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Disney owns two of the largest pop culture franchises in the world, and if the powers that be really wanted to, they could marry the Star Wars and Marvel universes into one shared franchise. In fact, the head writer for Marvel's What If...?, AC Bradley, recently spoke about how he pitched the idea about incorporating a Star Wars character in on the action, only to be shut down.
That news may be disappointing to some fans, but I'm certainly thrilled to hear that Marvel Studios and Disney at large are exercising restraint in any talk of combining the two universes, at least when it comes to movies and television. There are many reasons to hope and pray that no one with the power to make it happen fully incorporates the Marvel and Star Wars universes, and there's plenty of evidence to suggest it would end in more people being upset than happy.
Neither Would Benefit From Being Included In Each Other's Worlds
The rules in Star Wars and Marvel are loose enough when it comes to lore, and things would get pretty off the wall quickly if both universes existed within each other. Like, if the Force existed in Star Wars' universe, then there'd almost have to be Marvel heroes with midi-chlorians, right? Or who's to say that all Jedi aren't just mutants with some specific type of skillset unique to their galaxy?
These are the types of nonsensical questions that are fun to discuss in a rhetorical situation, but would be an absolute nightmare for any screenwriter or team to actually address in a serious manner. Also, let's think for a minute about how many problems are created when there's a high likelihood that other Marvel heroes traveling the cosmos can totally stumble upon the Star Wars galaxy at any moment? I mean, I guess you can say "Star Wars took place a long time ago," but that argument is a lot weaker with a time traveler like Kang The Conqueror running around.
The truth of the matter is that there's no real benefit to Star Wars joining Marvel canon, or vice versa. The only real party that gains from that is Disney, as there would no doubt be any shortage of people that would line up and pay a premium to see it happen. Hell, I'm openly advocating against it happening, but if it did, I know I'd be in line with the rest hoping with every fiber of my being that I'm wrong. With that said, Disney is right to show restraint, because there's no real benefit beyond profit for why these two franchises should marry.
Most Franchise Crossovers Aren't Great
I feel like I shouldn't have to say this given the recent panned reviews of Space Jam: A New Legacy, but throwing a bunch of licensed characters together doesn't immediately culminate in a good project. Alien vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason, Pixels and Rugrats Go Wild are all perfect examples that throwing a bunch of recognized properties together is only half the battle. There also needs to be a great script, and even when you have a story as great as Ready Player One, fans can still leave the experience disappointed.
Hell, let's even take from a popular crossover that fans begged for that actually took place in the same universe, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There was tons of lore that featured Batman and Superman team-ups, but even with two of the world's biggest heroes, critics panned the movie and audiences remain polarized to this day. One way the movie did win was at the box office, which goes back to my point the studios are really the only ones who benefit from these types of crossovers.
The point I'm making is that many franchises have tried the mega-crossover fans have wanted in the past, and more often than not, it's been a real dud. There's no reason to think the same wouldn't ultimately happen with a Marvel and Star Wars crossover in television or movies, and again, it's completely unnecessary. Unless, of course, you're a studio looking to make heaps of money,
Once The Bell Is Rung, You Can't Unring It
The biggest problem with a Star Wars and Marvel crossover is that once it happens, there's no going back. Even something as innocent as a non-canon What If...? episode would lead to a multitude of questions from the press about when and how exactly the next crossover will happen, and fans will do exactly the same thing. There will be no escaping it if the initial crossover is good, and it will weigh down what both franchises are trying to do creatively.
If it's bad, it will never be forgotten. Let's take the Star Wars Holiday Special, for example, which, as of writing, is still not on Disney+. Other de-canonized shows and movies are on there, so why not that one? Well, we don't know that answer for sure, but I can speculate that given the special was critically panned at the time and widely recognized as a colossal misstep by Star Wars, it's not something Disney would like to openly promote viewing. And yet, it was so bad that people haven't forgotten, and copies of the special are still widely available on the internet.
My fear is that like with most mega-crossovers, the real thrill is in the fact that it happened and the anticipation of what it will be. Expectations are often lofty, and it's rare that they deliver. It's just a sad truth, and if you think people's expectations for a Star Wars and Marvel crossover wouldn't be sky-high, you must not follow the discourse for each individual franchise. Luckily, it seems like there are still plenty of people in charge like Kevin Feige who don't seem at all receptive to seeing an idea like that outside of the world of Marvel Comics, so television and movies are safe from this idea for now.
Catch all the Marvel and Star Wars fun (separately) over on Disney+, which you can sign up for with this link. Also, be sure to keep with CinemaBlend for the latest on either franchise or to just relax and take our fun new Avengers quiz.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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