This post contains major spoilers for The Last Jedi and previous Star Wars films.
No matter where you stand in the hullabaloo surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi -- love it? hate it? -- there’s no denying the sheer power of the film, which is a box-office behemoth, with the second highest-grossing opening weekend of all time (behind The Force Awakens), and a hit with critics, tied with The Force Awakens as the second best-reviewed Star Wars film on Rotten Tomatoes (with The Empire Strikes Back at number one). Length-wise, it’s the longest-ever Star Wars film, besetting Attack of the Clones. It’s a film that demands attention, goes boldly in new directions, and redefines the very notion of what makes a Star Wars film.
While that bold new direction is a sticking point for some fans, The Last Jedi is still firmly set in the Star Wars galaxy we’ve always known. There are countless references to the original trilogy: Yoda, Princess Leia’s hologram, blue/green milk, "I’ve got a bad feeling about this" (said in BB-8 droid speak this time around). There’s even a neat connection to a throwaway line in Rogue One.
Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, plenty of diehard fans have mocked the decision to distance the sequels from the lore established in George Lucas’s maligned prequel trilogy. But though The Last Jedi steers clear of any super-direct references -- no one goes to Coruscant, no one namechecks Mace Windu -- it has a concrete awareness of what happened in the days before the Galactic Republic was overthrown by the Empire. Some of the references are direct, some more visually poetic, but director Rian Johnson is definitely not afraid to tackle the history Lucas laid out.
Here are all of the nods to the prequels we caught in The Last Jedi.