Note: Very mild spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy and the Star Wars movies are in this article
As you may have read, there are rumors of Star Wars and Marvel crossing over on the big screen. This is possible because both properties are owned by Disney, so it is legal. However, there are mixed responses by the fans of both franchises. While some would like to see an epic crossover, others think that they should stay separate. As a fan of both, I have mixed feelings. After a lot of thought, I think I have devised the proper way to execute what could be one of the highest grossing and exciting cinematic events of all time! Many people would say that this cannot work because they are in separate universes, plain and simple. While the Star Wars "universe" and the Marvel "universe" are separate entities, I believe that they exist in the same physical universe, which is the same universe that we occupy.
First, let's examine the Marvel universe. I believe it to take place in two galaxies within the universe. The majority of the Marvel universe takes place on Earth. For the purposes of this article, the planet Earth sits within the galaxy that I will call Galaxy Earth. It took place exclusively in this galaxy until 2014, when Guardians of the Galaxy came out. Something to note is that I am not very well-versed in the Thor franchise, so if someone would like to explain its relationship to the rest of the galaxies, it would be much appreciated.
This movie introduced us to the idea of multiple galaxies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Almost the entire movie takes place in another galaxy, which for the purposes of this article, I will call Galaxy GOTG. So now we know that there are at least two galaxies in the Marvel universe. But is there a way to travel between them? Once again, Guardians of the Galaxy lends us the answer. The first scene takes place with a young Peter Quill on Earth (and in Galaxy Earth). At the end of this scene he is taken by the Ravagers, who come from Galaxy GOTG, and by the next scene they are all in Galaxy GOTG. This shows us that intergalactic travel is possible in the Marvel Universe.
Now that we have determined that there are multiple galaxies, and the ability to travel between them,a in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, how does that include the Star Wars movies? The answer to that is at the beginning of every Star Wars movie.
That's right, the Star Wars movies themselves tell us that while they take place in a galaxy far, far away, it is a galaxy in our universe. There is no indication of any other universe, alternate dimension, or alternate timeline. For the purposes of this article I will call it Galaxy SW. So, while it would take a lot of time or a futuristic vehicle, if we traveled far enough, we would reach Galaxy SW. If Galaxy SW is in the same universe as Galaxy Earth, then it would also be in the same universe as all the galaxies that are in the same universe as Galaxy Earth. Of course, I am talking about Galaxy GOTG. So, for all the naysayers who say we cannot have a Star Wars and Marvel crossover because they exist in separate universes, we can now prove to them that indeed Chewbacca, Groot, and Iron Man could all exist in the same place.
However, just because they can meet up does not mean they should. While intergalactic travel is possible, it is rare. I do not suggest a meeting of Galaxy Earth characters and Galaxy SW characters because no one from either galaxy has shown the ability to travel between galaxies. Instead, I suggest Galaxy GOTG characters travel to Galaxy SW because they possess the vehicles and potentially the motivation to travel intergalactically. However, it´s not simply a matter of Peter Quill becoming a Jedi or C3PO becoming a Guardian of the Galaxy. That is because there is an issue of time. Galaxy Earth and Galaxy GOTG are both presumably taking place in real time. Because Guardians of the Galaxy came out in 2014, its events presumably took place in 2014. This is not the case for Star Wars. I refer back to the part of the opening sequence of Star Wars movies. It clearly indicates that the events of the movies take place a long time ago in addition to occurring in a far away galaxy. This means that most of the events and characters of the Star Wars movies are no longer around today, especially considering the high mortality rates and quick changes of power that take place in that galaxy. Sure, some characters with more longevity lived through the events of all seven Star Wars movies and some time before that (namely Maz Kanata, Snoke, and maybe some droids). We know that the events in all of the Star Wars movies to date occurred over an unspecified period of time that I estimate to be at least 40 years. However, all seven of the Star Wars movies took place "a long time ago" (whatever that means). So, even if a character was able to live for 1000 years leading up to episode I, and through all seven episodes, they are still "a long time" away from present day. Because of the ambiguity of "a long time" and the unlikely longevity of the majority of characters, I think it would be a stretch to see familiar Star Wars characters in a crossover taking place in present day. Also, if one of the characters in Galaxy GOTG were to travel to the massive Galaxy SW, it is unlikely that they would end up in the same place as a familiar character. If I do not think this is how Marvel and Star Wars should crossover, then how do I think they should?
I think the ideal crossover would take place in a future Guardians of the Galaxy Movie (or a least a MCU movie with those characters), and would involve locations or maybe an object within Galaxy SW. The whole movie would not take place in Galaxy SW. Rather, the SW crossover would be a small, but critical part of the rising action. For example, Peter Quill could travel to Galaxy SW to obtain a light saber in order to battle a villain or the Guardians could dispose of a persistent henchman in the Sarlacc pit. This way, fans of both franchises would enjoy seeing a small nod to the other world without it being overdone or unnecessary. If there were no motivation for a Galaxy GOTG character to travel to Galaxy SW, then fans would feel that this is a gratuitous move by Disney that is insulting to both franchises. But if there is real reason for it to happen, such as acquiring a light saber or using the Sarlacc pit, fans would be delighted to see the unique aspects of each franchise being used by the other.
Can you think of any other ways that they could be crossed over using my parameters? Let me know in the comments!