With a sure-fire Marvel blockbuster released next weekend and the first new Star Wars movie in 10 years due in December — with both "universes" now under the Disney corporate umbrella — fans have long been speculating about a crossover between the two franchises. But could a series of "Easter eggs" planted in Marvel movies indicate that the Star Wars and Marvel marriage be coming sooner than anyone thought?
What is this Easter egg that has only recently been discovered by Marvel fans — and what does it have to do with Star Wars? Well, have you noticed that in the second wave — or "Phase Two" — of Marvel movies, characters get their hands and arms cut off at an alarming rate?
If not, go back and check out Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Of course, as even casual Star Wars fans know, Luke Skywalker famously got his hand cut off by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back.
Coincidence? Nope. Even Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige admits the Easter eggs are the real deal, as he acknowledged in an interview last week.
"I'm obsessed with Star Wars. Who's not? I'm 40 years old. I'm in the movie business. I went to USC. So I'm obsessed with Star Wars — and it didn't start out as intentional, but it became intentional," Feige said. "Somebody gets their arm cut off in every Phase Two movie. Every single one."Feige also said that the upcoming Ant-Man film will also feature a severed arm of some sort. Presumably Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits multiplex screens May 1, will also include a similar dismemberment.
So, given that the Marvel movies contain a clear reference to Star Wars, is it only a matter of time before characters from one franchise appear in the other on the big screen?
"I rule out nothing," said Joss Whedon, writer-director of both Avengers movies, in an interview last week with the fan-centric site IGN. But Whedon went on to say he probably would not be involved with a Star Wars — Marvel crossover.
"It would not be my choice. You have two enormously strong, very textured universes," Whedon said. "To say we have just the one would be to in some way dilute them."Another Marvel director, Guardians of the Galaxy's James Gunn, has been more open to the idea.
"Star Wars was a long time ago," Gunn said in a recent interview. "It would have to be time travel."
Bear in mind that J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is clearly a fan of time travel stories, as evidenced by his Star Trek films, and his classic TV series Lost. If Whedon is not involved, then Abrams appears to be the perfect candidate to manage a Star Wars — Marvel crossover movie.
[Images: Walt Disney Co.]