Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy may not exist in the same continuity, but Darth Vader did almost play a pivotal role in that Marvel adventure… kinda. We’ll explain.
Speaking to Mashable at the Spider-Man: Homecoming junket, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained that he’d originally planned to include a certain Star Wars toy as a plot point.
Always, we wanted to reveal at a certain point in the movie that Peter Quill was a human from Earth. And for a long time, I really thought it was going to be the greatest thing in the world that you’re in a spaceship and he’s talking to one of the alien characters and he knocks over his bag and one of the alien characters bends down and picks up and it was a Darth Vader action figure, goes, ‘What’s this?’
Feige clarified that he’d had this idea long before Disney acquired Lucasfilm, making it a sister franchise to the MCU. At that point, this wouldn’t have been corporate synergy, but just a fun little wink to Peter’s 1980s childhood.
But if you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy, you know Peter’s favorite souvenir from Earth isn’t a Star Wars toy – it’s his precious Walkman. According to Feige, that’s all thanks to director James Gunn.
To make a long story short, James Gunn was basically like, ‘I got a better idea. What if he had a Walkman and listened to music?’
And it was like, ‘Oh, that’s a million times better.’ Because the Star Wars thing was just a nerdy reference in a single moment, and obviously, the conceit of the music redefined the entire movie.
On the one hand, it would’ve been a thrill to see Star-Lord playing with a Darth Vader toy — Marvel superheroes, they’re just like us! They, too, imagine going on space adventures with Sith lords!
Ultimately, though, Gunn and Feige probably made the right call. Guardians of the Galaxy works well enough without Darth Vader – and it’s basically impossible to imagine without Awesome Mix Vol. 1. Rock on, Star-Lord.