Half of the fun of watching Ready Player One is looking for all of the Easter eggs. There are so many that it’s going to take multiple watches for people to catch even half of the little details that are hiding in the background of this movie. Entertainment Weekly has provided a perfect example of just how deep this rabbit hole goes as they break down a singular image in Aech’s workshop to show all of the references.
Spaceballs – Here’s the Eagle 5, the Winnebago Chieftain 33, augmented by a pair of wings, that Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and Barf (John Candy) piloted through the galaxy in Mel Brooks’ 1987 Star Wars spoof.
Exosquad – The yellow object in the background looks a little like the machine Ripley used to battle the Queen in Aliens, but no — it’s actually the PO-024 Field Repair E-Frame from the 1993–94 animated series Exosquad. Good for helping Aech lift and weld heavy objects in this digital realm.
Battlestar Galactica – Hanging down from the ceiling is a Colonial Viper starfighter, which took out Cylons on the original ’70s TV series. (The ones from the newer series have differently shaped engines and an exposed strip of machinery on the sides.)
RoboCop – “You have 20 seconds to comply.” Programmed for “urban pacification,” this walker is the Enforcement Droid, Series 209 (or ED-209, for short), from the 1987 futuristic cop drama.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California from 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Fewer than 100 were made. Cameron’s dad had one. So does Aech.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century – It’s a little tough to see, but these are the twin nose cones of a Thunderfighter from the 1979-81 TV series.
Cowboy Bebop – This red ship is the Swordfish II from the 1998–99 TV show Cowboy Bebop. In the OASIS, you can shrink your vehicle to toy size for easy carrying. (No need to find parking.) Note the much smaller version of this ship on the workbench below Aech’s elbow.
2001: A Space Odyssey – Aech has a few Kubrick blindspots, but he’s clearly a fan of this groundbreaking 1968 classic. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” This is an Extravehicular Activity Pod (or EVA Pod) piloted by mission commander Dave Bowman when he vanished into the Monolith.
The Iron Giant – Only the legs of the enormous metal man from Brad Bird’s 1999’s animated film are visible. Aech still has to build or attach the rest. Look for the complete thing in Ready Player One’s epic final battle.
That’s all in one image in this movie. There are huge scenes with hundreds of characters walking around these vast worlds. It’s going to likely take a home release and someone smashing the pause button for someone to find all of these references. This is going to be one of those movies where a decade from now someone else finds a new reference.
Summary: When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.
Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg, stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Mark Rylance, and Ben Mendelsohn. It will be released on March 29th.