Let’s get one thing straight. I am a huge nerd. Sci-fi. Anime. Cartoons. Comics. Cinema. Pop culture. I fell in love with Star Trek, had an affair with Star Wars, and now I’m polygamous; I want it all.
And when I went to see Thor: The Dark World, I couldn’t help noticing the high number of blatant references to my old love, Star Wars. When I remembered that the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was going to be 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a science fiction space opera of epic proportions on a Star Wars-level, I knew what was going. What do you think, I’m stupid? They were prepping us; getting the audience ready for movie adaptation of a less-popular comic book series that, nonetheless, is going to heavily tie in to the massive cinematic universe that will lead up to the “phase three” finale that is The Avengers 3. Allie and I saw the Thor sequel last night and we both caught some parallels. For the ones that I can remember, let’s discuss them for just a second. (Contains spoilers for Thor: The Dark World)
1. Dark Elves and the Stormtroopers.
Not-so-verbal clone soldiers with emotionless white masks/helmets who blast their enemies with energy rifles? Nothing similar about those things.
2. Blond protagonist gets their right hand cut off.
Remember when Uncle Vader chopped Luke’s hand clean off in The Empire Strikes Back right before revealing he was his pops? Remember when Loki chopped off Thor’s…you get the picture.
3. Darth Vader’s death? Frieda’s Death!
In The Return of the Jedi, when Vader finally died, Luke brought him off the exploding Death Star II and onto the planet Endor where he gave his father an appropriate burial of sorts, and burned his lifeless body. In The Phantom Menace, they did the same thing when Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn died at the hands of Darth Maul. Same horizontal profile shot from the right. Guess what? Frieda, the mother of Thor and wife of Odin, sacrificed her life to protect Jane Foster from Malaketh and his attempts to extract the Aether infinity gem from her body. And she was burned in the same respectful manner. A horizontal profile shot from the right. Wow.
4. “Go, my son”.
Are you kidding me? In Return of the Jedi, when crusty ol’ Vader’s helmet came off and he had a last heart-to-heart with Luke, right before Lando and Wedge destroyed the core to the Death Star II, one of the dying Sith Lord’s most important last words to his Jedi Master son were “Go….(pause)…my son.” Guess what? At the end of Thor: The Dark World, Odin was having a heart-to-heart with his son Thor about his leaving Asgard and rejection of the throne. His last words? “Go…(pause)…my son”. Sigh.
5. Phantom Menace sound effects (Allie caught this one)
Finally, the most obvious reference to the Star Wars franchise was the shared usage of a particular sound effect. In Thor 2, those cute little ships Asgard used to defend themselves against an aerial attack from the Dark Elves, remember those? That was a very cool scene, even visually reminiscent of Star Wars Episode 1. But when those ships lifted off and flew to blow the Dark Elves out of the sky, listen to the sound effect used to define those ships. Then watch The Phantom Menace. Trust me on this one.
Also. That mid-credits scene in Thor 2? That was an explicit first visual into the film Guardians of the Galaxy.
Well, with Guardians of the Galaxy coming out this year, we can expect even more of a Star Wars feel in the Marvel Universe as The Avengers 2 looms over our heads. Yay.