This post was originally published by In A Far Away Galaxy.
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How THX1138 is often referenced throughout Star Wars films
Before there was Star Wars, George Lucas had already made a wee name for himself as the director of a wee science fiction film called THX 1138.
Lucas did his first reference to his would-be sci-fi classic by putting it on the plate of the car featured in the film:
Lucas would later referenced the yellow car in Attack of the Clones – see the yellow speed Anakin Skywalker commanders.
Over time, THX-1138 has become a cult classic film. This is mostly due to the people finding it due to the success of Star Wars and loving it. Our review shows that some 40 odd years later, it’s still a decent movie.
Lead actor Robert Duvall went on to become very famous.
And because that movie is clearly a part of Lucas’ heart and soul as an early film maker, he began to make cool references to it in his Star Wars movies.
Legend has it that Lucas got the idea for THX from the license plate number of the car that crashed into his own car during an accident in 1962 when he was still in high school.
Here’s a list of all the THX 1138 references made in the Star Wars films
A New Hope
Princess Leia was kept captive on the Death Star in cell number 2187. This was a deliberate choice as 2187 is the year that the Lucas directed film THX 1138, was set. The Force Awakens took this even further and used the number as Finn’s designated Stormtrooper number FN2187.138 is the number of the cell block on the Death Star that Luke Skywalker claims to be transferring Chewbacca from.The Imperial Stormtrooper suit Luke Skywalker stole in the Death Star belongs to a Stormtrooper with the registration TK-421, but this was scripted and appears in the novelization as THX 1138. When C-3PO asks Han and Luke what they should do if they are discovered in the hangar control of the Death Star, the monitor behind the robots shows “THX/1138”.
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980): In an approximation of the 1138 meme, General Rieekan issues the following order: “Send Rogues 10 and 11 to Station 3-8”. Which must be the cleverest use of the movie number in this list!
Return of the Jedi
Revenge of the Sith
The Force Awakens
Darth Vader’s bacta tube first appears at 1:13:38
The Last Jedi
Bonus Indiana Jones film references
Given Lucas wrote and produced these movies, Indiana Jones got in the action too.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The number is heard spoken through an intercom in German, “Eins-eins-drei-acht”. The wing number on a plane also reads THX-1138.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1138 is shown in Roman numerals (MCXXXVIII) in Dr. Jones’ notebook in the library scene.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
A car in the opening scene has a license plate reading THX-138. The car itself is a reference to Lucas’s second film and genuine classic, American Grafitti.
Indeed the Indianna Jones movies were not shy about referencing Star Wars in general!