If you were one of the lucky thousands who ventured out to watch Despicable Me 3 this weekend, you might have noticed a quick and surprising reference to Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back. If you didn’t, however, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Despicable Me 3.]
One of the less popular, but always fantastic characters in the Despicable Me franchise is Dr. Nefario, voiced by Russell Brand. It’s Nefario, alongside an army of loyal Minions who helps Gru design his super villainous weapons. Nefario is one of the only characters to appear in every single Despicable Me movie, along with a brief appearance in Minions, but if you’ve seen the newest addition, you may be wondering where he was hiding.
The answer is in plain sight, but it may take a moment to recognize him.
In the scene above, captured by Flicks And The City, a popular YouTube channel dedicated to finding Easter eggs in various films, Nefario can be seen in the top left corner. He’s completely frozen in carbonite, watching as the Minions gather together. It’s an homage to Han Solo’s character in The Empire Strikes Back, and although sneaky, it’s pretty good.
This isn’t the first time that a Despicable Me movie has paid homage to Star Wars, either. In Despicable Me 2, Gru’s plane was modified to appear similar to the Low Altitude Assault Transport ship seen during the battle sequences on the planet of Geonosis in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. Many of the sound effects and the way the ship was framed are practically identical to Attack of the Clones.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear like Star Wars is going to pay homage to Despicable Me or the Minions anytime soon.
Despicable Me 3 is currently playing in theaters.