9 Great ‘Call Backs’ That Connect Star Wars Films

darth maul face close up

Awesome ‘call back moments' that join the Star Wars movies up

When we say callbacks we're talking about how the Star Wars movies each have moments where they reference each other. 

Here's some classic moments where the script writers took the time to match things up. 

Things That Go Bump on the Death Star

Remember that Storm Trooper that bumped his head in A New Hope? 

That goof became the stuff of legend among Star Wars fans so much so that when Lucas decided Jango Fett was to be the ‘father' of the Clone Army, this ‘bump' was called back as an actual character trait of Jango. 

During Attack of the Clones, when the Mandalorian Jango Fett gets into his ship after his tete a tete with Obi-Wan, he bangs his head on the open door.

Grand Moff Tarkin's Revenge of the Sith Blink and You'll Miss Him Cameo

Moff Tarkin revenge sith cameoRemember this guy from A New Hope? 

Tarkin is the dude who ordered the destruction of planet Alderaan, the home of the Organa family and millions of other voices. 

The quick character cameo occurs at the end of Revenge of the Sith when Vader and the Emperor are standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer, overlooking the initial construction stage of the Death Star. 

In a blink and you'll miss it moment, a younger Tarkin quietly sidles up to the Sith Lords.

Tarkin was also brought back from the dead as a CGI animation for Rogue One. This means Tarkin appeared in three Star Wars movies in a row (for the time line).

Vader's Murder of the Younglings

Killing of the Younglings in Revenge of the Sith was a pretty obvious severe call back to the prior film, the Attack of the Clones. 

While the murder is off-screen, it is blatant what the freshly anointed Vader has just done. 

He has murdered innocent children and there's nothing so subtle as that. 

The call back is to the prior film, Attack of the Clones. Recall the scene where in front of the Younglings, Obi-Wan and Yoda chat about how Obi-Wan has lost a planet (how embarrassing!). 

This is the same type of class where Yoda is teaching young ones about being a Jedi. 

In hindsight, it's a brutal set up.

This moment is also revisited in Episodes 1 and 5 of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, 

'It's treason then' quote by Palpatine
It's treason then…

I've got a bad feeling about this…

This line is stated by so many major characters, you just expect this line to be in every Star Wars movie you see.

“I Love You / I Know”

So said Leia to Han as he was about to be frozen in carbonite. Ford's ad-libbed reply of” I Know” is the stuff of Hollywood legend. 

The call back came in Jedi when just after Han Solo grabbed Leia's breasts, the lines were reversed. 

The line was used by Poe Dameron to Rey in The Last Jedi and one more by Han Solo to Ben in The Rise of Skywalker.

“You will die”

During Revenge of the Sith Mace Windu and Palpatine have battled it out and Windu has won the duel (something Yoda couldn't do, even when Mace had softened the Emperor up for him). Palpatine is no longer pretending he is anything but a Sith Lord. 

And he launches a lightning bolt attack on Windu with the words “you will die“. 

This is a call back to Jedi when Luke has resolved not to kill his father and join the Dark Side which pisses of the Emperor who confirms Luke is now a Jedi and then stuns him with a bolt or a few thousand of Force lighting. 

He takes a pause and says “And now, you will die”. Great work script writers, great work.

The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens film was basically a well-executed rehash of all the famous Star Wars moments, revisited in different guises.

Jakku is a stand-in for Tatooine, Rey's heroism matches Luke, Maz's Castle can be likened to the Cantina etc.

The movie is basically a greatest hits of the Star Wars universe and there's one hit which we think is a brilliant call back to the film that started it all, A New Hope. 

When Finn is tending to Chewbacca's injury he looks for something to use. And he pulls out the training remote that Luke used under Obi Wan tutelage, 30 odd years beforehand. It's a blink and you'll miss moment but it was a nice wink to the past. Rey again uses one in The Rise of Skywalker. 
And if you didn't like that, this little factoid may brighten your smile.
You know when Finn bumps the digital chess board (the game is actually called Dejarik) … the game the starts up is the uncompleted game that Chewbacca and R2D2 played in A New Hope!

What Did Rogue One Offer?

Rogue One also featured a few call backs, especially to A New Hope. While the plot connections between the movies are fairly straightforward for us, the call back to ‘hope' we like the best is pretty awesome and it doesn't matter in which order the movies are watched.

At the end of Rogue One, Leia's quote is that she has been brought ‘hope' in the form of the Death Star plans.

In ANH, Leia refers to Kenobi as being her ‘only hope'. With the entire theme of Rogue One being about hope (Jyn says that ‘Rebellions are built on hope') the callback is pretty strong.

The Last Jedi Snuck a Few in Too

When Luke is on the Millenium Falcon, R2D2 shows him the old hologram projection of Leia seeking help from General Kenobi is a blatantly obvious reference to A New Hope!

After Rey and Kylo have defeated Snoke's Royal Guard, Kylo makes it clear he is seizing control of the First Order and invites Rey to join him. Vader made the same offer to his Luke in Empire. Both Luke and Rey refused the offer. 
When Leia reunites with Luke on Crait, she mentions her hair. This is a call back to The Force Awakens when Han Solo mentions the change when they too reunite. Here's some more call backs found in The Last Jedi.

The Falcon's dice were carried over from a deleted scene in The Force Awakens and they also turned up in the Solo movie.

Speaking of…

Han Solo Movie

Darth Maul‘s cameo at the end is a big call back.

He is shown to still be alive, even though Obi-Wan Kenobi sliced him in half in The Phantom Menace. 
The Clone Wars and Rebels (set after Solo) showed Maul survived his duel with Kenobi which means he is able to turn up as the lead of one of the crime syndicates, the Crimson Dawn.

When Han is stuck in the mud, when fighting the beast, this post echoes that of him being stuck in carbonate in TESB.

The Mandalorian also has plenty of callbacks – ‘Life Day' from the television special, Salacious Crumb beasts being cooked on a BBQ spit and the Mandalorian riding a Blerg is a straight-up call back to the cartoon segment of the Holiday Special in which Boba Fett rides a similar-looking beast.

The Rise of Skywalker made some cool call backs which connected the sequel trilogy, our favorite being when Ray used a sled on the sand at the Skywalker moisture farm.

Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.