Credit: Marvel; Lucasfilms

The Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars Long-Ago Faraway Galaxy have a lot in common. Both contain dashing heroes with cool powers. Both are owned by Disney, much like your childhood and your future. And both feature copious sequences where someone gets a hand chopped off. This curious recurring motif is actually an elaborate homage, according to Marvel Studios’ head honcho Kevin Feige.

As Feige revealed in an interview with Cinema Blend, every Marvel Studios movie in the post-Avengers Phase 2 era features a scene where somebody loses a hand. According to Feige, this wasn’t initially intentional; the first hand chopped off was Guy Pearce’s in Iron Man 3, during the part of Iron Man 3 you totally forgot about where everyone starts glowing and all the Iron Men do Iron Man stuff. Then Thor’s hand got chopped off in Thor: The Dark World, until it turned out it was all a hallucination.

The most specific homage was arguably Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where Bucky loses an arm and gets it replaced with a Skywalker-brand robo-appendage. And in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora hacks off both of Groot’s arms, although they eventually grow back, because nothing ever really dies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Besides Rene Russo.)

Feige implies that even talking about this homage is a spoiler for Ant-Man. Intriguingly, Feige also claims that the Star Wars homage was intended, at least in part, to establish Phase 2 as Marvel’s Empire Strikes Back. So, Ewoks in Phase 3?

Avengers: Age of Ultron

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 150 minutes
  • Joss Whedon