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The Original Trilogy Easter Egg You Totally Missed In The Star Wars Sequels

The Star Wars universe is rife with Easter eggs peppered throughout the 11 films that have been released to date. While some are fairly obvious — think Kylo Ren's (Adam Driver) mask as a reference to his grandfather Darth Vader's mask from the original trilogy — others are less so.

One that the most die-hard of fans may even have missed centers around Finn (John Boyega). The Stormtrooper is the first character out of the main trio from the sequel trilogy that fans saw (albeit while wearing his full armor) when he and his unit attacked a village on Jakku during the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. From the outset, FN-2187 seemed to be horrified by what he was being ordered to do, and appeared to want no part of the Stormtrooper life or their association with the evil First Order. Traumatized by those events on Jakku, he pulled off his helmet and then the rest of his armor, opting instead to defect from the First Order's army of loyal minions, setting out on his own after rescuing Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Poe refused to call him by a sequence of letters and numbers, instead dubbing him Finn, the name Star Wars fans across the galaxy will remember him by.

The old Stormtrooper number is all but forgotten after that, except, of course, by Captain Phasma (who insisted on referring to him by the old moniker when they met again in The Last Jedi). But there is significance in the number that only the most eagle-eyed of fans will have noticed. The name FN-2187 is an Easter egg that dates all the way back to A New Hope in 1977, as confirmed by the official Star Wars Twitter page.

Princess Leia and Order 66

In the very first Star Wars film, after then-Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) was captured by Darth Vader while attempting to get the Death Star's plans to the Rebels, she was kept in a prison cell aboard the space station. Her twin brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford) came to her rescue, discovering in the station's log that the Princess had been locked up in cell 2187, from which they ultimately rescued her.

As the Star Wars Twitter account points out, the initial usage of the number back in A New Hope also had another special significance for the franchise. George Lucas was inspired by a Canadian short released in the '60s — a short by the name of 21-87. The nine-and-a-half minute film is simply a collage of snippets of unused footage that the creator, Arthur Lipsett, found in the editing room of the National Film Board — but it was enough to inspire Lucas to create some of his own shorts.

The number, or variations on it, appear in the Star Wars films as a direct result of that influence. Another instance is in the use of the order given in Revenge of the Sith, the third film in the prequel trilogy: Order 66, the order given to the clones to kill all the Jedi, is a result of the mathematical equation 21-87, as pointed out by CBR.

That's some next level Easter egg-ing there, but now that we're aware of the significance of 21-87, you can bet that it won't get by us when it invariably appears as the call sign of some freighter or something during season 2 of The Mandalorian.