Ready Player One is all about Easter eggs, not least of which are Back to the Future Easter eggs, which the movie liberally sprinkles throughout its runtime. The McGuffin in Ready Player One’s plot is an Easter egg itself, a golden one. But while the characters are seeking that Easter egg, audiences find themselves looking for metaphorical Easter eggs scattered all the way through the movie. With the confirmation of a sequel, Ready Player Two, audiences are in for more treats.
In a dystopian 2045, teenage orphan Wade Watts seeks to find the golden Easter egg in the virtual reality entertainment universe called the O.A.S.I.S. or Oasis (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation). The gamer who finds the golden Easter egg gets granted complete control over the Oasis, which is exactly what the avatars inside the Oasis are striving for. Ironically, the film is littered with metaphorical Easter eggs throughout, seven of which are solid nods to the Back to the Future series.
7 The Opening Track Is Jump By Van Halen (Marty McFly’s Favorite Guitarist)
As the movie opens, the audience sees Wade leaving his home in Columbus, Ohio. It’s dystopian 2045 and everyone lives in what’s called The Stacks, which are shanty villages that were constructed on the outskirts of most major cities during the rise of the global energy crisis. As Wade makes his way down from his elevated home in The Stacks, jumping from one platform to the next, the track playing in the background is “Jump” by Van Halen. Van Halen was Marty McFly’s favorite guitarist, as shown in Back to the Future as he places a Van Halen tape into his dad’s cassette player.
6 Avatar Of Doc Brown Shows Up In The Oasis Opening Scene
The Oasis is the virtual reality in which Parzival resides, Wade’s virtual avatar. Among him are many other avatars, most of which are Easter eggs and references to other video games and pop culture. At one early stage in the film, one such avatar is seen in the background, behind Parzival, showing a man dressed in exactly the same outfit as Doc Brown was wearing in Back to the Future Part II. The avatar was wearing a long yellow jacket, a bright red shirt underneath, light brown pants, and silver wraparound video glasses which, in Back to the Future, were sunglasses containing an internal video display.
5 The Back To The Future DeLorean Is Parzival’s Choice Of Vehicle In The Oasis
After it’s learned by the characters that the now-deceased James Halliday has set challenges for gamers to try and conquer, Parzival decides to take on the so-called unbeatable race, which is the first of Halliday’s challenges. As Parzival gears himself up for the race, we see a number of virtual vehicles lined-up ready to embark on the impossible race, including a Bigfoot monster truck, Kaneda’s bike from Akira, the Batmobile, and the Ford Interceptor from Mad Max 2. Parzival’s choice of vehicle, however, is none other than the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future. The car is fitted out appropriately, too, with the signature external cables.
4 Art3mis Refers To Parzival As McFly After The Race In The Oasis
After this race, Parzival and Art3mis retire to Aech’s workshop, where there are many references and Easter eggs littered around the place. One such Easter egg (which is verbally delivered and so on-the-nose it’s virtually impossible to miss) is when Art3mis refers to Parzival as McFly. This is an obvious reference to Marty McFly from Back to the Future who, of course, drives a DeLorean just like Parzival did in the previous race. It’s a scene that sees Parzival and Art3mis flirting, too, giving the sequence a romantic edge, and considering Marty McFly was something of a heart-throb, it’s a moment that helps the flirtatious spark along.
3 The Zemeckis Cube Helps Parzival Turn Back Time
Wade and Art3mis visit the Distracted Globe nightclub to look for clues in how to conquer Halliday’s challenges. It’s here where Wade confesses his love and true name to Art3mis. Startling Art3mis, and alerting their enemies, this revelation encourages a backlash of advancing assailants on their location. Under attack, Parzival takes it upon himself to use an item he just recently bought. It’s a rubiks cube, which, once activated and thrown into the air, instantly turns back time 60 seconds, allowing them time to escape. The item is called the Zemeckis Cube, Robert Zemeckis, of course, being the director of all three Back to the Future films.
2 Alan Silvestri Includes His Back To The Future Score At Moments
Usually, directors have composers that they tend to pair up with throughout their projects, and Steven Spielberg usually has John Williams partnering with him in his cinematic pursuits. Alan Silvestri is the composer of the famous Back to the Future theme, who usually scores alongside director Robert Zemeckis. Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg, was scored, however, by Alan Silvestri. But there’s a pretty good reason for this.
At the precise moment, Parzival completes the rubiks cube and activates its time-rewinding power, the famous score from Back to the Future arrives right on cue. It’s only for a few moments, but it’s a powerful, spine-tingling point in time for any Back to the Future fan to relish in a moment that’s an honorable nod to the great Robert Zemeckis, director of the Back to the Future trilogy. Two parts of the original Back to the Future score are used at this moment, the bassy three-note signature riff, along with the magical-sounding tune used at the very beginning of Back to the Future.
The Back to the Future score also appears at the end of the film when Sorrento and F’Nale are in the back of the police car having gotten arrested. Sorrento goes to speak to F’Nale, saying “F’Nale, listen to me very carefully”, before being punched in the face by F’Nale. It’s such a satisfying moment to see Sorrento get whacked in the nose, just like it was when Biff finally got hit by a newly-redeemed George McFly. The music cue that occurs is a quick riff, extremely similar to the moment in Back to the Future, marking a similarity between the two scenes when the villain gets his comeuppance.
1 Poster Reads ‘Re-Elect Mayor Goldie Wilson’ (Hill Valley’s Mayor From BTTF)
There is also one last Back to the Future Easter egg in Ready Player One, and it’s such a small one it’s rather easy to miss. When Parzival is once again in Aech’s workshop, there is a moment when a poster is shown on the wall beside Parzival. The poster shows Mayor Goldie Wilson, and pleads with any onlooker to re-elect him as Mayor of Hill Valley.