Update: There will be Star Wars references in Ready Player One after all

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Ready Player One Steven Spielberg Star Wars

Update: Contrary to what Steven Spielberg said at a recent press-conference, it seems that READY PLAYER ONE will contain references to STAR WARS. While speaking with Fandango's Erik Davis, Spielberg said, "everybody basically came onboard to help us take their IP's and allow us to create easter eggs from their own cultural phenomenons. So if you look very carefully, you'll see an R2-D2 somewhere, you'll see an X-Wing somewhere, but we didn't want to use the main cultural icons from any the Disney Star Wars films because those are ongoing… We asked for some of the smaller items and Disney gave us everything we asked for." So, there you have it, you'll get a little STAR WARS with your READY PLAYER ONE after all.

As we've seen from the numerous trailers for READY PLAYER ONE, the film contains pop-culture references to everything from BACK TO THE FUTURE to THE IRON GIANT to CHILD'S PLAY, but the one major franchise which the film won't be making reference to is STAR WARS, and not even Steven Spielberg himself could make it happen. During a press-conference earlier today, Spielberg revealed that try as they might, they just couldn't get Disney to give them permission.

"We couldn’t get any Star Wars rights," Spielberg said. "[We tried] very hard. They wouldn’t give up the Star Wars rights." Leading up the licensing team was producer Kristie Macosko Krieger, and Steven Spielberg claimed that she spent years assembling as many licences and characters as she possibly could. "Kristie spent three years with all of the Warner Bros. legal people getting the rights to all of them, and we couldn’t get all of them," said Spielberg. As great as it would have been to have seen Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) wielding a lightsaber or Darth Vader taking part in the big battle, I suppose it just wasn't meant to be. Upon hearing Spielberg tell this story, ROGUE ONE actor Ben Mendelsohn joked, "you could’ve called me on that one, Steve. I built the Death Star, I’m just saying." Another franchise which fell beyond Spielberg's grasp was Ultraman, as the character is currently tied up in a lawsuit. Still, as Warner Bros. may very well want a sequel should READY PLAYER ONE become a success, it's probably good to save something for the sequel.

The official synopsis for READY PLAYER ONE:

The film is set in 2045, with the real world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But people have found salvation in the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday died, he left his immense fortune, and total control of the OASIS, to the first person to win three keys, unlocking the door to a digital Easter egg he hid somewhere in his seemingly infinite creation. His challenge launched a game that gripped the entire world, but after five years the scoreboard remained tauntingly empty…until now.

An unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan)—under his avatar name, Parzival—finally conquers the first contest, instantly becoming a celebrity…and a target. Ruthless corporate mogul Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) proves he will stop at nothing to beat Wade and take over the OASIS, and suddenly the virtual stakes are all-too-real. Ultimately realizing he cannot win alone, Wade joins forces with his friends—now the High Five (Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki). Together, they are hurled into a reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS.

READY PLAYER ONE will hit theaters on March 29th.

Source: i09

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.