We have May the fourth, we have Revenge of the Fifth or 6th, depending on how you approach it. And now we’re waiting anxiously for the return of Star Wars Month – the month of May. But I thought in the meantime, while we’re celebrating Star Wars all year long, that we would look at my top 5 movies that have Star Wars references in them. So they’re clearly not Star Wars movies, but they are other movies that reference Star Wars in one way or another. And these are my top five, my favorite ones that do it. So here we go.
Number five is Pitch Perfect. So I can already hear Kathleen giggle, laughing, or cackling or however you want to describe it, because I don’t like musicals. But I don’t classify Pitch Perfect as a musical. Yes, they’re singing in it for no apparent reason whatsoever, they just break out the song. So technically, yes, I guess it’s a musical. But no, it’s not a musical. Anyway, in the original Pitch Perfect, the original the numero uno of the Pitch Perfect trilogy, there is a line between the characters Becca and Jesse, and they’re talking about not liking movies or endings to movies, and all these different things. Becca is very much not into the end of movies, Jesse is quite the opposite. Becca says they’re all predictable, like, “the guy gets the girl and the kid sees dead people and Darth Vader is Luke’s father. Jessie responds and says, OK, right. So you just happen to guess the biggest cinematic reveal in history”. Her response, and this is why I love this part of the movie and why this is number five. She says “Vader in German means father. His name is literally Darth Father”, which makes you go look it up. And yeah, it actually is a thing. And I didn’t know it until Pitch Perfect. That was kind of a thing for me, and I didn’t know that that was a thing, and now it is a thing. And so that’s the reason why it’s number five
Number four is the original Back to the Future movie. So if you’re a fan of that movie and you’re a fan of Star Wars or Star Trek, you probably already know where I’m going with this. Marty wakes up George, completely done up with the radiation suit, and he has put his headphones from his Walkman on Georges head. They’re playing a cassette. Ok Kids, you can go look that up. Cassettes used to be something before phones and MP3 players and all that stuff. Go hit the Googles, you’ll be fine. So he puts the headphones from the walkman containing the cassette from the rock band Van Halen onto George’s. And he wakes up George by just screeching the music. George sits straight up in ned, so Marty pauses the music. George looks up to see Marty completely shocked and surprised. He doesn’t know who he is. And he says, “Silence, Earthling. My name is Darth Vader. I’m an extraterrestrial from the planet Vulcan”. That comes back later. The next day, George is talking with Marty and he says, last night Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me if I didn’t take Lorraine out, he’d melt my brain. And then later, with a change of history, George, of course, at the end being the better version of George, and now a Sci-Fi writer, writes about this experience and makes a boatload of money on it. So that his future, his future changed, all thanks to Darth Vader from the Planet Vulcan. So that’s number four, back to the Future in the Darth Vader reference number three.
Number three is the movie Toy Story 2. Now, for a lot of people, I don’t think that they caught the symbolism in the movie. It’s never expressly said that they are referencing Star Wars in any form or fashion or anything along those lines. But if you’re a Star Wars fan, you totally saw it, it was pretty clear. The relationship between Buzz Lightyear and his arch nemesis, his enemy Zurg. They start off as enemies in the movie – Buzz hates Zurg etc . Then there’s the reveal that Zurg is actually Buzz Lightyear’s father. There’s the posing of the characters, the way that Zurg stands is very reminiscent of a lot of things that Darth Vader does. It’s just in the way he talks, the way he says things. Yes, there’s just a lot of symbolism. Never expressly said that, “Hey, this is a reference to Star Wars”, but it’s kind of like what you see on the TikTok challenges – “Tell me that you can reference Star Wars, without telling me that you’re referencing Star Wars” and that’s basically what’s happening. It’s a lot of fun to watch, and if you’re a Star Wars fan, it’s pretty entertaining. So number three is Toy Story Two and the Star Wars-ish relationship between Buzz and Zurg.
Originally I was going to talk about these movies individually, separately, but I thought, you know, it’s part of a trilogy, so I’m just going to reference them together, because off the top of my head, I’m not really sure if there’s other Star Wars references in this set of movies. I think there is. I’d have to go back and double check some things, but I know for sure that there are Star Wars references in the first two of these four movies. I said trilogy is more like a quadrillogy now, because they added the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Obviously I’m talking about Indiana Jones. In Raiders of the Lost Ark as Indy retrieved the Ark of the Covenant. There’s Hieroglyphics on the wall behind him, and those included C3PO and R2D2, which is kind of funny because now we’re watching Indiana Jones, who’s played by Harrison Ford, who also plays Han Solo. In the Temple of Doom, Indy is there doing some business at a club. There’s some clever branding on the outside of the nightclub that they’re at, which happens to be called Club Obi Wan. So there’s those references there, and and I am sure there are a few other things here and there. But, because of Harrison Ford, because of George Lucas, is involved in these, Indiana Jones is a clear pick for a top 5. As a matter of fact, this has even spawned memes that Indiana Jones is just the dream that Han Solo had when he was frozen in carbonite at the end of Empire Strikes Back and in the beginning of Return of the Jedi. A fun of the little pop culture tie in there.
Okay, so I talk about this movie an awful lot. And if you didn’t think that this was coming up when I was talking about movie references when it comes to Star Wars, then maybe you didn’t hear me talk about it before, but I always say, if you haven’t watched this movie, go rent it. Actually, go buy it. It’s a fantastic movie. It’s called Fanboys. The whole movie is a reference to Star Wars. There’s references to Star Trek in this movie. There’s references to Willow. There are references to Indiana Jones in this movie. When they went to talk with George Lucas about this movie, they either backed up the Brinks truck or he was just on board with the whole thing and turned over the keys to the kingdom. Because the sights, the sounds, the images used are all just Lucas, except for, of course, the Roddenberry stuff with Star Trek. But even that stuff, they look at Star Trek without calling it Star Trek, so we call it Star Trek light. So get as close as they could without getting sued. I think it’s what they were doing there. And to that point, there’s even a lovely little reference in there about some of the good folks over at Viacom when they meet up with the Trek fans at the birthplace of James T. Kirk. But anyway, there’s also some cameos in this movie. One by Carrie Fisher, one by Billy Dee Williams, and also Ray Park is in the movie, you may know him best as Darth Maul. But, yeah, the whole movie, the way that it’s written, with what they talk in the movie, the interchanges between people, like I said, the sights, the sounds, images, everything that you can think of has something to do with Star Wars. Anyway, it’s a really fun story about a bunch of friends trying to make sure that they’re the first ones ever to see The Phantom Menace. Their plan is to go from Ohio, all the way out to Lucas ranch, to break in and steal a copy and see it before anything else. There’s a bunch of other cameos throughout the movie with a lot of other famous actors. Jumping in and jumping out of the movie. It’s wonderfully cast. Very funny. So, again, if you haven’t watched it, stop what you’re doing. Well, as soon as this is done, stop what you’re doing and go watch Fanboys. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you will not regret it. and honestly should be part of your Star Wars rewatch
Ok guys, that’s my Top 5. Those are the top five star wars references in other pop culture movies that I thought that you guys might want to go look at. Some you probably already knew about most of those, maybe some you did not. If you have other ones that you think that should have made this list, put it down in the comments below. I’d love to hear what references you guys have or what things that you have found out in the Star Wars Pop Culture world. And please, if you like what you read today, make sure to subscribe to the FSF PopCast on YouTube ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A33odBbfKgc) to help us continue to grow and bring you more Sci-Fi and Pop Culture content.