When Loki debuted on Wednesday, June 4, 2021, Marvel fans were given their first real glimpse of the Marvel Multiverse when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was taken to Time Variance Authority (TVA) headquarters.
Here, we dive into what exactly this means — and how it connects (albeit in a roundabout way) to the Star Wars universe.
First Look at the Marvel Multiverse
In Loki Episode 1 (“Glorious Purpose”), the Asgardian god of Mischief was being charged with crimes against the Sacred Timeline, something he is none too happy about. Upon arrival at the TVA facility, viewers — and Loki himself — are introduced to Miss Minutes, a mid-century style character who leads us on a Schoolhouse Rock-inspired journey through the Multiverse.
This is, officially, the first time the Marvel universe has given fans a glimpse of the Multiverse in the MCU — Miss Minutes introduces the idea of variants, timeline branches, and even Nexus Events (which we now know play a critical role in the rest of Loki Season 1).
While we know that the Multiverse will continue to be explored in upcoming Marvel movie projects and television shows, such as Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Loki’s first installment used the Miss Minutes video to give a refresher to the Marvel fan community and a crash course to newcomers who knew little about the Multiverse or the Multiversal Wars.
What is the first Star Wars Easter egg in Marvel’s Loki?
During the aforementioned video, the variant ahead of Loki in line begins arguing with a Minuteman — a TVA agent — about having to take a ticket (yes, just like at your local DMV) before being sentenced by the judge.
The exasperated variant said, “What is this, a deli?” and, over the course of the disagreement, calls the Minuteman a “buckethead.” Almost immediately, he is vaporized — we think being reset might have been preferable.
In the chaos, the fact that this was actually a pop culture Easter egg is almost lost. As ScreenRant noted:
Buckethead is a reasonable, off-the-cuff insult of the Minutemen. It’s also an epithet for a group of armored authority figures in the Star Wars universe — the Imperial Stormtroopers. While not as well known of an insult as “nerf herder,” it’s been widely used in Star Wars media outside of the films. The insult has been thrown around by characters from Han Solo to Poe Dameron in comics, animated series and novels. It is also the name of a 2018 fan film.
Now that the first season of the MCU series has ended, this crucial Star Wars Easter egg actually did explain a great deal about the TVA and its Agents. Much like Imperial stormtroopers, they, too, were conscripted against their will to follow orders with which they didn’t necessarily agree.
The unfortunate backstories of both Finn (John Boyega) and Jannah (Naomi Ackie) from the Star Wars sequel trilogy — Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) — particularly jump to mind.
Furthermore, as ScreenRant astutely pointed out, the clever reference to stormtroopers:
…might be as sinister as Star Wars’ villainous Empire or the First Order. Whether they prove to be or not, being painted with that brush is a natural consequence for policing a beat as expansive as the entire timestream. Audiences will find out if the TVA turns out to be as bad as the bucketheads’ masters as Loki’s run continues.
We now know, of course, that the Time Variance Authority Agents themselves weren’t inherently evil — though we don’t know what choices, exactly, Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) and Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) will make in Season 2 now that they know they actually have free will.
Other Star Wars Easter Eggs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is a known Star Wars fan — he’s even working on an upcoming Star Wars project with Loki head writer Michael Waldron — so the Marvel Cinematic Universe is actually chock full of Star Wars references.
However, there is one trope in particular that Feige has used over and over again, and it’s seen in Loki Episode 5 (“Journey Into Mystery”). The installment reintroduces various versions of Loki that were introduced in the Episode 4 (“The Nexus Event”) post credits scene — including Kid Loki (Jack Veal), Alligator Loki, Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant), and President Loki (Tom Hiddleston, again) — find themselves in an underground bunker. At one point, Alligator Loki chomps President Loki’s hand off, leaving him with nothing more than a bloody stump where his body part once was.
This was a clear reference to the Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) scene in which Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) hacks off the hand of his son, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The famous cinematic moment occurs during the lightsaber duel on Bespin’s Cloud City just before the Dark Lord of the Sith reveals that he is, in fact, Luke’s father.
Feige himself has confirmed that this Star Wars film reference “didn’t start out as intentional, but it became intentional.” He previously shared with CinemaBlend:
“It sort of happens in every ‘Star Wars’ movie, but I was sort of looking at it, ‘Okay, is Phase 2 our ‘Empire Strikes Back’?’ Not really, but tonally things are a little different. … Somebody gets their arm cut off in every Phase 2 movie — every single one.”
What Is the Star Wars Easter Egg in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?
While The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Star Wars reference seemed to be purely for fun, the recent Loki stormtrooper reference might actually have more far-reaching implications within the MCU as we continue to learn more about the Time Variance Authority.
How the Time Variance Authority (TVA) headquarters Is Connected to Star Wars
Future of the TVA in the Marvel Multiverse
While we don’t yet know for sure what the future of the TVA is, it has become clear that WandaVision and Loki were even more connected than anyone knew — and the fact that both Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch are set to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness alongside Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorceror Supreme indicates that we may very well see the TVA pop up again in one timeline or another in that movie.
Furthermore, the Time Variance Authority is sure to play a major role in the newly confirmed second season of Loki, which does not have a release date at this time.
What do you think? Was this Loki Star Wars Easter egg just a fun reference to Kevin Feige’s love for the Star Wars galaxy or something deeper?
You can currently catch the entire Star Wars Skywalker Saga — plus series like The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: The Bad Batch –, and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe library — including Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Captain America: Civil War — on Disney+.