The Star Wars and Marvel movies have a lot in common. Both brands are owned by Disney, both are among the biggest box office successes of their time, and both inspire and build upon rich and detailed back stories. But there's another thing that connects them, as Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige recently explained to Cinema Blend — maimings. Every movie in the comic company's "phase two" — from Iron Man 3 to the still-unreleased Ant-Man — will see a character lose an arm, in a deliberate homage to Star Wars.
Feige, who is "obsessed with Star Wars," said that the "tribute" wasn't deliberate at first, but became intentional when the studio realized the connection. George Lucas' movie series is rife with enforced amputations. Luke Skywalker loses a hand to Darth Vader, who in turn loses one to his son, after having most of his limbs lopped off by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Just for good measure, Revenge of the Sith antagonist Count Dooku and Jedi Master Mace Windu — played by Samuel L. Jackson — also have their hands removed by lightsaber.
Every single phase two movie has a character lose an arm
Dig through Marvel's recent movies and you'll find nods to this trend in Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. According to Feige, the soon-to-be-released Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron also feature amputations, continuing the brutal easter eggs for fans of both series. The adoption of the motif comes at the same time as a darker shift for Marvel. Feige says the six movies that make up phase two aren't intended to be the studio's Empire Strikes Back — a gloomy middle period before a triumphant closer — but acknowledges that "tonally things are a little different."