Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Best Star Wars Easter Eggs In The MCU

Star Wars helped kick off the modern-day conception of the summer blockbuster, so it's no surprise that the creative influence of Luke Skywalker and company has been felt on subsequent big-budget tentpoles. The various films and TV shows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are no exception to this. Across these assorted properties, the characters in this gargantuan franchise have managed to sneak in a number of nods to the works of Star Wars, many of them quite explicit. These little Easter eggs range from Star Wars merchandise making on-screen appearances to superheroes straight-up referencing the sci-fi series.

Given that Disney owns both Star Wars and the MCU, this kind of corporate synergy must be music to the Mouse House's ears. However, these references also serve a deeper purpose of reflecting the distinct interests of individual MCU characters, as well as using reference points from George Lucas' landmark series to clarify the relationships between characters. In other words, Star Wars has had a massive impact on the world of cinema, and that includes leaving all sorts of fun little gags across the MCU.

Star Wars gets name-dropped in Steve Rogers' notebook during The Winter Soldier

At the start of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we finally get to see how Steve Rogers is adjusting to the modern world. After decades spent frozen in the ice, this patriotic superhero has a lot of catching up to do, and so far, Rogers is enjoying the process. In a conversation with Sam Wilson, Rogers talks about the various wonders of the 21st-century world that he's grown to appreciate, including the internet and modern cooking innovations. Steve's dedication to catching up with everything that the world circa. 2014 has to offer is so comprehensive that we briefly see a notebook he's carrying around, one exclusively used for listing pop culture items he wants to experience.

And on that list is the space saga Star Wars. Possibly the first instance of the landmark franchise getting referenced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its presence on Steve's list is understandable given how much of an impact Star Wars had on the whole world. Why wouldn't Rogers want to catch up on one of the most beloved movie sagas in history? Of course, this reference does manage to pull double duty here by also serving as a nod towards Rogers' Winter Soldier co-star, Samuel L. Jackson, who portrayed Jedi Mace Windu in three entries in the Star Wars franchise.

Friendships are made of LEGOs

It can be tricky to establish that two characters in a movie are longtime best friends. Do it too overtly, and it comes off as ham-fisted. On the other hand, if you do it too subtly, it doesn't feel realistic. In the case of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the friendship between Peter and Ned is brilliantly established through an explicit Star Wars reference. Peter's first scene at his high school sees him retrieving things from his locker, only to have his pal, Ned, play around with a LEGO Palpatine figure on his shoulder and ask Peter if he wants to join him in building a LEGO Death Star set.

Sure, it's goofy, but it's also an unpolished attempt at humor that actual high school friends would engage in after being around each other for so long. An imitation of Palpatine's famously raspy voice allows for Peter and Ned's friendship to be effectively established. After all, would you act this silly in public unless you were next to your best buddy? Meanwhile, a later appearance of Ned's LEGO Death Star set does more than just promote the item to youngsters in the audience. It's the centerpiece of a memorable gag in Homecoming, in which a shocked Ned drops a completed version of the LEGO set when he sees Parker crawling on the walls as Spider-Man.

Help me, Phil Coulson, you're my only hope.

Over the course of his numerous appearences across various MCU movies and TV shows, Phil Coulson has proven to be a heroic soul, one who's willing to lay down his life to help save his friends. However, he's also, above all else, a big o'l nerd. He's the kind of nerd who would think of his Captain America trading cards above all else when he's meeting the Star-Spangled Man. He's also the kind of nerd who would drop a Star Wars reference when taking down a cosmic baddie.

In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson confronts the nefarious alien Hive, only to reveal that he's not actually there. Instead, he's left a hologram of himself to trick Hive into sticking around long enough for his companions to get away. Just as Coulson finishes up his reveal to Hive on how the alien has been tricked, Coulson notes that, as a hologram, he's been waiting his whole life to do one thing in particular. And that's when he recites the "help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi" line from the original Star Wars movie. Hive destroys the hologram before the agent can finish reciting the full bit of dialogue, but this still counts as another example of how Coulson's nerdiness always emerges, even in his most heroic moments.

Spider-Man, AT-ATs, and 'that really old movie'

Once Scott Lang unleashes his Giant-Man persona during the airport fight in Captain America: Civil War, all bets are off. With a being the size of the skyscraper now engaging in the skirmish, it looks like a long shot that Tony Stark and his companions will be able to defeat this enormous adversary and stop Captain America in his mission. However, that's when one fast-thinking hero devises a solution. But instead of coming from the mind of Tony Stark, this foolproof plan comes from the youngest and newest recruit. While swinging around Giant-Man, the incredibly eager Spider-Man suddenly gets a bright idea about how to bring this big guy down.

Spider-Man's idea involves recreating the moment from The Empire Strikes Back where Rebel forces take down AT-AT walkers by tying cables around their legs and forcing them to trip. Of course, Peter refers to this sequence as one from "that really old movie, Empire Strikes Back." Though this leads to jokes about Peter Parker's age from nearby superheroes like War Machine, Spider-Man's reference isn't just an excuse to call attention to this kid's youth. It also proves highly useful in taking down Giant-Man, as the wall-crawler wraps up his legs and the combined duo of Tony and Rhodey deliver the KO blow. Sometimes, a Star Wars reference can serve as much more than just a winking nod to the past — it can also be a smart battle strategy!

Kilgrave pulls a 'Jedi mind trick'

Early on in A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi introduces Luke Skywalker to the concept of a Jedi mind trick through demonstrating the practice on two unwitting Stormtroopers. The pair of evil henchmen are interrogating Luke and Obi-Wan about the droids in their company, only for Obi-Wan to do something unexpected. The former Jedi Master waves his hand and informs both Stormtroopers that Luke "can go about his business," instructing the goons to let them "move along." 

The Stormtroopers proceed to repeat Obi-Wan's words back to him before allowing the Jedi and company to move forward without any further troubles. It's a cute moment that nicely conveys the extraordinary powers of the Force and establishes the prowess of Obi-Wan. That same moment is recreated for a similarly multi-purpose but tonally distinct bit in the TV series Jessica Jones

In season 1's eighth episode ("WWJD?"), Jessica and Kilgrave — a powerful MCU villain with the ability to influence others telepathically — decide to get involved in a police standoff, with Jessica hoping her former tormentor will use his powers for good. As they approach the hostage situation, a pair of police officers try to turn them away, and that's when Kilgrave murmurs, "Nothing to see here, move along," much to Jessica's eye-rolling disapproval. It's a moment of levity in a dark series, but it also shows how Kilgrave can utilize his powers even with the most casual throwaway line. Like Obi-Wan in A New Hope, Kilgrave demonstrates that he has extraordinary power under any circumstances. It's too bad he enjoys the Dark Side so much.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. drops a tragic Star Wars Easter egg

Some of the great movie moments are the ones that came out of improvisation. And that's how we got the famous "I love you / I know" exchange from The Empire Strikes Back. It's a pivotal moment between Leia and Han Solo that only came about after Harrison Ford rejected earlier forms of the conversation that seemed too sentimental for his scoundrel character. Eventually, Ford hit upon the iconic exchange, and after running it by director Irvin Kershner, he beautifully delivered the heartbreaking line. As a result, it's been recreated in countless pop culture properties ever since, including a moment on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that's incredibly emotional.

At the very end of the fifth episode of the show's fifth season, Rewind, fan-favorite character Fitz is put into a position where he can help save the day. The catch is that it involves him going into a cryogenic freeze chamber for 74 years. It's a daunting proposition, but it's one that Fitz agrees to take on. The moment he sits in the freeze chamber is rife with uncertainty, so former S.H.I.E.L.D. teammate Lance takes the moment to inform him, "I love you," to which Fitz responds, "I know," before finally going under. It's an obvious homage to that famous Empire Strikes Back sequence, right down to a character getting frozen under sci-fi circumstances. Still, it isn't entirely just a shout-out to another Disney property, with the moment underscoring the bond Fitz and Lance have developed up to this point in the series.

If Yellowjacket's lasers sound familiar, you might want to revisit The Empire Strikes Back

Sound effects are a lot like any common household tool — they can come in handy more than once. This is true for many of the noises created by Skywalker Sound for the Star Wars franchise. Though they're distinct effects largely associated with that cosmic series, Skywalker Sound has still gotten a lot of mileage out of reusing those noises, whether it's for jokes or simply finding another movie where they work like a charm.

For proof, check out Ant-Man, and listen in the scenes where Yellowjacket fires his lasers. Those are sound effects that'll be familiar to any Star Wars fan. See, the sound of the AT-AT blasting the Rebel base on Hoth was reused for Yellowjacket's deadly cannons. It's certainly an intimidating sound effect, and it tells your eardrums that whatever is doing the shooting, you better take that seriously.

Meanwhile, the fact that it's not as famous of a Star Wars noise as, say, the sound of a lightsaber being ignited means that it isn't as distracting for the general public. Some will realize that sound originated from the AT-ATs, but most will merely accept it as something created exclusively for Ant-Man. Threading a fine line between being a homage to the past and functioning as a standalone sound effect is the most impressive achievement of this reused blaster shot.

Spider-Man: Far From Home makes a little joke at Star Wars' expense

When Nick Fury reaches out to Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it's under extremely important circumstances. Fury and his accomplices need the assistance of Spider-Man now more than ever in the wake of Iron Man's demise, especially with the Elementals wreaking havoc. When the two heroes finally meet up, Fury gives Spidey a pair of Tony Stark's glasses that control a very powerful AI, and to commemorate the occasion, the super spy quotes a little Shakespeare, saying, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." Fury then notes that Stark wasn't sure Spidey would get the Henry IV reference because it wasn't related to Star Wars.

It's a cute reference on a number of levels, starting with how it's an obvious callback to Peter Parker's AT-AT Easter egg in Captain America: Civil War. It's also one of many instances in the film where Far From Home calls attention to how Parker is a youngster who may be oblivious to older pieces of pop culture. The lighthearted comment also reaffirms the friendship that Stark and Parker had developed just before the former's demise. Now they have in-gags they can share even after Stark has passed away. 

This little Star Wars name-drop is also a way Spider-Man: Far From Home confronts the giant Iron Man-shaped hole in the world. Plus, similar to the Star Wars Easter egg in The Winter Soldier, it offers an MCU movie a chance to recognize that Marvel mainstay Samuel L. Jackson played the memorable Jedi warrior Mace Windu in that galaxy far, far away.