Was it inevitable? Is it a bad idea? Was it foretold in Patton Oswalt’s epic Parks & Recreation filibuster? We don’t know. All we know for sure is that two vast fictional universes — the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the universe of Star Wars — have collided, if only briefly. Be warned! Spoilers to follow for Episode 8 of Marvel’s What If…? including images. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop scrolling!
If you’ve watched the latest episode of Marvel’s What If…? then you know the story revolves around the Vision (Paul Bettany) acting not a whole lot like the Mjolnir-worthy synthezoid we’re used to. That’s because he has been taken over by Ultron. After wiping out all life on Earth, Ultron learns there are whole universes out there with life to eradicate and finally the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) leaves the sidelines and gets involved.
We see Watcher and Ultron’s epic clash take them out of Ultron’s home universe across the multiverse, with the pair blinking in and out of different Marvel settings. It’s here where the pair briefly find themselves in the universe George Lucas built. For a few moments, the combatants fight on a dark planet filled with rivers of molten lava. The planet is Mustafar, where Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) have their fateful duel in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, and which also appeared in 2016’s Rogue One.
If there’s any doubt that this is, in fact, Mustafar, then those doubts should be thoroughly snuffed by the distant building visible in the background. It bears the same unique, horned structure of Darth Vader’s castle as seen in Rogue One as well as other media, like Marvel’s Darth Vader comics.
Still not convinced? Well how about the fact that two of the creators behind Marvel’s What If…? are on the record for trying to do a crossover between Marvel and Star Wars? Speaking to Collider in August, What If…? head writer A.C. Bradley said he was “notorious” for wanting to use the series to do a Marvel/Star Wars crossover. He added that he and director Bryan Andrews actually pitched such a crossover, but got the thumbs down from Disney. It looks like Bradley and Andrews found a way to kind of sneak a soft crossover in.
It’s probably far too soon to expect we’ll see Luke Skywalker joining the Avengers, but as Inverse points out, not only are both Marvel and Star Wars owned by Disney, both properties are dealing with the concept of alternate realities right now. Marvel’s got the series Loki and What If…? and the upcoming films Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Meanwhile, Star Wars: Visions has wowed fans with non-canonical, anime-inspired Star Wars stories.
One certainly unintentional but unavoidable coincidence is that a Marvel/Star Wars crossover was “predicted” by Patton Oswalt in an improvised filibuster during Season 5 of Parks & Recreation, and his rant actually mirrors the current Disney multi-franchise landscape.
Oswalt’s character goes on and on about a Marvel/Star Wars crossover movie idea he has in order to filibuster a city council meeting. His “pitch” begins with Boba Fett emerging from the sarlacc pit, and we’re about to get The Book of Boba Fett. In spite of the scene being filmed years before Disney’s buyout of Fox, Oswalt also works the X-Men into the pitch toward the end. We’re not saying Oswalt is psychic, but we’re also not saying he’s not.