When Marvel Studios’ latest project, What If…?, debuted on August 11, 2021, Marvel fans couldn’t wait to see reimagined versions of their favorite MCU storylines, featuring many live-action Marvel stars as voice actors.
“I was kinda notorious for trying to get a Star Wars character involved. We did try at one point but it’s kind of like ‘Play with the sandbox that you were given. We gave you the entire MCU, run with that. I was like, okay, but still, Luke Skywalker would be an amazing Avenger.”
Although this crossover event didn’t come to fruition, the Star Wars franchise actually already has its own version of What If…? in the form of Star Wars Infinities, an oft-forgotten Dark Horse Comics series that ran from 2001-2004.
The series heavily featured Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher in the original trilogy) and what would have happened if her decisions had been dramatically different than they were in George Lucas’s actual original trilogy — Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).
The comics feature all of Star Wars fans’ favorite characters, including Leia, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Obi-Wan ‘Old Ben’ Kenobi (Alec Guinness), and Yoda (Frank Oz), but with drastically altered storylines.
In the A New Hope Infinities story, for example:
…Luke’s torpedo that should have destroyed the Death Star misfired, leaving the base fully operational. The Empire deals a fatal blow to the Rebel Alliance and captures Princess Leia in the ensuing battle. Believing Leia dead and with no Rebellion left to fight in, Luke follows Obi-Wan’s instructions and heads to Dagobah, where he completes his Jedi training before reemerging when Leia reappears. Losing both her home and the Rebellion proved too much for her, and she gave in to her hate and fear, becoming a vocal supporter of the Empire and the apprentice Darth Vader sought in Luke. Luke, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Yoda head to Coruscant to face the Sith Lords, leading to a lightsaber duel between Leia and Luke.
Infinities is described as:
…a group of four-part comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics.
The comics tell the stories of alternate histories to the original trilogy, therefore making them non-canonical, unlike most comics, which are considered canon. Each comic tells the story of what would have happened if certain key events in their respective canon sources had played out differently. Each “episode” picks up from where the original story leaves off, so therefore, none of them are related to each other.
More on Marvel’s What If…?
The show, which marks the MCU’s first foray into animation, is officially described as:
What If…? flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Coming to Disney+ in Summer 2021, Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. The series is directed by Bryan Andrews; Ashley Bradley is head writer.
MCU Avengers franchise stars who returned to offer their voice talent include Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/the Hulk), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), Michael B. Jordan (Erik “Killmonger” Stevens), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier), and late actor Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther).
Have you read Star Wars Infinities?