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Guardians of the Galaxy almost included a Darth Vader reference

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Long before Peter Quill rocked out to Electric Light Orchestra, he was more of a John Williams kind of guy. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige revealed in a recent interview that an original idea for Guardians of the Galaxy included a reveal about Peter tied to a Darth Vader toy from Star Wars.

“We wanted to reveal at a certain point in the movie that Peter Quill was a human from Earth. And for a long time, I really thought it was going to be the greatest thing in the world that you’re in a spaceship and he’s talking to one of the alien characters and he knocks over his bag and one of the alien characters bends down and picks up and it was a Darth Vader action figure, goes, ‘What’s this?'” Feige told Mashable. The producer said the idea arose before Disney acquired rights to the Star Wars universe in October 2012 and was later scrapped when director James Gunn showed up.

“To make a long story short, James Gunn was basically like, ‘I got a better idea. What if he had a Walkman and listened to music?'” Feige recalled. “And it was like, ‘Oh, that’s a million times better.’ Because the Star Wars thing was just a nerdy reference in a single moment, and obviously, the conceit of the music redefined the entire movie.”

On Twitter, Gunn confirmed the story and explained why putting a Darth Vader reference in the film felt like a bridge too far. “Because one nostalgia lynchpin was enough. AND it felt like having a discussion about The Godfather in the middle of Goodfellas,” he wrote.