'Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A collection of cameos and Easter eggs
While you're busy trying to find Luke Skywalker, there are many other hidden elements of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to uncover. Whether you're watching for the first time, or going back for second helpings, here's a partial list of things and people to look for in the background. (There are no plot spoilers here, but it does identify who certain new characters are.)
The Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead actor was an unofficial Star Wars advisor for director J.J. Abrams, and at San Diego Comic-Con, we learned from this image he had been given a creature to play. It turns out to be a large role (in both senses). He is Unkar Plutt, the miserly junk dealer (with a face like a blobfish) who pays Daisy Ridley’s Rey in rations for the devices she scavenges. “While he won’t be recognizable in the movie, in all honesty, his role in this – not the performance or the character – but his support and friendship has been massively important,” Abrams tells EW.
Remember the floating, spherical drone from 1977's original Star Wars — the one that zapped Luke Skywalker with low intensity blasts while he practiced swinging a lightsaber for the first time aboard the Millennium Falcon? It makes a return midway through The Force Awakens. Look for the Marksman-H combat remote in Finn’s hand when he digs through some junk aboard the famous starship.
J.J. Abrams gave two masked roles to two musical friends: veteran Alias and Lost composer Michael Giacchino (left), and longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. They play Stormtroopers FN-3181 and FN-9330, respectively. Giacchino won an Oscar for the score to Up, and Godrich was the engineer for R.E.M.'s 1998 album Up. Coincidence — or destiny?
MUSIC FOR HUTTS
It was already known that Hamilton composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a new cosmic party jam for the scene in Maz Kanata's cantina, but the credits for The Force Awakens reveal he actually wrote two. Miranda, who shares writing credit with J.J. Abrams, composed the only two songs in the film: "Jabba Flow" and "Dobra Doompa," which were performed by Shag Kava, which is apparently a group consisting of the two men and unknown musicians. "It's me and J.J. on vocals, yes," Miranda just confirmed to a fan on Twitter. "And the lyrics I wrote are in Huttese. Which is fun to write." Abrams tells EW the musical scene, featuring some of the most exotic creatures in the film, reminded him a lot of The Muppets.
THE REAL DAMERON
Oscar Isaac's hotshot X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron got his name from two sources, according to J.J. Abrams. One, the filmmaker's daughter had a toy polar bear named Po' (short for "polar"); and two, his dauntless assistant, Morgan Dameron. During the climactic battle, you can spot Morgan herself as a Resistance officer, reacting with shock during the conflict. The inspiration for Poe's name gets an appropriately fourth-wall-breaking Star Wars moniker herself: Commodore Meta.
Although the James Bond actor has thus far denied it, while J.J. Abrams has playfully suggested it is true, EW's Chris Lee got to the bottom of whether Daniel Craig portrays a masked stormtrooper in The Force Awakens. Lee's sources say yes, and Craig can be seen (and heard, doing an American accent) as a First Order soldier who confronts a captive Rey, who tries to see if a Jedi mind trick will work on him.