Every time I watch Star Wars, any of them, I discover something new. Usually about myself, like how it took me until my fifth viewing of The Phantom Menace to realize that Watto is one of my favorite characters (I regret nothing and everything). But no matter how many times I’ve seen the three trilogies and two stand-alone movies (a lot), it pales in comparison to Pablo Hidalgo. Here’s how Wookieepedia describes his role in the Star Wars universe: “After the Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm, Hidalgo was assigned a job within the Lucasfilm Story Group, whose main purpose is to create and maintain one cohesive canon, thereby eliminating the previous hierarchical canon… Hidalgo also serves at Lucasfilm as a creative executive in story development.” In other words, he knows more about Star Wars than anyone on the planet (both Earth and Mustafar), but even he can be surprised occasionally.
“I’ve noted this before, but every time I watch a Star Wars movie, there’s something new to notice,” Hidalgo recently tweeted. “Especially if I’m fortunate to catch it on the big screen. This latest discovery? That ‘NEW YORK’ is visible on the bottom of Luke’s lightsaber in EMPIRE.” He provided the evidence, too.
A quick Google search shows that Hidalgo appears to be the first person to notice this — the only other reference to “New York” and “The Empire Strikes Back” I could find is, “[Sound designer] Ben Burtt recorded sounds of people in snow while visiting his family in upstate New York, which were used for the Hoth scenes.” (I bet Burtt and the Wampa were in on the prop goof together.) It’s impressive that it took 39 years for someone to discover this when it took all of 39 minutes before the Game of Thrones coffee cup went viral.