- There's a Resistance pilot in the movie named Ello Asty, a reference to the album "Hello Nasty" by The Beastie Boys, director J. J. Abrams' favorite band.
- The shot of Rey and Finn running from a TIE Fighter attack in the second teaser is framed like the crop duster scene in North by Northwest.
- Finn's Stormtrooper callsign "FN-2187" and name "Finn" are both references to George Lucas' THX 1138, where characters were referred to by the phonetic pronunciations of assigned serial numbers (e.g. "THX-1138" was "Tex", "LUH-3417" was "Luh", "SEN-5241" was "Sen", and "JOT/CAM" was "Jot/Cam").
- The shot of the Knights of Ren standing with their weapons in the rain, surrounded by bodies, is based on a iconic scene from Seven Samurai.
- In the section where Rey is on the lam after giving Kylo Ren the slip some stormtrooper chatter is heard: "We think they may be splitting up" — and it sounds like it was lifted directly from the sequence in A New Hope where Ben is making his way to the tractor beam control system aboard the first Death Star.
- A shot of TIE Fighters flying through the orange skies of Jakku references a shot of chopper silhouettes on an orange sky from Apocalypse Now.
- Han Solo's new leather jacket makes him look like Indiana Jones, and he (along with Chewie) invoke that character's iconic Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight on Nines and his stun baton.
- The first scene with Rey involves a girl wearing a mask and goggles with a long metal weapon slung over her back on a leather strap investigating the upper reaches of a massive ruin for a small item, which she puts in a bag on her side. She then descends into a large room with Rays from Heaven running through it to reach the outside. This is identical to the first scene with Nausicaa in the film adaptation of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
- BB-8 looks up at an explosion during one scene, and the shot of the sky reflected in his lens is very similar to one from ''WALLE"
- Word of God says that Phasma's name was inspired by Phantasm, specifically the fact that her chrome armor is reminiscent of the Tall Man's Sentinel Spheres.
- Finn's backstory is similar to that of Dariq La Rone, the protagonist of the Timothy Zahn novel Allegiance. Both are disillusioned Stormtroopers, who are forced to desert after refusing to massacre innocent civilians.
- Rey and Kylo Ren's climatic sword-fight in the snow-covered forests of Starkiller Base has allusions to the myth the small and helpless Little Red Riding Hood confronting the looming black The Big Bad Wolf in the depths of the deep dark woods.
- Lor San Tekka standing unintimidated before black-clad Kylo Ren references Max Von Sydow's classic scene staring down Death in The Seventh Seal.
Shout Out / The Force Awakens