In 2018, Ready Player One arrived in cinemas. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film was based on the 2011 book of the same name by Ernest Cline, and starred Tye Sheridan, Ben Mendelsohn and Simon Pegg.
Set in the year 2045, in a world where gaming and geek culture are king, Ready Player One is loaded with pop references, from some of the most iconic movie franchises of all time. These references include nods to A Nightmare on Elm Street, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jurassic Park, The Iron Giant and Back to the Future, amongst countless others.
But there is one film series which is notably absent – and it’s pretty big! Do you know which one it is?
The biggest franchise not referenced in Ready Player One is Star Wars!
Watch and re-watch the film as much as you like, but you wont find a single Star Wars characters in Ready Player One.
There’s not a glimpse of Greedo, not a hint of Han, not a snippet of a Stormtrooper, and not an ounce of Obi-Wan. Heck, you won’t even find C3P0 and R2-D2 in the movie, and they get everywhere!
So, why was Star Wars excluded from Ready Player One?
Well, it’s pretty simple really – Disney (the owners of Star Wars) were asked if the property could be included in Ready Player One and the Mouse House said no. And if the Mouse House say no, then it simply ain’t happening.
Speaking during the movie’s release (via io9) Steven Spielberg, said: “We couldn’t get any Star Wars rights.” He added: “(We tried) very hard. (Disney) wouldn’t give up the Star Wars rights.”
The Ready Player One licensing team spent three years securing the rights to as many characters as possible, so they could sprinkle countless geek references in the movie. But alas, despite Spielberg’s connections in the movie biz, as well as his friendship with Star Wars creator and former Lucasfilm owner George Lucas, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Star Wars isn’t the only major IP missing from Ready Player One, but it is the one most people would expect to see in a film so heavily steeped in pop culture. Ah, well, it is what is.
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