Annlyel investigates the similarities between The Avengers Infinity Saga and the original Star Wars trilogy
Disney controls two of the biggest franchises of all time; Marvel and Star Wars. Both of these franchises are spitting out movies faster than we can catch them and giving plenty of people around the world serious joy. This year sees the end of an era for both Marvel and Star Wars, as Avengers: Endgame boasted the ultimate culmination of the twenty-one movies preceding it while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is supposed to be the conclusion to the Skywalker saga.
Looking back at what Marvel has been able to achieve with these movies is simply awe-inspiring but the more I think about the Avengers movies, in particular, the more they remind me of one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time; the original Star Wars trilogy. And so, here’s a greater analysis of this similarity between these movies.
(To keep the post uniform I will not include Avengers: Age of Ultron, as this will be an analysis of trilogy versus trilogy.)
The Avengers & Star Wars: A New Hope
For me, my love for Marvel began with The Avengers as many individuals’ love for Star Wars began with A New Hope. Both of these films involved simple storylines that introduced the major characters in memorable ways.
The Avengers would bring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes together in a fight against the devious villain Loki while A New Hope would assemble the galaxy’s next hopes with Luke, Han, and Leia facing the supposedly invincible Empire and Darth Vader.
Both films featured incredible final battles with the heroes winning by destroying something incredibly powerful. Iron Man, in The Avengers, took a nuclear missile and destroyed the Chitauri army that Thanos sent to destroy Earth, ultimately defeating Loki’s attempt to take over the world. And Luke, using the proton torpedoes in his X-Wing, was able to blow up the Death Star, halting the Empire’s efforts to destroy the Rebellion.
And both films ended in a celebration of sorts. The Avengers ended with the heroes being celebrated by survivors of the Battle of New York while A New Hope concluded with Luke, Han, and Chewbacca receiving medals from Leia, ending the film on a delightfully high note.
These are beautiful conclusions to these first movies.
Avengers: Infinity War & The Empire Strikes Back
Gone is the happy-go-lucky adventure that the heroes of both of these films partook in, replaced by a much darker and more seriously toned story that leaves its viewers utterly stunned. For Avengers: Infinity War the darkness lied in the simple reality that the heroes were miserably outmatched by their most daunting adversary yet, Thanos. Romantic relationships were pushed to the test. Battles were lost. Characters perished (permanently.) And The Avengers was left defeated. It was a stunning turn of events as we were watched our favorite characters battered and beat down by a villain who seemed unstoppable.
The Empire Strikes Back doesn’t kill off any of your favorite heroes but it does leave the characters in the story in a pretty pickle by the film’s conclusion. The Empire, like Thanos, put a monkey wrench in the heroes’ systems. Han ends up being tortured half to death before eventually being frozen in carbonite. Luke loses his hand, loses the battle against Darth Vader, and ultimately learns that Darth Vader is actually his father. *gasp* Plot twist.
Both movies end up concluding with the heroes focused on trying to fix things. For The Avengers, they were tasked with resurrecting everyone who had been killed by Thanos’s plan. For Luke, Leia, Lando, and Chewbacca they went searching for Han Solo so that they could rescue him from the vile clutches of Jabba the Hutt.
These two films turned the narrative on its head, preparing us for thrilling finales.
Avengers: Endgame & Return of the Jedi
Avengers: Infinity War and The Empire Strikes Back were such dark films that both finales attempted to bring the adventure and joy back into the fold. In Avengers: Endgame we got the fun Time Heist storyline that dominated most of the movie. Through this section of the film, there were the lovable humor, fascinating character interactions (like that Captain America versus Captain America fight), and not many overly emotional moments.
Return of the Jedi also watered down the darkness tremendously, delivering a story with thrillingly adventurous elements like the entire Tatooine sequence, the trek through Endor, and the humor was mostly provided by the comical Ewoks.
But, when both films needed to be serious, they were able to do so with flying colors. Avengers: Endgame wowed millions of people around the world with an emotionally stirring final battle that gave everyone something to cheer for. Return of the Jedi gave us the fascinating space battle between the Rebellion and the Empire coupled with the imminent showdown between Luke and his father, Darth Vader.
Both movies also included powerful sacrifices that led to tear-inducing funerals.
Major Spoiler Ahead!
For Avengers: Endgame, we saw Iron Man give his life to save the galaxy, followed by an emotional funeral that was outstandingly beautiful. In Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader sacrificed himself for his son by chucking Emperor Palpatine into a chute. Choosing to save his son’s life would ultimately cost his own life and Luke would have his own personal funeral, burning Darth Vader’s body in the fashion of a true hero.
So yes, the Avengers movies have more in common with the original Star Wars trilogy than one may realize at first, but now that I’ve noticed no wonder I love these Marvel films so much. They’re perfectly constructed films emotionally, thrillingly, impactfully and not many trilogies can boast that achievement.
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