It isn't just in The Force Awakens that this is the case. The original trilogy drips with it:
Colours of Red, white and black throughout the empire (the main colours of Fascism are Red, Black, White and Brown)
The imperial symbol whose usage can be seen as akin to that of the swastika
The Empire's troops being called Stormtroopers (the name given to Hitler'...
From the original movie:
"We count thirty Rebel ships, Lord Vader, but they're so small they're
evading our turbolasers." ―Lieutenant Tanbris, to Darth Vader, during
the Battle of Yavin
Which came out in 1977, while Battlestar Galactica first aired in 1978 (thanks @CodesInChaos).
So Star Wars had it first.
1. A nod to Darth Vader
JJ Abrams spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the mask:
“The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but
the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask,” Abrams tells EW.
“[Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a
part of the story of the film.”
Think about this; Episode III happened years before Episode IV. The Force Awakens is considered Episode VII. It is set 30 years after Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi. As such, the happenings of Episode III aren't central to the plot, nor are the characters.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace - Set as Year 0
Episode II: Attack of the Clones - 10 years after ...
He's not on screen...but his voice is heard.
During a flashback scene brought about by Rey touching Luke’s old lightsaber, a voice is heard whispering the name ‘Rey’.
It was originally thought that the voice actor who played Kenobi in the Clone Wars TV series, James Arnold Taylor, said the name out loud, yet he revealed on Twitter that director JJ ...
Rey seems to have at least a basic understanding of Shyriiwook
All quotes from the novelization.
She responds directly to Han and Chewie
She nodded. “It’s just us.” She nodded once to her left. “Us and a droid.”
A second shape appeared above and beside their inquisitor. It was likewise most definitely not a stormtrooper. It was also much, much ...
As at the end of Revenge of the Sith, Yoda is the one who teaches to Obi-Wan how to come back as a "Force ghost" (himself learning it from Qui-Gon), so it is possible that he comes back this way
/!\ Warning, Spoiler about The Force Awakens /!\
It did occur in the movie, very near the beginning, when Poe and Finn escape in a TIE fighter and fend off some stormtroopers with the TIE fighter's weapons. It is, of course, one of the stormtroopers blown away who utters the Wilhelm scream.
It is a bit faint and overshadowed by the general noise (and soundtrack?) and not directly in your face, which might ...
For a short explanation by JJ Abrams himself:
Starkiller Base was created for the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII
The Force Awakens. The film's director, J.J. Abrams, stated that the
superweapon's similarities to the two Death Stars from the original
trilogy were intentional, as the new generation of Imperials within
the First Order would want to ...
An identical question was asked at the sci-fi site.
I won't repost my answer completely, but to summarise, an alternate, much simpler theory based entirely on things that exist in real life is that he's trying to beat away the pain from the wound that Chewie gave him earlier: turning a distracting, acute, sharp pain that kicks in when he makes certain ...
Kylo made up his mind to do this much earlier in the movie. As soon as he discovered that Han was on the ship with Rey and Finn and the BB-8 droid, he was challenged by his master about it.
We see glimpses during the movie that Kylo is still struggling with the Dark Side; he claims he feels the "pull of the Light Side" and has to fight it off. One of the ...
Star Wars had them first .
We count thirty Rebel ships, Lord
Vader. But they're so small they're
evading our turbo-lasers!
We'll have to destroy them ship to
ship. Get the crews to their fighters.
No. It is not necessary to watch episodes I-III.
Having seen all the films released to date, I can definitely say that you can enjoy Force Awakens without needing to see Episodes I, II, and III.
There are a couple of little in jokes, but you won't notice them, and they don't detract from the plot.
If you're planning on watching Rogue One, it does help to ...
The Screenplay helps here.*
*See SF&F Valorum's Answer regarding why BB8 follows Rey
She heads off again. Finally he BEEPS to her -- something SWEET this time. That he is alone, scared, has no one else.
This makes her stop. She turns and looks at him. Not liking him. But a gesture of her head says, reluctantly, "Come on." BB-8 quickly moves to ...
Luke didn't give it to him, Lor San Tekka found it.
Speaking to Lor San Tekka at the beginning of The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren says:
The map to Skywalker. We know you found it. And now you're going to
give it to the First Order.
Later, Kylo Ren is interrogating Rey, and says:
[ The droid's ] carrying a section of a navigational chart. And we
Episode III is likely the most important film of the prequels,
Setting up for the much later events of The Force Awakens and
This single film details how everything that comes after came to be, so yes, I'd say you should see it.
The BBFC rating page has a summary of what justifies their 12A rating, which may answer your question:
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is a sci-fi action adventure in which a
young woman becomes embroiled in a galactic conflict.
VIOLENCE There are frequent scenes of moderate violence, including use
of blasters and lightsabers, and dogfights between ...
The legend of "The First Jedi Temple" was probably known to all (trained) Jedi, but at that point, Luke was the only Jedi left.
And even Luke didn't know where it was exactly.
Han says this in Episode VII: The Force Awakens:
People that knew him best think he went looking for the First Jedi Temple.
The "went looking" part implies that Luke had an idea ...
The current belief is that Rey's presence is what prompted R2-D2 to awake from low power mode.
When he's revealed to be at the Resistance base, the only character that's not there is Rey because she's been taken hostage by Kylo Ren. At the end of the film she's now back at Resistance headquarters, and her presence seems to be what spurns R2 to wake up.
The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary (Disney's fully canon work by Pablo Hidalgo) provides a canon answer to this.
The crossguard blades (called quillons) are plasma vents, helping to balance the power, because otherwise the crystal cannot contain the power of the blade,
Kylo's lightsaber is an ancient design.
The Cross-guard blades, or quillons, ...
He tried with a British accent first, and JJ Abrams said it didn't work.
Straight from the mouth of John Boyega himself in this interview on the Graham Norton show:
This pretty much settles the matter for John Boyega / Finn specifically. But for more about the in-universe significance of British and American accents in ...
As noted in that SFF question, previously the movies didn't either and they were added in later.
From my quick bit of research, it would seem the choice was mainly stylistic because the original trilogy films didn't use the "Episode" and number in any advertising. That apparently didn't happen until the prequels came along, and it's believed it ...
From an Entertainment Weekly article with J.J. Abrams titled, “J.J. Abrams explains R2-D2's closing scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens”:
“BB-8 comes up and says something to him, which is basically, ‘I’ve got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?’” Abrams said. “The idea was, R2 who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, ...
The premise of this question is based on a few faulty assumptions.
Turbo has 2 correct definitions, and one odd tacked on thing that almost counts as a 3rd definition.
Definition 1, meaning "big or fast". Much as you can have turbocapitalism (an accelerated/exaggerated form of capitalism), you can have turbolasers. These would presumably have a higher rate ...
This is answered in the opening crawl of The Force Awakens...
Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed.
With the support of the REPUBLIC, General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE. She is desperate to find her ...
Every major plot point in Episode III is already revealed in Episode V and VI. These plot points are the relationships between Anakin, Darth Vader, Luke, and Leia. If you already know these relationships by watching V and VI, then you already know the major plot points in III.
I have not seen VII yet, (tomorrow), and I could see it as conceivable that some ...