Watch the 90-Year-Old Scene That Inspired ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Coolest Shot
The first movie to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the only fully silent movie to ever win, is called Wings from 1927. It’s a war film about World War I pilots, and it’s revered among classic film aficionados as one of the medium’s early technical triumphs. Apparently, the list of its fans also includes Rian Johnson, who put an homage to the film in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
It comes during the Canto Bight sequence, when Finn and Rose are searching for the all-important codebreaker they need to help the Rebels escape the encroaching forces of the First Order. As part of our introduction to Canto Bight’s space casino, Johnson’s camera tracks through the space for what feels like forever, past space gambling tables, and assorted aliens. As the video above shows, the shot is an almost exact replica of a similar tracking shot from Wings, directed by William Wellman. The only difference is, like, some of the people in Johnson’s version are bald and have giant eyebrows and maybe come from the Galaxian Nebula or whatever.
I love stuff like this. (And hey, go watch Wings! It’s currently available to rent online.) And there are plenty more references in The Last Jedi, like the nods to Rashomon in the multiple flashbacks to the history between Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker. And I’m sure there are many other homages we haven’t even noticed yet. I can’t wait to go watch the film again and find them.
Gallery - A Visual History of Star Wars Posters: