The airport fight in Captain America: Civil War may go down as one of the best MCU sequences of all time, partly because of Spider-Man’s amazing Empire Strikes Back reference.
Not only does the scene feature Spider-Man suited up and meeting the rest of the Avengers for the first time, but the airport sequence in Civil War also includes things like a giant Ant-Man, and the heroes battling one another as they try to sort out their future. Come to think of it, Peter Parker had a heckuva first task from Iron Man: Meet the best super heroes of all time, and then fight half of them.
But there’s one moment during this scene that can only be described as pop culture bliss: It’s when Spider-Man figures out that the best way to take down Giant Ant-Man is to tie him up like an AT-AT enemy in Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Despite Marvel and Lucasfilm being under the same parent company, there wasn’t any sort of scene in which we see Spidey watching the fifth Star Wars in Civil War (though how cool would that have been to see during the credits?). So, below you can watch the Empire Strike Back scene Spider-Man was inspired by to bring down Paul Rudd’s Giant Ant-Man.
Skip to 1 minute, 15 seconds, and you’ll see the scene in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back that Spider-Man is referring to, in which an AT-AT Walker is taken down by getting its legs tied up.
Dialogue wise, here’s how the scene plays out in Civil War:
- Spider-Man: Hey guys, you ever see that really old movie, Empire Strikes Back?
- War Machine: Jesus, Tony, how old is this guy?
- Iron Man: I don’t know, I didn’t carbon date him. He’s on the young side.
The fact that Spider-Man is so young in Civil War is one of the biggest reasons why this new version of the character works so well in Captain America 3. He’s the youngest Avenger by a long shot, meaning he brings a fresh voice and a new perspective on the world.
This Empire Strikes Back reference has been so well-received, we’re imagining that next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming will be littered with a bunch more pop culture references. We recently learned that the movie will co-star Robert Downey Jr., who will surely bring a lot of humor to the movie. The Tony Stark/Spider-Man relationship in Civil War was awesome, and we can’t wait to see more of it in 2017 and beyond.