The MCU version of Spider-Man is a bit different from some other portrayals of the character. He’s a lot younger when he first appears in Civil War than he’s generally depicted in the comics, and this gives him an interesting position among the Avengers. Spider-Man is the underdog, the geek who looks up to his fellow superheroes and loves to talk about all the movies he’s seen.
And there’s a surprisingly high number of those movies that coincide with the people he adventures with, interestingly enough. For example, he says he’s seen Empire Strikes Back–so, if he’s seen the other Star Wars movies, he’d find people like Nick Fury and Jane Foster quite familiar-looking.
In a few one-off gags, Holland’s Peter Parker makes the older Avengers feel downright ancient when he calls Star Wars and Aliens “these really old movies” that he’d seen before. In both instances, he uses these “old” movies as inspiration for plans to take down various villains. However, these one-liners open up a few interesting questions. For instance, does Peter Parker realize how similar Nick Fury looks to Mace Windu?
Nick Fury is played by Samuel L. Jackson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jackson also portrayed Mace Windu in the three Star Wars prequels. While Parker doesn’t say that he’s seen the prequels, it’s easy to picture Holland’s version of the character watching the beloved space operas and talking about his favorite characters with his buddy Ned.
So, when Parker finally meets Nick Fury, it’s a bit funny to picture him realizing how eerily similar the director of SHIELD looks to the purple saber-wielding Jedi Master Mace Windu. But how would the text of the films even address something so meta-textual? This might be a case of the films simply glossing over a meaningless detail, but it does offer some funny fan theory fodder.
For instance, some fans have speculated that Peter simply doesn’t recognize how similar the two look due to the extreme circumstances under which he meets Fury. The youthful Avenger might not know how to weave the fun fact of who Fury looks like into a casual conversation when the two are working to stop Mysterio from taking over Tony Stark’s network of AI-controlled drones. Or maybe Peter just didn’t watch the prequels!
Assuming Peter has seen the prequels, he might also find Thor’s pal Jane Foster to look quite familiar. She’s played by the unmistakable Natalie Portman. While Foster plays a significant role in the first and second Thor films, she somewhat took a backseat in the MCU until her swan song outing in Thor: Love and Thunder, in which she finally picks up the hammer Mjolnir herself and becomes the Mighty Thor.
If Peter was watching the news or keeping up with his pal Thor, he might have noticed that Jane bears a striking resemblance to Padme Amidala, the queen of Naboo and the mother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Given that these two characters never appear onscreen together, this is a somewhat more disjointed theory than the Nick Fury connection. However, it raises some similar hilarious questions.
Fans can easily picture the dorky, awkward Parker having a conversation with Thor and the God of Thunder showing his young ally a picture of his beloved Jane. Parker, not knowing what else to say, could simply blurt out, “wow, she looks just like Natalie Portman!” Thor would likely be confused at first, but a hilarious Google search later would reveal that Parker has the right idea.
Another film that Peter mentions in passing during the events of Avengers: Infinity War is Aliens. This classic sci-fi flick offers a great piece of advice to Peter and Tony Stark in the form of a surefire way to deal with the telekinetic villain Ebony Maw. As Maw monologues, Tony shoots the wall behind him, pulling him into the vacuum of space and reducing Thanos’s number of lieutenants down to just three.
This also means that Peter has seen Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, the no-nonsense protagonist of the Alien franchise. And, believe it or not, Weaver has also been in the MCU, though she hasn’t appeared on the big screen. She plays the villainous Alexandra Reid in the Netflix series The Defenders, a crossover between Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.
Reid is one of the five founding members of the Hand, known as the Five Fingers. She’s been alive for centuries and is one of the most dangerous villains in the MCU. That is until the Defenders arrive and put a stop to her plans. If Spider-Man had happened to bump into Reid during the brief time they were both active in New York in 2016, Peter might have recognized the startling similarities between Reid and Ellen Ripley.
This next one is a bit more of a stretch, but bear with me. So, if Peter’s seen Aliens, there’s a good chance he’s seen the prequel, Prometheus. And, if he’s seen Prometheus, he knows that Michael Fassbender plays the sentient android, David, in that film and its sequel. And, as luck would have it, Fassbender also plays the younger version of Magneto in the X-Men series.
While the MCU and Fox’s X-Men franchise haven’t had many direct crossovers yet, it looks like the arrival of the mutants to the MCU is inevitable. Doctor Strange has already met with a variant of Patrick Stewart’s rendition of Professor Xavier, so it seems possible that other mutants could make their way to the main “616” continuity, where Peter lives.
With any luck, Peter could team up with the X-Men to try to take down the dangerous Brotherhood of Mutants. Magneto leads that group with a steely determination, and it would be hilarious to see Spider-Man trying to put his finger on why the Master of Magnetism looks so familiar. Then again, with the studio making so many casting changes in the wake of its acquisition of Fox, it’s hard to say whether they’ll still want to tap Fassbender to portray the character.