With the new Star Wars trilogy and standalone film series well underway, it can get a little daunting to keep track of it all. Who is and isn’t involved in the production of some of these films changes week-to-week it seems. But one man heavily involved is none other than geek God himself, J.J. Abrams.
In addition to themes of parental issues, religious overtones, missing body parts, and good versus evil, LOST paid homage to Star Wars in many direct and indirect ways.
This writer’s, as well as many others, are fans of one of Abrams’ biggest successes to date: LOST. Abrams wasn’t as directly involved as many outsiders seem to believe. But his love of Star Wars was one of the driving factors in helping him form his close bond with LOST co-creator and co-show runner, Damon Lindelof.
Their shared loved of their childhood franchise led Lindelof and many on the LOST writing staff to incorporate numerous references into the show.
Here are 9 of the best Star Wars references in LOST:
9. Hurley’s Star Wars Related Nicknames
The character of Hugo “Hurley” Reyes was often the surrogate for the audience themselves, in LOST. He would get some funny one-liners as well as question the motives of characters, much like the fans watching.
One of his other beloved traits was his frequent use of pop culture references, often including Star Wars. Hurley will appear later in this list, but this entry specifically focuses on his use of nicknames.
At two different points, Hurley compares the mysterious Island protector, Jacob, to characters from Star Wars.
The first is when he says that Jacob is often as vague and cryptic as Yoda; the second is later in season 6 when he refers to Jacob as being like Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is because numerous times in season 6, although Jacob is dead, he randomly appears when he wants – at least in Hurley’s opinion.
8. Sawyer’s Nicknames
One of the central characters to the show, Sawyer, is often loved due to his use of nicknames for everyone. Often filled with obscure pop culture and slightly racist overtones, his dry humor won over many a fan’s heart.
One of his most frequent uses of pop culture comes from Star Wars when he fits several mentions of George Lucas’s space epic into the show. These include, but are not limited to, calling Ben “Yoda,” calling Hurley “Jabba,” and even referring to Michael and Jin as “Han and Chewie” due to their ability to seemingly understand each other despite speaking completely different languages.
7. “I’m here to rescue you”
One of the most memorable early lines between siblings Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, Luke mentions this line upon sneaking onto the Death Star to save the woman who’d eventually be revealed as his sister (despite the two smooching once or twice).
This line was also said twice directly to the main character of LOST, Jack Shephard. The first time is early in season 1, when Charlie comes to get Jack out of a cave where he’s been pinned by rocks. The second comes towards the beginning of season 4, when Daniel Faraday parachutes onto the Island.
6. Hurley’s one-liners
Once again, Hurley appears on this list. In this entry, he gets two quick one-liners which reference the space epic. The first comes from an early season 1 episode.
Dr. Jack Shephard is helping character Shannon Rutherford through an asthma attack, despite her inhaler missing. He helps her with slow breathing exercises until she’s able to pass through the attack. While Jack is walking away, most of the camp having watched these heroics, Hurley quips, “that was like a Jedi moment.”
The second comes from season 6 where character Sawyer makes mention of Sayid having gone “to the dark side.” Hurley, always quick with a Star Wars reference, mentions needing to bring him back, “like Anakin.”
Unfortunately, despite making several of his own Star Wars references throughout the series, Sawyer is confused when replying, “who the hell is Anakin?”
5. “Do you think they really blew up the Death Star?”
In another Hurley moment, this time from season 2’s episode “Dave,” it’s Hurley’s own subconscious that brings about a Star Wars reference.
In the episode, we slowly discover that Hurley’s friend Dave is actually his imaginary friend who doesn’t want Hurley to be a better person. In trying to get Hurley to sneak out of the mental institution, Hurley tells Dave he believes Dave isn’t real, having been shown a picture earlier where he believed Dave was sitting next to him!
Dave, however, counters that things such as Photoshop and other manipulation apps exist by retorting, “do you think they really blew up the Death Star?”
4. The Old Wookiee Prisoner Gag
It’s a reference used by many shows and films since its inclusion in Star Wars, and LOST is no exception.
In Star Wars, when Luke and Han are dressed as Stormtroopers, they pretend to be taking a captive Chewbacca around the Death Star in handcuffs. Upon someone finally questioning them, they must drop the ruse and fight their way out.
In a similar situation on LOST, survivors Sawyer and Kate pretend to be taken into custody by rogue Other Alex, until it’s revealed to be a ruse in an effort to free Alex’s boyfriend Karl. Upon hitting the guard, who questions the situation, much like in the film, Sawyer even says, “Don’t get mad at me because you were dumb enough to fall for the old Wookiee prisoner gag.”
3. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”
The line spoken in pretty much every piece of Star Wars media was even referenced in LOST. Right before the final opening title card in the final episode of the series, only the most fitting character, Hurley, speaks the line upon the various groups setting off on what will be their ultimate showdown.
2. Mr. LaShade and Isaac of Uluru
This one is an interesting bit of casting information for both LOST and Star Wars. Since taking the reigns on the sequel saga, J.J. Abrams has included many actors and production personnel from LOST and his various projects in The Force Awakens, including Ken Leung (Miles Straum) and Greg Grunberg (The Oceanic 815 Pilot).
However, this is LOST paying homage by casting Star Wars actors. The first is the obvious one, Billy Dee Williams playing Mr. LaShade in the season 3 episode Exposé. Often regarded as a low point in the series, due to the focus on characters introduced half-way through with no explanation, no growth, and then killed off due to backlash, Exposé is an unfortunate outing for Williams.
Although he is great playing both Mr. LaShade, revealed to be “The Cobra” on the show-within-a-show, as well as himself briefly when the cameras stop rolling, it’s one of the only highlights to an otherwise dull episode, in the writer’s opinion.
The second casting is a bit more obscure. Wayne Pygram who played Isaac of Uluru, a faith healer in season 2’s episode “S.O.S.“, actually has his own Star Wars story.
Due to his resemblance to deceased actor Peter Cushing, Pygram was cast to play the stand-in for Governor Tarkin in a brief scene in Revenge of the Sith. Although heavily covered with make-up and CG, it adds an extra layer to the LOST/Star Wars connection.
1. Rewriting History
In season 5, when some of the characters are accidentally sent back in time to the 1970’s, lovable Hurley once again gets a fantastic, in-depth Star Wars reference into the show.
It’s just after the original film in the Skywalker family’s saga has opened and Miles finds Hurley writing in a notebook. After questioning and pressuring Hurley to tell him what he’s doing, Hurley reveals that since he knows Star Wars perhaps better than anyone, he was writing a completely new script for the follow up, The Empire Strikes Back.
Hurley mentions how he’ll be taking all of the best bits of the film and removing the things he deems unnecessary.
Most of this is in hopes that he can subsequently erase Ewoks from history. Ewoks, of course, have divided fans for decades with some seeing their purpose in helping to take down the Empire, while others find them to be nothing more than “a bunch of muppets.” It’s this scene by Hurley in which we find out where he falls on this particular debate amongst Star Wars fans.