Google has quietly added a cheeky Star Wars reference into its hugely-popular navigation software. It’s unclear when the little Easter Egg was added to the app, but it seems likely it was dropped in around the release date of Star Wars Episode IX: Rise Of Skywalker.
Unfortunately, it only works when you’re using the desktop version of Google Maps.
Navigate to Google Maps on your desktop web browser and then click on the satellite view. Next up, zoom-out so that you’ve got a full view of the planet. If you can’t see the Earth as a globe, you’ll need to check that Globe View is turned on within the Settings menu and try again.
Once you’re looking down on our planet like an Imperial-class Star Destroyer, you should see a list of the planets and moons in our solar system appear on the left hand-side of your browser window. Choose an option from the list and Google Maps will send you flying through space to the planet – exactly as if you were speeding there in the Millennium Falcon.
The animation looks exactly like the jump to Light Speed seen in the Star Wars film series. It’s a subtle nod and one that could easily go over the heads of anyone who hasn’t watched the Star Wars films. But for fans, it’s a real treat.
The Easter Egg was first uncovered by Reddit users, who quickly shared the tidbit on the social news website.
Judging by the comments in Reddit threads, not everyone is able to access the feature. It’s possible Google is slowly rolling-out the feature to different territories worldwide at the moment, with more to be added in future.
If you’re having trouble seeing the Star Wars-inspired animation, maybe switch to Google’s own Chrome web browser and try again?
Google only added the ability to explore other planets within Google Maps in the last few years. The Mountain View-based company is always tinkering with its hugely-successful navigation tool to make it more useful and educational.
Google added the ability to see the curvature of the Earth – something that was previously limited to its Google Earth desktop app – into all Google Maps platforms back in 2018.