When it comes to big blockbusters, eagle-eyed viewers are always scouring every frame in search of Easter eggs for other movies. But there are some that actually interconnect three of the most iconic franchises of all time – and they might even be proof that they share the same cinematic universe!
If you’re a fan of Star Wars, you might also love Indiana Jones and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, seeing as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are close friends. And within each of these franchises, there are some pretty huge Easter eggs that reference one of the others, or sometimes both! Let’s find out what they are…
3. C-3PO and R2-D2 hieroglyphics – Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
There are quite a few Star Wars Easter eggs in the Indiana Jones film series, which follows the archaeologist to remote destinations as he searches for ancient artifacts equally sought after by villainous groups. The first is in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, which comes in the form of an aircraft’s registration number that reads ‘OB-CPO’, an obvious amalgamation of Obi-Wan and C-3PO.
The second is a Shanghai club called ‘Club Obi Wan’ in 1984’s Temple of Doom. After Indy’s fight with the night club owner, he is thrown from the window before landing safely in Short Round’s car in the street below. As they drive off, you can see the sign ‘Club Obi Wan’ above the club entrance. It’s a very on-the-nose reference, but it’s also quite easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it (a bit like hidden treasures).
But the next Easter egg will blow your circuits. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indy discovers the Ark of the Covenant in the Well of Souls, on the surrounding walls are several hieroglyphics – and if you look closely you’ll see C-3PO, R2-D2 and Princess Leia among them! This was confirmed in a behind-the-scenes documentary, in which it’s revealed that it was director Steven Spielberg’s idea to include them.
2. E.T. recognizes ‘Jedi Master Yoda’ – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Having a reference to other ‘extra-terrestrial’ movies in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial makes a lot of sense, so it won’t surprise you to learn that Spielberg is up to his old tricks in this classic sci-fi family adventure too. But before we get to the really good stuff, it’s worth pointing out that there’s even a Close Encounters of the Third Kind Easter egg in this movie, yet another Spielberg classic.
As for the Star Wars reference, in the scene in which Elliot takes E.T. trick-or-treating with him around his neighborhood, we meet a very familiar face in the form of Yoda (we even hear the Yoda theme from The Empire Strikes Back). Unfortunately ‘Yoda’ is just a trick-or-treater, but when E.T. sees the fellow little green man, he starts saying ‘Home’ repeatedly, suggesting that he recognizes the Jedi Master, or at least his species.
If E.T. is from the faraway galaxy, though, then why is Yoda a popular Halloween mask on Earth? Well you could argue that Yoda has become legend, just like the Star Wars characters referenced in Indiana Jones. However, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial also includes a scene where Elliot shows his alien friend some Star Wars action figures. But perhaps within this movie, Star Wars was inspired by real stories from “a long time ago”.
Related: Did Kylo Ren Really Kill Han Solo?
1. Extra terrestrials – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is the first movie in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, which fans had been waiting a long time for. With a bigger budget and CG technology at his disposal, it came as no surprise that George Lucas didn’t hold back in unleashing new worlds and new alien species in Episode I of the Skywalker Saga. What did surprise fans, though, was a cameo from E.T.!
And while the E.T. cameo is unmistakable, it’s still very much of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety. During a scene in the Galactic Senate, you can see three Extra-Terrestrials cheering inside one of the many ‘hover pods’ that allow the representatives to move about. But what species is this? You’ll be surprised to learn these extra-terrestrials have since been given their own official name – Asogians.
The Asogians hail from the planet Brodo Asogi, a planet that is later referenced in the novel E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet, a sequel to the 1982 movie. In an old Star Wars comic book, HoloNet News Vol. 531 50, it’s also said that Senator Grebleips (one of the three Asogians in The Phantom Menace and whose surname is ‘Spielberg’ backwards) funds an expedition to ‘another galaxy’ – a reference of course to E.T. himself.
Now we have so many questions! Is E.T. a Jedi? After all, he does have powers such as healing and telekinesis, and any species in the Star Wars universe can be Force-sensitive. But does Earth even exist in Star Wars? “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” – we think this speaks for itself. And is Indiana Jones the descendant of Han Solo?!
Let’s hope E.T. gets his own cameo in Indiana Jones 5, the fifth installment that will see Harrison Ford reprise his role as the titular hero. There are also a few Star Wars movies in production, although we doubt Indy will ever show up in one of those as they’re set “long ago”. But then seeing as time travel exists in the Star Wars universe, you never know!