Marvel fans might know that Kevin Feige and the filmmakers of the MCU hid a recurring Star Wars reference in several movies from Phase Two of the franchise, as multiple characters lost an arm, in a nod to the way that Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and more have had their limbs lopped off in the sci-fi franchise. Seeing as we were told about that one though, there’d be no way Marvel would be able to sneak a similar running gag past us in Phase Three, right?
Well, maybe not. Reddit user KYLO733 has noticed that many movies in the third Phase of the MCU feature characters being hit by lightning, much like the Emperor’s iconic method of dealing with his enemies, first seen in Return of the Jedi. The handy graphic below points out all the times this has happened in films such as Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Here’s how the fan explained themselves in the comments section of their original post:
“As we know, Phase Two was confirmed to have an Empire Star Wars reference of characters losing their hands. So when Phase Three started, I noticed this but waited until Infinity War until I posted. It’s basically characters getting electrocuted/lightning struck, as Luke is in Return of the Jedi (3rd OT movie). I couldn’t find the Black Panther or Infinity War clips but will update with pics soon (the reference is in these movies though). [It] has also happened to an extent in some the TV shows but I would have to re-watch the others.”
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It’s a solid theory, though some other commenters believe this could be more of a coincidence than a planned effort on the studio’s part. Then again, Feige has said that the Phase Two running gag began as unintentional before developing into a conscious act. So perhaps something similar happened here as well? Personally, I wouldn’t bet against Marvel being aware of this, but that’s just me.
After all, Feige’s previously spoken about how his lifelong passion for Star Wars has informed his management of the MCU, citing the depth of the saga as inspiration for making sure that Marvel movies have a lot of rewatch-ability. But did they also lead him to make sure a bunch of characters got electrocuted? We may never know, but feel free to speculate down below.