As with most Star Wars content, Star Wars Squadrons is packed full of hints, mentions and direct nods to other Star Wars adventures. This ranges from familiar character cameos to a huge amount of ship customisation – which allows players to decorate the cockpit of their ship with holograms, dashboard figures and miniatures. In Star Wars Squadrons Easter Eggs, References and Cameos, we’re taking a look at everything from the most surprising character appearances to the more obscure nods to the deepest corners of a galaxy far, far away.
After a small appearance in the opening scenes, where orders Imperial pilots to destroy the remaining Rebel fighters, Darth Vader is available as both an Imperial hologram and Imperial dashboard figure.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
Timothy Zahn’s Grand Admiral Thrawn quickly became the star of the Star Wars expanded universe after his first appearance in Heir to the Empire, where he unified the remnants of the Empire and became the primary antagonist for the Expanded Universe. After Disney reset the canon, Thrawn was reintroduced at an earlier point, via new novels from the original writer Zahn, and became a primary villain in the Star Wars Rebels animated series.
Feresk (who is voiced by James Arnold Taylor, who voices many Clone Wars characters, but most notably Obi-Wan Kenobi) mentions that he joined the Rebellion after getting a death mark on his head because Grand Admiral Thrawn saw a fake he had sold to an Imperial officer.
Another reference to Grand Admiral Thrawn is the option for his ship, the ISD Chimera, to be a hologram inside the Imperial cockpit. The description explains that although Thrawn is missing (which happened in the final episode of Star Wars Rebels), his legacy remains.
Although Luke himself doesn’t appear in Star Wars squadrons, he gets a few nods and references. One is a wooden Luke figure, complete with his X-Wing pilot uniform, that is an option for a New Republic dashboard item. Another Luke reference comes from Wedge where he refers to having some of that “Skywalker luck”, and lastly one of the New Republic, Hanging Flairs is a land-speeder that looks suspiciously like Luke’s from Tatooine.
Admittedly Wedge could be considered more than a cameo, but really he only shows up for one mission early in the New Republic storyline. Wedge mentions that he, like Linden Javes, is a former Imperial pilot, and references the Skystrike Academy. His attendance at Skystrike and his defection were seen in the Star Wars Rebels episode The Antilles Extraction, with Wedge returning as an up and coming Rebel pilot throughout the series.
Star of Star Wars Rebels, the pilot Hera Syndulla makes a few appearances throughout Squadrons, as a key part of Project Starhawk. Some other animated shorts and stories have explained that Hera is still a part of the rebellion up to the Battle of Endor. By the time of Star Wars Squadrons, Hera is a General. Her name, ship and astromech, Chopper, also appeared in the live-action Rogue One. Her ship, the Ghost, then appeared in the final fight in The Rise of Skywalker.
Hera’s astromech Chopper, another star of Rebels, also makes a brief appearance as a possible Hologram for the New Republic ships. The description mentions Choppers moods, and that he is at the base where Project Starhawk is being built.
The New Republic captain, Gunny, mentions Vanguard squadron as being better than Alphabet Squadron. Alphabet Squadron appears in the Alphabet Squadron book, it’s sequel Shadow Fall, and the upcoming third book Victory’s Price, which details their adventures following the Battle of Endor.
The Imperial pilot Vonreg, mentions Imperial traitors Iden Versio, Yrica Quell, and Linden Javes. Javes is one of the main characters in Squadrons who defects early in the story, but Iden Versio is the star of Star Wars Battlefront II’s campaign (which is set around the same time as Squadrons). Similarly, Yrica Quell stars in the Alphabet Squadron books and is another former Imperial who joins up with the New Republic.
Feresk asks the player if they would like to play Sabacc, the infamous Star Wars card game that got Han Solo the Millennium Falcon. Feresk says he is trying to learn, but rather obviously lets on that really he is trying to hustle the player out of their credits.
One of the New Republic Hologram options is a Dejarik piece. Dejarik, sometimes called Holo Chess, first appeared in the original Star Wars movie, in a game between R2-D2 and Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon. The game used stop frame animation for the holograms and has gone on to become an iconic piece of the franchise ever since.
The Clone Wars
Gunny mentions the Clone Wars, Separatists, and explains that fighting off droids during the war is how she lost her arm.
The love them or hate them creatures from The Last Jedi, the Porgs, make a subtle appearance as a New Republic dashboard carving. Although they aren’t named, the description reads that they are a “mysterious adorable bird” found in an ancient text.
Another New republic dash carving is a figure of an Ewok who came to be known as “Tie Killer” after the Battle of Endor.
Kowakian Monkey Lizards
Another of the New Republic Hologram options is a Kowakian Monkey Lizard. One of the more bizarre, and yet recognisable, Star Wars creatures, the most famous Kowakian Monkey Lizard is Salacious Crumb, Jabba the Hutt’s mischievous and creepy little pet in Return of the Jedi.
A Corellian Hound
One of the Imperial dashboard items is a Correllian Hound skull. Correllia is Han Solo’s home planet, and so the creatures (as well as the planet itself) made their debut in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Kouhun (and Frozen in Carbonite)
Another of the Imperial dash items is a carbonised Kouhun. This is a double reference, as Kouhuns were the insect-like creatures that Zam Wessel used to try and kill Padmé Amidala in Attack of the Clones. The carbonising was first seen with Han Solo in the Empire Strikes Back.
One of the best Imperial Hanging Flairs is a miniature Rancor figure, that perfectly emulates the giant creatures, one of which Luke Skywalker defeated in Return of the Jedi.
One of the most mysterious creatures of the Star Wars universe is a Krayt Dragon, the skeleton of which first showed up in a New Hope in the Tatooine desert as C-3PO walked by. Since then the creatures have been mentioned and referenced throughout many Star Wars stories (primarily as skeletons). The live dragons themselves didn’t appear until the first episode of the second season of the Mandalorian. A Krayt Dragon Tooth is one of the Imperial Hanging Flairs.
Famous Ships and Vehicles
As well as Luke’s Tatooine Landspeeder other ship customisation options allow figures or miniatures of several other recognisable Star Wars Vehicles. These include a pod racer toy, a miniature Jawa Sandcrawler, a small X-wing replica, the Millennium Falcon, a Hoth snow speeder, a Naboo Fighter, a miniature Star destroyer, Imperial Officer shuttle, and although it isn’t’ a vehicle, but still a mode of transport, a Hoth Tan Tan plush.
If you’ve enjoyed Star Wars Squadrons Easter Eggs, References and Cameos, be sure to check out our review of the game. And for More Star Wars Easter Eggs take a look at our post on Jedi: Fallen Order, The Mandalorian Season 1, Clone Wars Season 7, and the Rise of Skywalker.