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The robot at the Maz Kanata’s castle:

Han and Rey walk towards the entrance to Maz's castle, Poe and BB-8 follow on behind. A red robot with a large red eye walks away from the entrance in the foreground

The eye looks like the HAL’s eye from 2001: A Space Odyssey one; HAL’s “eye” to the right of this screenshot:

A man in a space suit looks at a control panel, we see HAL's big red eye on the right

2
  • 1
    who is this HAL you speak of?
    – RedCaio
    Dec 22, 2015 at 23:54
  • @RedCaio This HAL
    – npocmaka
    Dec 22, 2015 at 23:56

1 Answer 1

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Probably not.

The robot at Maz Kanata's has a single red-tinged eye. In this respect it resembles HAL 9000 just as much as BB-8 does.

BB-8's eye looks a lot like HAL's.

R2-D2 is another cyclopic AI:

Artoo's eye looks a lot like BB-8's.

(Per the R2-D2 schematic linked in this question, I'm inclined to say the lenses to the bottom right of these astromechs' eyes are projectors, not second eyes.)

But it'd be quite a stretch to say that BB-8's or R2-D2's designs reference HAL 9000's. It's just that single eyes are a great look for AI no matter what galaxy you're in.

The robot at Maz's also has a body and walks around, which makes it hard to identify with HAL. HAL's whole thing was that he didn't have a corporeal presence; he permeated Discovery One and watched its human passengers with his numerous "eyes" around the ship. An effective and unambiguous homage to HAL 9000 would incorporate this somehow, as the Planet Express Ship's AI did in Love and Rocket:

Bender talks to the Planet Express ship's single red-tinged eye.

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