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What does the phrase "nods to the lore" mean in the following sentence:

Seems very well thought out & has lots of cool nods to the lore of starwars [sic].

This text is from a response to a discussion on the EA Battlefront forums.

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Lore is a body of knowledge and/or tradition, that's usually built up over time. For example, the "lore of Star Wars" might include its character relationships, the planets and races, the spaceships, or even just the stories we already know from that universe.

When you say a nod to something, imagine doing it in real life. You are paying homage to something, or acknowledging it.

In this case, your sentence means that the creators - who probably have respect for the Star Wars universe - have included various references to it in their work.

  • Is the word "appreciate being used in the sense of "notice" or "recognize" here? – curious Jul 9 at 13:48
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In this sort of context, a "nod to X" is an allusion or reference to X, often an indirect or glancing reference, one that will be appreciated by someone who knows X, but may pass by someone who does not know X without being noticed. (here X is Star Wars lore).

The metaphor comes from the custom of nodding one's head to a person one knows to briefly acknowledge that person. Such a nod of greeting is comparatively unobtrusive, and may not be noticed by others who are not paying close attention. Originally, a nod of this sort was a very abbreviated bow.

When one work includes a brief reference to another it may be described as a "nod". For example, in reviewing a recent novel, a critic might write:

The mention of "spirits from the vasty deep" is a welcome nod to Shakespeare.

(In the play Henry IV part 3, the wizard Glendower says "I can call spirits from the vasty deep." to which the character Hotspur replies " Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?" therefore if a novel written now describes things as "spirits from the vasty deep" this evokes that well-known quote, and would be a "nod").

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