Now that Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been completed by Ryan Coogler, it’s time to start watching Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. As with every MCU film,
there are numerous Easter eggs referencing characters like Ant-Man and Ultron, as well as heartbreaking tributes to Chadwick Boseman and a set-up for Thunderbolts. Nerf herders or moof milkers with keen eyes may have seen certain references to a particular galaxy far, far away.
When Namor’s men abduct Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), they hold them captive by Talokan’s entrance. Shuri is instructed to dress like a princess and is given some ceremonial clothing to wear because she is Wakandan royalty.
Here, Riri cracks a joke about how it’s a trap and how kidnappers always force women to dress. She mentions Princess Leia from Star Wars in addition to Willie Scott from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Recall that Jabba the Hutt made Leia wear the classic gold bikini. Ironically, Disney holds the rights to each of these three franchises.
When Okoye and Shuri visit Riri’s jail cell earlier in the film, there may be a continuity issue. On her desk, if you look attentively, you’ll see a Maz Kanata figurine. Kanata, a space pirate from Takodana who is more than 1,000 years old and first appeared in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is known for donning goggles.
Lupita Nyong’o, who you may recognize from her 2018 performance as Nakia in Black Panther for Wakanda Forever, plays Maz. Riri is obviously a fan of Maz and is likely aware that Nyong’o actually provided the voice for Maz.
It’s not a big deal, but the fact that Star Wars is now canon in the MCU means that Oscar Isaac, Natalie Portman, and Samuel L. Jackson all exist as Moon Knight/Poe Dameron, Jane Foster/Padme Amidala, and Nick Fury/Mace Windu, respectively. Additionally, Harrison Ford will soon reprise his roles as Han Solo and Thaddeus Thunderbolt Ross.
Given the unsolved mysteries surrounding Maz Kanata, there is a chance Nyong’o will appear in another Star Wars film or television series.
It seems appropriate that Damon Lindelof’s newest film is set after The Rise of Skywalker. Nyong’o hasn’t talked about a potential return as Maz Kanata, but we assume she’s not finished with the MCU as Nakia. Shuri visited Nakia in Haiti at the end of Wakanda Forever, when it was shockingly revealed that she had an unborn child with T Challa.
Because of the Tom Holland-starring Spider-Man movies, we are aware that Star Wars is present in the MCU. In an ironic homage to what happens to the Death Star in the first Star Wars trilogy, Peter Parker and Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) construct a Lego Death Star in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is later destroyed and then reappears in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
In case you forgot, Peter also keeps possession of his Lego Emperor Palpatine, which he uses to trip Ant-Man in the same way that the Rebels trip an AT-AT in The Empire Strikes Back. Even Peter called it “that extremely old movie.” King’s jet had Empire playing in the background while he was flying.
There have been some more subdued references in addition to outright ones. Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind the MCU, acknowledged to Cinema Blend that each film in Phase 2 featured the running joke about someone losing an arm or hand—a beloved Star Wars motif. I’m enamored with Star Wars, said Feige, from Gamora cutting off Groot’s arms in Guardians of the Galaxy to Ultron doing the same to Ulysses Klaue in Age of Ultron. Who doesn’t? Age 40 is what I am. I work in the film industry.
What If? has a peculiar infatuation with George Lucas’ sci-fi classic, so we’ve actually gone closer to a Star Wars crossover than you’d imagine. Head writer A.C. Bradley acknowledged to Collider that she persisted in calling for a Luke Skywalker cameo, arguing that the Jedi would make a fantastic Avenger.
Others believe that the show’s penultimate episode had various Star Wars settings, thus this is not the only common thread. It appeared as though we saw the scorching Mustafar and the rainforest planet Felucia during the Watcher and Ultron’s battle through the Multiverse.
I genuinely don’t think so, and I don’t think there’s any need for it, Feige previously told Yahoo, so don’t get overly excited that a Star Wars and MCU crossover could be in the works. He claimed that if you had asked him if he would have replied “no” 20 years ago, but even with the House of Mouse in control of both kingdoms, he admitted that it would be weird to hear Darth Vader’s labored breathing in Avengers: Secret Wars.
But keep in mind what Ultron said in What If?: “In a Multiverse, everything is conceivable.” It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing we’ve seen in the MCU to have actors like Nyong’o and Jackson perform their Star Wars equivalents for a single episode of the animated anthology.