Prequel Trilogy,  The Phantom Menace

Syfy Wire explores the similarities between Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

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From Syfy Wire:

“After watching Avengers: Infinity War for a second time, I was struck by the last third of the film and sought out other films to help bring nuance to my understanding of Thanos’ victory. As I did a lot of soul-searching, I realized the two perfect films to complement Infinity War were Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.

Why these two films? Specifically, I think they add context and understanding to what is going on in Infinity War and we can take the feelings from these films and bring them into Infinity War, enhancing that experience.

To start, let’s look at The Phantom Menace. One of the central themes of The Phantom Menace is that everyone is interconnected, even when they don’t want to admit that. In the end, they live or die together despite their differences. At the beginning of the film, the Naboo and the Gungans are at odds and dislike each other so much the Gungans hide in their cities and ignore the surface dwellers, much like the Wakandans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the events of Black Panther, T’challa finds that the isolationism of his people has been a detriment to his world the same way the Gungans find that they cannot survive without participating with the rest of society.

To that end, both the Wakandans and Gungans, with their superior shield technology, take to a literal field of battle to face off against a superior foe in hopes of buying time for the real mission to be accomplished. In The Phantom Menace, this comes in the form of Queen Amidala capturing Nute Gunray, the leader of the Trade Federation. For the Wakandans and heroes of Infinity War, this comes in protecting The Vision while his Infinity Stone is removed so that he can live and they can thwart Thanos’ goal of getting the Mind Stone. It’s awe-inspiring to watch a people as proud as the Wakandans or the Gungans put aside their differences for the rest of the world and take up arms in a desperate, self-sacrificing battle to defend all that is good in the galaxy.

The Phantom Menace has a broader theme of helping those in need even though it might not directly benefit you. This is why Qui-Gon helps Jar Jar. It’s why Anakin helps Qui-Gon by volunteering for the pod race. It’s why the Gungans and the Naboo unite to defeat the Trade Federation. In Kurt Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan, he wrote about how a world couldn’t be united unless the people of that world had a common enemy, and that’s what the Sith and Thanos provided for the residents of Naboo and Earth, respectively.

And, like The Phantom Menace, the heroes of the MCU appear to win at the end, only to be defeated by the superior machinations of their foe. In Phantom Menace, the battle ends with a Sith Lord elevated to the Chancellorship of the Republic, thereby controlling the galaxy so that he might create a slaughter as thorough as Thanos’.

Not only are there thematic similarities, there are many visual ones as well, most notably the image of the all-encompassing shield over the battlefield. Then, on a more focused scale, you have the front line of Wakandans bearing the same shield technology the same way the Gungan Grand Army does as the battle droids break through the shields. Although the Phantom Menace version of this is much more kid friendly, the similarities are apparent. […]”

 

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