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This Tricky Star Wars Easter Egg in ‘Indiana Jones’ Is So Hard to Spot

It is no secret by now that the Indiana Jones movies are full of little nods to Star Wars. With both franchises having been created by none other than George Lucas, starring Harrison Ford, and being owned by Lucasfilm, it is no wonder that writers and director Steven Spielberg would fill their films with little nods for fans to pick up on. It’s a fun game to play for everyone involved. Creators get to amuse themselves by hiding little references in the most unexpected of scenes, while fans spend entire days trying to find these little nuggets cached away in their favorite movies. Every now and then, however, there are some Easter eggs that are so hard to spot that they can go over the heads of even the most dedicated fans. A perfect example of these hidden treasures can be found right in the very first Indiana Jones movie, 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.


No, we’re not talking about the plane’s call sign. Early on in the film, when Indiana (Harrison Ford) is running away from the Hovitos and his arch-enemy, Dr. Belloq (Paul Freeman), he hops on a small, single-engine plane called OB-CPO. The airship’s name is a callback to two iconic Star Wars characters: Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and the talkative protocol droid C-3PO (Anthony Daniels). This Easter egg is pretty easy to spot, as the plane’s name appears prominently on-screen. The hidden nugget that we’re talking about in this piece is so hard to see that even Indy himself, with all his archeological experience, would struggle to point it out.

RELATED: One of the Best ‘Indiana Jones’ Sequels Wasn’t a Movie

R2-D2 and C-3PO Make an Appearance in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Image via Paramount Pictures

It’s a brief cameo featuring two droids that the imperial forces turned the city of Mos Eisley upside-down for in the original Star Wars movie, now best known as Star Wars: Episode VI – A New Hope. They appear just as Indy and his associate, Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), are about to find the Ark of the Covenant. The titular Lost Ark, as religious history would have it, is the container in which the ancient Hebrews safeguarded the original Ten Commandments that Moses received from God. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the artifact is being sought out by a group of Nazi officers who believe it to be capable of turning their army invincible. Accompanied by his reluctant partner and former lover Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Dr. Indiana Jones travels to Egypt to try and stop the Nazis from finding the Ark. In possession of yet another legendary artifact, the Staff of Ra, that reveals the location of the Ark, Indy heads to the lost city of Tanis, in which the Nazis have set up camp.

At about the one-hour mark, Indy and Sallah finally reach the spot in which the Ark is said to be hidden. It is an ancient, underground temple, filled with statues of Anubis, sarcophaguses, and walls decorated with hieroglyphs — a classic ancient Egyptian set-up. It’s to these hieroglyphs that you should be paying attention, by now, if, like Indy, you are looking for some hidden treasure. As Dr. Jones and his partner are opening the rock sarcophagus that holds the ark, a golden pillar can be seen just at Indy’s right. The pillar is decorated with a large gold snake, as well as some hieroglyphs. As Indy is lifting the rock that covers the container, one of the glyphs becomes more visible than the others. It’s the image of what seems to be an odd man pointing at something that looks like nothing if not a very familiar oval-headed white-and-blue droid. The duo is none other than R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) and C-3PO going for a walk in Ancient Egypt. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but they’re definitely there.

What Are the Other ‘Star Wars’ Easter Eggs Hidden in ‘Indiana Jones’?

How R2-D2 and C-3PO found themselves in Ancient Egyptian imagery is anyone’s guess. Maybe they got tired of Tatooine and decided to spend their post-imperial defeat vacation in a different desert. Maybe the galaxy far, far away isn’t actually as far as George Lucas would have us believe. Who knows? However, the fact of the matter is that the two droids aren’t the only Star Wars characters to influence the overall look and vibe of the Indiana Jones universe.

Take Obi-Wan Kenobi, for instance. Apart from the aforementioned airplane, the renowned Jedi master also lent his name to a nightclub in the franchise’s second film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Club Obi-Wan is the name of the Shanghai spot in which Indy is nearly killed in the very first scene of the movie.

In the critically panned 2008 revival Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, there is also a nod to Star Wars. This time, however, the homage is not to just one character, but to a whole lot of them. As the titular Crystal Skulls come to life, Indiana Jones mutters to his son, Mutt (Shia LaBeouf), “I have a bad feeling about this”. This seemingly innocuous line is a Star Wars staple, having been uttered by many of the space opera franchise’s characters, from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to Obi-Wan Kenobi to, of course, Harrison Ford’s Han Solo.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the only entry to the Indiana Jones film franchise not to feature a direct reference to a Star Wars movie, though some fans claim that there is indeed an Easter egg to be found there. In a scene from the movie, as Indy is fighting a rival on a Portuguese boat, they are surrounded by barrels containing a substance identified as “carboneto”. Some Easter egg hunters believe this to be a reference to carbonite, the otherworldly substance that is used to freeze Han Solo and deliver him to Jabba, the Hutt in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Empire Strikes Back. But, to be fair, carboneto merely means carbide in Portuguese, so this might just be a funny coincidence. Or maybe chemistry itself is full of Star Wars Easter eggs that we just don’t know about.



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