Despite rumors that the deeply referential Ready Player One won’t contain any overt references to Star Wars, it now seems that’s not true. Director Steven Spielberg has said outright that Star Wars easter eggs are in the movie, and the two he mentions specifically also point toward a faithful adaptation of the Ernest Cline novel.
On March 16, the managing editor of Fandango, Erik Davis, posted footage on Twitter of Spielberg speaking about how different copyrights from different studios were obtained to help realize the VR world of the Oasis in Ready Player One. Because the narrative of the film is reliant on numerous references to other fictional universes being folded into the Oasis, negotiating with other studios to include vehicles or characters from films like Back to the Future was essential. Even the poster for Ready Player One is mostly easter eggs.
And now, last week’s rumor in which Spielberg supposedly said Star Wars easter eggs were out has been debunked.
“If you look very carefully you’ll see R2-D2 somewhere you’ll see an X-Wing somewhere,” Spielberg says in the video. Interestingly, these two specific Star Wars references are straight from the book version of Ready Player One. At one point Wade owns a virtual X-Wing, and in a memorable dance party scene, he and Art3mis dance while R2-D2 acts as a DJ.
There’s still no word on the most secret easter egg of the movie. According to screenwriter Zak Penn, the biggest reference in the film is also a huge spoiler. Now that Spielberg has cleared up the Star Wars question, it’s interesting to speculate what that reference could be. In terms of popular pop culture easter eggs in Ready Player One, Star Wars and Back to the Future are probably the biggest. Star Trek seems very unlikely, even though an entire section of the Oasis is devoted to Trek in the novel.
Then again, the secret reference might not even be a sci-fi or fantasy movie. It’s possible that a famous Eighties rom-com like The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink might make the cut.
Ready Player One is out everywhere on March 29, 2018.