It's no secret that Marvel and Star Wars share the same home due to the fact that they are within the confines of Disney's ownership. Given that fact, fans have toyed with the idea of a potential crossover between the two franchises, but there has been no development on that front at any point through the years.
Still, the MCU did reference George Lucas' galactic franchise during Phase 2 of the Infinity Saga. During the Marvel chapter, somebody gets their arm cut off in every Phase 2 film, which is a clear reference to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Despite the tribute, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige admitted that a crossover between Marvel and Star Wars is unlikely to happen since he doesn't think "there's any reason for it."
At this stage, the closest crossover between the two franchises would be sharing filming technology from The Mandalorian. However, the MCU's first animated venture, What If...?, might've given hope that Star Wars could cross paths with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, mainly due to the comments of head writer A.C. Bradley.
In a previous interview, Bradley revealed that Marvel rejected a potential Luke Skywalker cameo in a What If...? episode. While this could be a downer for fans, it seems that the creatives behind the series still managed to sneak in a reference to the galaxy far, far, away.
What If Star Wars is MCU canon?
The penultimate episode of What If...? might have included multiple Star Wars references and locations.
Jeffrey Wright's The Watcher and Ultron had a major scuffle in the episode, leading both individuals to different corners of the multiverse.
During the climactic battle of the latest installment, Ultron's universe-bending punch to the Watcher briefly transported them through a location that appears to be none other than Mustafar, a fictional world in the Star Wars universe. The futuristic architecture surrounded by the lava landscape closely resembles the structures featured on the planet as seen in Revenge of the Sith.
Mustafar is a popular planet in Star Wars lore, mainly thanks to the fiery world being the birthplace of the franchise's villain, Darth Vader. It is a small planet located in the Mustafar system, within the Atravis sector of the galaxy's Outer Rim.
This is where the famous battle between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi happened during Revenge of the Sith. On top of that, Mustafar is also briefly featured in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Meanwhile, another Star Wars location may have inspired the visuals of a second world that The Watcher and Ultron passed through during their scuffle. The two characters land on a planet filled with tall, odd-looking trees that look quite similar to those found on Star Wars' Felucia planet.
For context, Felucia is a colorful, humid jungle planet located in the Felucia system of the galaxy's Outer Rim. The planet made its Star Wars debut during 2005's Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
What If the Second Season Follows This Trend?
While this Easter egg has yet to be confirmed by the creatives from What If...?, many would agree that the inclusion of these familiar Star Wars locations is a mind-blowing development.
Interestingly, before Ultron and the Watcher's big battle, the episode included a brief reference to Star Wars that paved the way for the franchise's Easter eggs.
During Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton's search for Arnim Zola's files in the Siberian Hydra base, the latter almost gives up, pointing out that the "Death Star plans" are not in the main computer.
What If...? is no stranger when it comes to exploring intriguing realities set within the multiverse, but these major Star Wars Easter eggs definitely took it up a notch. In a way, A.C. Bradley's passionate comments about including Star Wars legend Luke Skywalker into the fold could serve as the biggest clue to why these galactic references ended up in the episode.
It's possible that the behind-the-scenes creatives from What If...? included Mustafar and Felucia to test the reactions of eagle-eyed fans. It is unknown if the Star Wars references will continue in the show's already-confirmed second season, but these Easter eggs appear to be a good start.
In many ways, exploring the potential of a Marvel and Star Wars crossover in the animated realm first seems to be the best way to go. This is on top of the fact that What If...? is literally showcasing the multiverse where, in Ultron's words from the most recent episode, anything is possible.
The first eight episodes of What If...? are now streaming on Disney+.