implied arrogance that eventually led to the rise of Darth Sidious and their downfall. A legacy of failure, which he continued with his attempts to resurrect the order and his failure to prevent Ben Solo from becoming Kylo Ren.
What Happened That Night?
The fall of Luke's Jedi order takes place around six years before the events of Episodes VII and VIII, and here we finally find out exactly what happened. While Luke and Kylo both told the story differently, it 's revealed that Luke sensed Ben Solo was falling to the Dark Side and upon probing the sleeping apprentice's mind he discovered he was already too late.
For a brief second he considered ending it and murdering Ben in his sleep, only to feel shame as soon as he ignited his lightsaber. Unfortunately Ben had woken up, and jumped to defend himself with his own lightsaber and using the force to pull the building down around them.
By the time Luke regained consciousness Kylo has set the rest of the Jedi temple ablaze, fleeing with a number of students - though not before slaughtering the rest. Presumably the students who went with him became the Knights of Ren we saw a glimpse of in Rey's vision from the last film. Sadly we don't get to see any of them.
We see a brief glimpse of the green lightsaber Luke used in Return of the Jedi, but after that we never see a thing. Assuming it survived the destruction of the temple, it's likely Luke threw it in the sea - much like he tried to do with Rey's.
Rey's lightsaber is, naturally, the one used by Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, Luke in A New Hope and Empire, which was later recovered by Maz Katana. The saber is destroyed during Rey's final battle with Kylo, though Luke is seen wielding it in his force illusion form.
Kylo's saber remains unchanged from the last film.
Why Nobody Could Find Luke
After the birth of Kylo Ren, Luke fled and deliberately locked himself off from the force. No powers, no seeing ghosts, and most importantly people couldn't reach out to him to try and work out where he is. That explains why Leia, Snoke, and Kylo needed the map to Ahch-To in the first place.
We've seen force projection in Star Wars before (Ahsoka is implied to have used it in Rebels Season 4), but Luke takes it to a whole new level - projecting a younger, cleaner version of himself across the galaxy to inspire hope amongst the resistance and to take on Kylo Ren head on. To the point where nobody seemed to know he wasn't real until the very end.
It obviously took its toll, though, since Luke seems utterly exhausted at the end of it. It can't be easy projecting yourself halfway across the galaxy, so it's hardly a surprise he ended up dying and becoming one with the force as a result.
No doubt we'll see him as a force ghost in Episode IX.
The worst kept secret about this film was the appearance of Yoda's force ghost, dispensing some valuable wisdom to Luke after Rey leaves him. And it's Yoda as he appeared in Empire and RotJ, not the CGI version from the prequels.
Sadly there were no appearances from Obi Wan, though getting the Yoda puppet and Frank Oz was clearly a lot easier than resurrecting yet another actor (Alex Guinness) for a very brief scene.
The Mouse Droid
Remember those little floor droids from the Death Star? No? Well watch that video. You might realise that when BB-8 goes undercover on the Supremecy, he makes that same sound effect to go unnoticed.
Leia Likes Troublemakers
She likes Han, and she likes Poe. The two aren't all that different. She certainly has a soft spot for people on the wrong side of the rules.
Han's Gold Dice
Did you ever noticed that Han has gold dice hanging up inside the Millennium Falcon's cockpit? I can't say I did, but they are there. Or at least they are in A New Hope and The Last Jedi. Luke roams around the ship and picks up the dice to play with, in clear mourning for his lost friend.
He later gifts a projected version of them to Leia, and Kylo finds that same projection on the ground. Both understand the significance of what they are, though they have very different reactions.
Crait's Rebel Base
A secret rebel base is stored on Crait, complete with all the tech that was likely ancient around the time the Rebels were actually there using it. Those Ski Speeders are falling apart, so they're well past their best before date. The base itself doesn't look too dissimilar to the one on Hoth, the differences being that it's a crystal planet (not ice), but it has the same massive blast doors, open plains, turrets, and trenches for foot soldiers.
After two years of speculation we finally get to find out who Rey's parents are. Turns out she was right in The Force Awakens when she declared that she was no one. She's not got any special lineage, she's just a random person. The daughter of two junkers who sold her for booze money and later likely died somewhere else on Jakku.
Doing What Vader Couldn't
In Revenge of the Sith Anakin announced his intention to overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy with Padmé at his side. The problem was he was never able to kill the Emperor and live to talk about it, particularly not when he was encased in that bulky suit of armour. Kylo Ren, however, had no such problems, and after killing Snoke he swiftly went about taking over the First Order - even so far as to using Vader's signature move against Hux for his insolence.
He attempted to get Rey to rule by his side, but like Padmé before her she refused.
The Praetorian Guards
Snoke's personal bodyguards, known as the Praetorian Guards, clearly take some inspiration from the Emperor's Royal Guard in past films. We actually get to see the new guards in action, however, along with their vast array of weapons clearly designed to let them go head to head with lightsaber-wielding foes. I feel like there may be some Japanese influence to their armour as well, which also helped us get Darth Vader's iconic mask.
The Emperor's Guard never had such elaborate weapons, though in the Legends canon they had a level of force sensitivity and were trained in the Dark Side of the Force. It's not clear whether that's the case here, especially since the First Order supposedly exterminates force sensitives, but seeing how well they fare against Kylo Ren makes me think that it's more than just skill and training.
One of the guards was also killed by falling into an electric pit of some kind, reminiscent of the Emperor's death in Episode VI.
Saved by an Ally in an AT-ST
Back in RotJ Han and the rebels were partially saved by an AT-ST piloted by Chewbacca, which isn't that different to Finn and Rose being rescued from the clutches of Captain Phasma (who totally, obviously isn't dead yet). The only difference being that BB-8 is piloting the walker instead.
The Battering Ram Cannon
Supposedly built out of repurposed Death Star Tech, and used to blast open the doors of the Crait base. Clearly it's not the laser components, however, seeing as how the mechanics look totally different. So which bit of the Death Star is it made of?
Blast That Piece of Junk Out of the Sky
Kylo still has his daddy issues, and seeing the Millennium Falcon flying around isn't helping. At least everyone is consistent about how they refer to the Falcon, even though it's the fastest piece of junk in the galaxy.
The Falcon saving Rose from the TIE fighters out of nowhere is almost exactly like the time Han saved Luke from the clutches of three TIEs during his Death Star trench run.
The Empire Strikes Back
While The Last Jedi got a bit of flack for the Crait scene looking like it was ripped straight out of Empire, the context is actually a lot, lot different. Sure there's a similar setting, but that's about it. Hoth was a stalling tactic to evacuate the Rebel fleet, while Crait is a last stand to ensure the survival of the resistance.
We never got to see how the AT-M6s handle falling down, though. Bummer.
Never Tell Me the Odds!
C-3PO loves spewing out odds and statistics, and nobody ever cares. He tried to do the same when asked about being able to map the caves behind the Crait base, though Poe wasn't quite as blunt with him as Han used to be.
Strike Me Down...
Luke gets his own spin on Obi Wan's classic line to Darth Vader, though instead of promising that he would become more powerful than Kylo could possibly imagine, he points out that killing him in anger means he'll never go away - just like Han. The perfect opportunity to piss him off, then show how foolhardy Kylo's entire fight had been.
One of the most iconic scenes from the first Star Wars film was seeing Luke in front of Tatooine's twin suns setting in the distance. We get to see that sort of imagery again in The Last Jedi, which seems like a fitting end to Luke's life. A small reminder of home, and the nostalgia we all feel for that first instalment of the franchise.
Poe Finally Meets Rey
Poe and Rey were both on D'Qar at the same time in TFA, but we never saw them meeting. So we get to see them finally come face to face at the very end of the film. No assumptions that they somehow knew each other for no good reason.
The kid from Canto is also revealing some serious Anakin parallels. We see that he's force sensitive at the end, and tuned in with his abilities enough to pull the broom towards him. The kid also races, much like Anakin, albeit with animals rather than podracers, and he's clearly been inspired by the tales of the Jedi and the resistance.
But that's the spark everyone keeps referring to. The kid has hope for the future of the galaxy, and that little spark of hope is what rebellions are made of.