Warning - This article contains spoilers for the series premiere of Loki.
Pulling parallels from the history of film is a tool used by writers and directors to make audiences feel at home.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has never shied away from this technique as fans have seen everything from the detached limbs of the Star Wars franchise to an homage to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off from Spider-Man.
In an exclusive interview with The Direct, the head writer of Loki Michael Waldron brought up a movie that makes everyone feel like a kid again.
TO INFINITY STONES AND BEYOND
During Loki's first episode, the Marvel anti-hero, while alone in the TVA's Time Theater, watches his destined future and ultimate death at the hands of Thanos. In one of the most chilling shots of the premiere, Loki laughs at his previous ideology of “Glorious Purpose," which is the fitting title of the debut installment.
The Direct asked Michael Waldron what went into that decision to give such a climatic character arc in the first 40 minutes.
"That was day one in the writer's room. That was our big breakthrough on our very first day. We wanted to advance this Loki to a place where he understood the arch his other self went through. "
The head writer went on to mention how the writer's room "talked a lot" about Toy Story and used the Pixar film as an inspiration for how they wanted The God of Mischief to feel during such a pivotal sequence.
"We talked a lot about Toy Story with that sequence. ..When Buzz Lightyear finally realizes he is just a toy, and he is laying with his arm broken on the ground, that is Loki in that moment. We wanted to bring him to his knees before he gets an opportunity to go work with the TVA."
NOT YOUR FATHERS GOD OF MISCHIEF
One of the biggest questions coming into Loki was if fans were going to see this variant of Loki see his fate in the movies that audiences have all seen before.
The decision to bring this revelation in the first 40 minutes is similar to Avengers: Endgame where the first 25 minutes of the film handled most of the expected story beats going in.
Having Loki soak in these experiences from a third-party perspective accelerates the story and gives audiences a brand-new Loki to continue this journey with, allowing Waldron and his team even more room to tell their own story.
Episode One of Loki is available to stream now on Disney+.