So, Rian Johnson is apparently a total grognard -- someone who relishes in old games despite the presence of new ones. The director revealed as much in the feature-length commentary track included in the home release of his latest film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. At least, that’s the only plausible explanation for the presence of a very, very deep cut; a refence to the classic video game Zork.
Zork is text-based adventure video game first “released” in 1977 for the DEC PDP-10 computer. If you’re wondering why the word released is in quotes, that’s because personal computers weren’t really a thing back in 1977. If you wanted to play Zork, a fantasy game about delving into a cave and collecting treasure presented entirely through text on a screen, you either had to be a university student in an early computer programming course or you needed to know one.
The game and its two sequels were later given home release in 1986 in a package called The Zork Trilogy. The trilogy pack came with a coin called a Zorkmind, a replica of the kind found in the game’s Great Underground Empire. There aren’t that many Zorkmind left after all these years… but apparently Johnson has one and it made its way into a pivotal The Last Jedi scene.
The rare Zorkmind can be glimpsed right after Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) find their Master Coder (or at least a fitting substitute) in Benicio del Toro. The trio make a daring escape from the gambling world of Canto Bight, and Del Toro’s character, DJ, immediately sets about rummaging through their purloined escape ship. DJ finds plenty of gambling chips and cash, the latter of which comes in the form of fancy-looking coins. One of those coins, apparently, is Rian Johnson’s own Zorkmind.
Available now on Digital HD and beginning March 27 on Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and On-Demand, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong’o, Benicio Del Toro, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and the late Carrie Fisher.
(via The Wrap)