JJ Abrams loves the Beastie Boys so much, he gave them a Star Wars character

J.J. Abrams
JJ Abrams likes the Beastie Boys more than we thought. In fact, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens director likes them so much, he has given them an on-screen character.

A newly-created X-Wing pilot named Ello Asty, it turns out, has a name that is just two letters off of the Beastie Boys’ famed 1998 album Hello Nasty. A funny coincidence, many said, until photos of the character’s upcoming Hasbro toy were leaked.

The inscription on Ello Asty’s helmet is in Aurobesh—a made up Star Wars language—and reads “Born to Ill,” which is an obvious reference to the Boys’ debut album Licensed to Ill.

Hardcore Abrams fans may already know he enjoys the Beastie Boys’ music. It’s a fact that started as a rumor: When the director added the group’s track Sabotage into his reboot of the Star Trek franchise, he was faced with accusations that it was a reference to Star Trek actor William Shatner’s constant mispronunciation of the word as “saabotage.” Abrams put that rumor to bed in an interview with MTV in 2009, when he said he just “dig[s] the song.”

Although the Shatner theory might not have panned out, through fans’ nerdy efforts, we do now know about the Asty/Beastie Boys connection.

There is no word on how big a role Asty will play in the new film, but he will probably only serve a minor one, much like the various other X-Wing pilots that can be seen in the original trilogy.

The character’s description? “A skilled if occasionally reckless X-wing starfighter pilot for the Resistance.”

In a cannon of films full of dozens of new characters that all need to be named, there are bound to be some easter eggs. New starring character Poe Dameron, for example, is known to be a mash up of  the names of effects supervisor Darren M Poe and Abrams’ former assistant Morgan Dameron.

And so, for every new character, there is a fan theory as to how they got their title, with some being more ridiculous than others. As a matter of fact, Ello Asty was initially thought by some to be a reference to Abrams’ Lost series, with a phonetic spelling. El-Oh-Es-Tee.

Any more specifics regarding Asty’s character will likely follow the release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed in theaters on December 18, but, for now, at least fans have a bit more info to chew on.

Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.
Movies & TV

HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service is right for you?

If you're looking to get access to HBO, you might be comparing HBO Go and HBO Now. We break down the differences between the twin streaming services and see how they compare to one another.
Movies & TV

Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel conjures up a director and a release date

Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson will return to helm the Sorcerer Supreme's next big-screen adventure. Filming will begin in 2020, after Strange's mysterious Avengers: Endgame fate is resolved.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

A ‘Venom’ sequel is on its way, and Spider-Man could play a role

'Venom' screenwriter Jeff Pinker confirms that a follow-up to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off is in the works. Could a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger join the action? Pinker says that it's "not impossible."
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.