Marvel Studios' Eternals is now officially streaming on Disney+, giving fans the opportunity to analyze and dissect every scene and frame from the MCU's 26th theatrical adventure. Featuring the usual round of Easter eggs along with teases and hints towards Marvel Studios' cosmic future, Chloé Zhao's epic story made its mark in multiple ways on the MCU's growing narrative.
As has been the case in many past MCU projects, Eternals gave fans a few fun real-world Easter eggs to enjoy throughout the plot, even referencing projects that have never been used before in MCU history. Included in this were direct references to arguably the two most popular heroes in DC Comics history when Gilgamesh compared Karun to Alfred from the Batman legacy and when Phastos' son thought Ikaris looked like Superman.
Also seen in Phastos' house was a Star Wars coloring book, continuing a trend that Marvel Studios has long used due to the fact that both Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios are under Disney's watch. Upon further inspection, this wasn't even the only Star Wars reference that Eternals utilized, although the newest discovery became a first in any MCU movie.
Star Wars Fully Meets the MCU
Reddit user u/OscarTMJ recently pointed out an Easter egg in Marvel Studios' Eternals, which became available to stream on Disney+ on Wednesday, January 12.
During the team's flight on Kingo's private plane, Richard Madden's Ikaris is seen sitting next to Gemma Chan's Sersi as they explore the aging app on her iPhone and laugh about the results.
Above the bar, the TV screen is playing Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back as the team travels to Australia.
Although the MCU has referenced George Lucas' saga many times, this is the first time that actual footage from a Star Wars movie has been shown on screen in a Marvel Studios project, reaffirming the franchise's existence in the MCU narrative.
Looking at the scene in question from Episode V, Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia Organa appears on-screen as she tells Harrison Ford's Han Solo "I love you."
Before Solo is frozen in carbonite, he gives the iconic "I know" reply to Leia, returning the sentiment in style just before being frozen into the carbonite on Cloud City.
The MCU's History with Star Wars Nods
For those who have watched the MCU over the last few years, this is far from the first time Marvel has referenced pop culture's most famous galaxy far, far away. Outside of every movie in Phase 4 paying tribute to The Empire Strikes Back by having a character lose a hand, other movies have contained their own Easter eggs directly referencing Star Wars.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier included the franchise as a part of Steve Rogers' catch-up list, while Civil War depicts Peter Parker's iconic moment in which he recreated the AT-AT takedown scene from the Battle of Hoth in Episode V. Additionally, all three of Spidey's solo movies have featured nods to Star Wars, such as the LEGO Death Star set and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury mentioning the series when he gave Peter the EDITH glasses.
Eternals takes things to a new level with this specific Easter egg, as it's the first time that the MCU has included real footage from any of the Star Wars movies or TV shows. Additionally, there may be an even deeper level to this nod beyond simply having the classic film be the team's in-flight movie on Kingo's jet.
Leia & Han Mirroring Ikaris and Sersi?
The scene shown from Star Wars' iconic sequel featured the first time Han Solo and Leia expressed their love for each other, which would continue in future projects over the next few decades. Interestingly, their love mirrors a similar situation for Ikaris and Sersi, who are interacting with each other in Eternals while the Star Wars scene plays in the background.
The two Eternals were separated for about a thousand years until they reunited in the post-Avengers: Endgame narrative after they'd spent millennia in love with one another. Having these two come back together at the same time that Han and Leia are bonding so closely in Star Wars is an intriguing parallel between the widely-popular franchises.
In the end, Star Wars is one of the easiest properties for Marvel to use in Easter eggs due to the fact that Disney owns both of them, meaning it didn't cost any money to include footage from Episode V in Eternals. However, this one in particular made more of an impact than Star Wars nods of the past, and hopefully, it won't be the last of its kind in Phase 4 and beyond.
Eternals is now available to stream on Disney+.