Though they represent the polar opposite approaches to science fiction, there's a lot of reverence and influence between Star Wars and Star Trek. Though the two properties are controlled by different companies, you can find plenty of Wars in Trek films. Above, you can spot R2-D2 floating aimlessly during 2009's Star Trek Reboot.
Artoo shows up again the reboot sequel, Into Darkness, still floating in the lonely, endless purgatory of space.
It even goes dates back to the 1990s; during the pre-reboot Star Trek:First Contact, you can briefly glimpse the Millenium Falcon dogfighting with the Borg.
The nods to Trek in the Star Wars trilogies are less obvious, though citizens of the internet swear up and down that the starship Enterprise flies behind Padme in The Phantom Menace.
It's kind of a piddly tribute, until you consider that JJ Abrams made two brand-new Star Wars movies and called them "Star Trek."
It seems like a long, long time ago that George Lucas wasn't associated with the world's most massive sci-fi franchise. Lucas' first feature was THX 1138, a movie set in a dystopian future, and it would seem he's got a real soft spot for his first flick. Not only did his next movie, American Graffitti, feature a car with the license plate THX-138, but the Star Wars movies are lousy with similar references.
Here you can see 1138 on the back of a droid in The Phantom Menace:
But it's all over the Original Trilogy, too. Remember when Han is questioned while in disguise on Leia's rescue mission?
That's not the only time it's spoken aloud. The one in Empire Strikes back is a bit trickier, but a definite reference.
You can also peep 1138 on Leia's helmet when she's sneaking into Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi, but it's pretty hard to see without zooming in on a replica.
It's tough to say where 1138 might turn up in Disney's Star Wars movies, especially since Hidden Mickeys will also be in the mix.
We went over this during the Disney Easter Eggs article, but it's too good not to reshare. If you're not familiar with Hidden Mickeys, all you need to know is that pretty much every Disney movie since at least Cinderella has contained a secret symbol that resembles the company's famous mouse. It's not surprising to see it in everything from The Jungle Book to Frozen, because those are Disney movies.
It's more than little strange to see those ears pop up in The Empire Strikes Back, but there they are, right behind Luke in his climactic battle with Vader.
You're not seeing things -- this was posted over on the official Star Wars Blog. Here, have a closer look:
Back then it was included because of George Lucas' love of Disney, but it's kind of funny to see it in retrospect. Or sad. Maybe more sad.