Did You Notice This Anakin Skywalker Reference In The Trailer For ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’?

Many trailers include footage that doesn’t make the final theatrical cut. In some cases, like Fantastic Four, the trailers are unrepresentative of the final version. In other cases, as with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a trailer may have a bit of footage that ends up on the cutting room floor, but it’s generally a good reflection of the final product, and — as is the case with this Anakin Skywalker Easter egg — a clever way to energize (or perhaps awaken?) the most devoted fans before a scene is finalized.

Redditor Aero-Space noticed the scene outside Maz Kanata’s castle is different on the Blu-ray release than it was in the trailer. Here’s the final version (full sized pictures at imgur).


The Mandalorian symbol in the center is still there (a likely Boba Fett reference), but many of the flags seen in the trailer are gone. Here are the flags from in the trailer, with one in the red circle being of particular note.

That’s the symbol from Anakin Skywalker’s podracer in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace:

It’s not the first Anakin Skywalker reference that didn’t make the final cut. Hayden Christensen was rumored to have an appearance in the film which never came to be, and concept art later revealed he almost appeared in the movie as a force ghost.

So why was this flag removed by the time the film came out? Abrams hinted at the reason in an interview with Rolling Stone last December, as found by /film:

Abrams, fresh from his speech about the importance of details, sits at the center of the editing room…They begin by reviewing a shot shown in the trailer, where dozens of flags appear on a castle that belongs to Maz Kanata […]. The flags are designed to drive superfans nuts with references to the earlier movies, but Abrams tells Guyett that too many of them allude to the first of Lucas’ prequels: “I don’t want to be too about podracers,” he says. “I’d rather come up with our stuff.”

In other words, it sounds like they used some placeholder flags that would be fun references, but then smartly decided not to remind us too much about the prequels when it came time to release the film. I guess we can probably rule out a Jar-Jar after credits scene in Episode VIII, as well.

(Via /film, Rolling Stone and Reddit)