Last night, Felicity Jones, the hero of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, delivered the first opening monologue of Saturday Night Live in 2017. After uncertainly deadpanning some product plugs for chuckles, a few friends showed up and stole it all away.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is called an Applause Break.
Tina Fey arrived as a holographic quasi-space princess to dispense advice for Jones, affecting a nervous persona. Fey's line about being "technically available to act in films" apparently references the lukewarm reception shown to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Fey’s 2016 comedy-drama that premiered to an indifferent critical reception and failed to make back its budget.
And, like Chekhov's gun, if someone mentions Leslie Jones showing up angry and horny, then Leslie Jones must show up angry and horny.
What's really charming, however, is this appears to be an oblique reference to the late Carrie Fisher's monologue on Saturday Night Live in November 1978, the height of the original Star Wars craze through the film's first re-release.
Appearing in Leia’s white gown for the show of Nov. 18, 1978 (SNL’s fourth season), Fisher also confessed her nervousness, before the disembodied voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi told her everything would be OK. Fisher then told a bunch of Star Wars inside jokes that intentionally bombed.
Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s Blues Brothers (with Garrett Morris as the hype man) opened that show; two years later, Fisher would appear in The Blues Brothers as Joliet Jake's vengeful, assault rifle-toting ex-girlfriend, who dynamites Elwood’s apartment.