As an unabashed homage to geek culture and 80s nostalgia smorgasboard, you probably assumed Ready Player One would be dripping with Star Wars references.
You’d be wrong.
While the marketing for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming movie showed zero restraint when it came to pop culture references, the director said he was actually careful about name-dropping Star Wars. Or rather, which Star Wars movies he included from the ever-expanding movie franchise.
“We didn’t want to use the main cultural icons from any of the Disney Star Wars films, because those are ongoing. That’s really part of our contemporary world right now. And even though it began in the ’80s, it is so much a part of our real life today in the 21st century. So we asked for some of the smaller items, and Disney gave us everything we asked for,” Spielberg said at a SXSW interview with Fandango.
So prequel, Force Awakens, and Last Jedi naysayers rejoice! The Star Wars purist’s dream is still alive and well, at least in the arrested development of Ready Player One‘s cinematic world.
EXCLUSIVE: Contrary to reports spreading now, Disney did let Steven Spielberg use #StarWars in #ReadyPlayerOne. Here, Spielberg explains to me how they snagged IP rights from all the studios and what STAR WARS Easter Eggs to look for in the new film, in theaters 3/29 pic.twitter.com/LslVQP1iCv
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) March 16, 2018
Initially, there were lots of contradictory statements from Spielberg at SXSW regarding whether or not the movie was allowed to include any Star Wars references at all. At first io9 reported that, at a press conference, Spielberg said he was unable to get the OK from Disney.
“We couldn’t get any Star Wars rights,” he said. “[We tried] very hard. They wouldn’t give up the Star Wars rights.” Spielberg later joked with Rogue One and Ready Player One actor Ben Mendelsohn, who said he could have asked him for the rights instead since his Rogue One character “built the Death Star.”
Inexplicably, though, the video above later surfaced where Spielberg pointedly confirmed the presence of Star Wars:
“We got 20th Century Fox, and Universal, and Paramount, and Sony, and Disney. Everybody basically came onboard to help us take their IPs and … allow us to create Easter eggs from their own cultural phenomenons. And so, you know, if you look very carefully you’ll see an R2-D2 somewhere. You’ll see an X-Wing somewhere.”
This is bad news for BB8 and Jar Jar Binks (lol) fans. But, like always, trusty R2-D2 pulled through.