Ready Player One arrives in cinemas later this month and from the initial buzz the critical response is so far mostly positive. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film is loaded with pop culture references from some of the most iconic movie franchises of all time including A Nightmare on Elm Street and Back to the Future, but there is one film series that is notably absent – Star Wars.

There are no Star Wars characters in Ready Player One. Not a glimpse of Darth Vader, not a cameo from Yoda and not even a hint of a Stormtrooper.

Why?

Well, it’s pretty simple really – Disney, the owners of Star Wars, simply wouldn’t allow it.

Speaking at a press conference (via io9), Steven Spielberg, said: “We couldn’t get any Star Wars rights.” He added: “[We tried] very hard. They wouldn’t give up the Star Wars rights.”

The Ready Player One licensing team spent three years securing the rights to include as many characters and references as they could in the movie. So, when you sit down in theatres to watch the movie, try not to focus too much on what’s not included and marvel at what is.