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The Sam Jackson MCU Question We Finally Have An Answer To

Marvel fans, you can all breathe a sigh of relief — the cinematic universe you know and love isn't about to get any more complicated than it already is. 

Before he made his MCU debut as the eyepatch-wearing S.H.I.E.L.D. badass Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson was part of another huge movie franchise: Star Wars, in which he played Mace Windu, the revered Jedi Master who wielded an amethyst-bladed lightsaber and sat on the Jedi High Council in the final years of the Galactic Republic. Fans love that Jackson is part of two universally-loved film series, and they nearly flipped their lids when the MCU finally made a wink at that fact. 

If you'll recall, Jackson's Nick Fury mentioned Star Wars in Spider-Man: Far From Home, when he told Tom Holland's Peter Parker that he wouldn't understand the Shakespeare quote "uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" because "it wasn't a Star Wars reference." That led many to question why Peter — a confirmed Star Wars enthusiast, as established by the events of Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming — didn't comment that Fury and Mace Windu look exactly alike when he officially met the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in Far From Home. (Peter would obviously know who Mace Windu is, as his age indicates that he was a child when the Star Wars prequels in which Windu appears released in theaters.) It also caused countless Marvelites to theorize that perhaps Fury and Windu are the same person — or, at the very least, that Fury may have been leading a double life as an actor. 

Now, we have an official answer to the question. 

Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo confirmed during an appearance on Lucasfilm's YouTube web series The Star Wars Show that Fury and Windu aren't the same person, Fury isn't the actor who portrayed Windu in the Star Wars franchise, and there's no MCU plot hole to patch up now that Fury made a Star Wars reference. 

Anthony explained that all Marvel actors who have also appeared in the Star Wars world "just look like those characters." Joe agreed, clarifying, "Nick Fury happens to look a lot like Mace Windu."

It's certainly not an exciting revelation — and leaves no opportunity for a mind-melting Marvel-Star Wars crossover or a big reveal of a time-and-space-hopping adventure involving Fury and Windu — but it's the most comprehensible. Not only that, but the Russo Brothers' explanation also clears up several other mysteries of this particular sort. If Fury just looks like the guy who played Windu, then one can assume that Paul Bettany's Vision simply bears a striking resemblance to the person who played Dryden Vos, the leader of the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn as seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The same goes for Donald Glover: he played Aaron Davis (a.k.a. Prowler) in Spider-Man: Homecoming and young Lando Calrissian in Solo, and within the new rules of the MCU, Davis only looks like the actor behind Calrissian. 

Heck, this rule can be applied to every Star Wars actor who has also appeared in a Marvel movie: Natalie Portman, who was Queen Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequels and will reprise her Thor franchise role as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder; Peter Serafinowicz, who voiced Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace and later played Denarian Saal of Nova Corps in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1; Ben Mendelsohn, who was Director Orson Krennic in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Talos in Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home; and Felicity Jones, who portrayed Jyn Erso in Rogue One and Felicia Hardy, the unassuming assistant to Dane DeHaan's Harry Osborn, in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Thanks to Joe and Anthony Russo's explanation, all these stars don't damage the fabric of the MCU or the Star Wars franchise by appearing in both film series. Though it's less riveting than the notion that each pair of characters are the same person and that there's some wild Lucasfilm-Marvel Studios inter-connectivity on the horizon, it keeps the MCU from becoming more difficult to understand. There's already so much to keep track of — the timeline of the 23 (and counting) films, the continued consequences of the time travel in Avengers: Endgame, the dozens of heroes and even more secondary characters, the interweaving narratives and character arcs, the possibility of the multi-verse, the list goes on — without adding in the idea that Nick Fury and Windu are the same people. That's a headache we're glad we'll never have to suffer.