Marvel movies have shown an unwavering love for Star Wars since Phase Two of MCU. Spider-Man continues his adventures in No Way Home. trendIt is subtle.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man No Way Home. It is currently playing in theaters.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe was founded with the primary goal of creating a new movie franchise that would appeal to millions of people. Phase One established the MCU’s position in cinematic history. Phase Two was more entertaining and more relevant to its sister franchises Star Wars and Star Trek. There were subtle references to the series throughout Phase Two and Three. But it wasn’t until Spider-Man: No Way Home that the nods were brought back in small but impactful ways.
No Way Home tells the story of Peter Parker, who decides to erase his identity in the universe after Mysterio exposes his alter ego. A group of villains from other dimensions come to Peter’s aid and threaten to destroy everything he has built up in the MCU. This forces him to flee his home and hide until all attention is gone. Thus, he makes one of the first Star Wars references.
Peter is waiting for responses from the various colleges he applied to. Meanwhile, he’s working on a LEGO Death Star. The LEGO Death Star looks a lot like the one from Return of the Jedi, but it’s not the one from A New Hope. The scene is a clever callback to when he and Ned were working on the original Death Star in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But now Peter is alone and working on the LEGO set meant to be with Ned.
The MCU’s Star Wars nods were in the past shown by characters losing their arms, similar to Luke’s death in The Empire Strikes Back. Spider-Man: Homecoming shows Ned teasing the enormous Death Star that he obtained with a LEGO Palpatine Minifigure. Although this Minifigure isn’t shown again in Homecoming, it does appear at the end No Way Home on Peter’s desk. This brief callback serves as an emotional nod towards Peter’s greater sacrifice at the end.
Peter tells Strange, to save everyone, that Peter is Spider-Man. Even his loved ones. Peter remembers, even though they might not be able to recall, and keeps the Palpatine Minifigure to remind him to fight for those he loves. The Death Star is destroyed by the villains to signify Peter’s progression from adolescence into adulthood.
Marvel and Star Wars might be the two biggest entertainment properties. It is always fun to see one refer to the other. Spider-Man : No Way Home helps to bring Star Wars’ love and a greater sense of connection to Peter’s personal loss. It’ll be a cherished memory that Peter and the audience will see every time they see the LEGO Palpatine Minifigure.
Spider-Man: The Way Home has subtle Star Wars references and is now in theaters