NEW YORK — Google “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away,” and you’ll see one of the better jokes that Google has hidden in its search code.
Instead of the usual Google list of blue-fonted links against a sterile white background, the search term from the famous opening movie line summons a “Star Wars” style opening crawl, with the yellow-fonted links receding into space.
The Easter egg is mimicking the opening credits of the seminal 1977 film – as pretty much everyone knows, since Googling that opening line generates 435 million search results.
This is the latest in a long line of Easter eggs, which is tech slang for hidden treasures in the form of source code, that have popped up in online searches, video games and DVDs.
Google is no stranger to Easter eggs. Type in “do a barrel roll,” “once in a blue moon” or “answer to life the universe and everything” to see for yourself.
For example, Google once buried an Easter egg in an otherwise conventional corporate announcement to spice it up with a reference to a fictional company. And to show support for same-sex marriage, Google displayed a rainbow flag around its search box whenever anyone typed the search words “gay” or “marriage equality.”
Movies are rife with Easter eggs, and the “Star Wars” series is no exception, with the Millennium Falcon appearing in unexpected places, as well as references to an earlier (an unrelated) George Lucas film “THX 1138.”
“Star Wars” fandom is escalating ahead of the next installment in the long-running franchise. “The Force Awakens,” the seventh episode in the nine-film series, is in theaters Dec. 14.
Googling “The Force Awakens” doesn’t reveal any Easter eggs … yet.