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Star Wars: The Force Awakens — 5 PREQUEL Throwbacks & Cameos


  1. Maz Kanata and the Sith – While in Maz’s Castle, Rey and Finn hear of the Dark Side’s many forms throughout the years. A casual reference to the Sith lords from Maz resolved an issue I (JC) have long felt needed to be addressed: In Episodes IV, V, and VI, never once does anyone refer to either Darth Vader or Darth Sidious as Sith, though George Lucas’ scripts repeatedly referred to them as such long before the Prequel Trilogy was released.
  2. Words of Wisdom – A few moments later (actually, prequel references 1-4 all deal with Maz Kanata’s castle scenes), when Rey feels “called to” a certain Jedi weapon, she experiences a vision in which she hears voices from the past and present netherworld encouraging her. One of these voices is archival audio of Frank Oz as wise Jedi Master Yoda, speaking of how the Force’s energy “surrounds us.” When I first saw this film in the theater, I was glad to once again hear the voice of our little green friend.
  3. The Return of the Jedi – A few moments after the previous cameo, we find another one of our favorite Jedi Masters guiding Rey into her newfound journey, in the disembodied voice of none other than Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi, himself. Initially intended to be voiced by The Clone Wars and Rebels voice actor James Arnold Taylor, the lines were redubbed by former Prequel Trilogy Obi-Wan actor Ewan McGregor, while Alec Guiness’ voice was edited from A New Hope recordings to shout the name “Rey” to our new protagonist, before he declares to her essentially the same thing he said of Luke 34 years prior: “These are your first steps.”
  4. “This Weapon is Your Life!” – Rey’s vision was triggered by this—the biggest Prequel Trilogy throwback on this list—the lightsaber that once belonged to Anakin Skywalker during The Clone Wars TV Series and Revenge of the Sith, which Obi-Wan later passed down to Anakin’s son Luke in A New Hope. The weapon was lost during the fateful “I am your father” duel on Bespin, but eventually made its way to Maz Kanata’s castle, where Finn and Rey would eventually discover it.
  5. Attack of the Clones? – During an early argument between General Hux and Kylo Ren, the latter threatens to replace Hux’s stormtroopers with a new batch of clone warriors, to which Hux is indignant.

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