Star Wars Saved ‘Across the Spider-Verse’

in Marvel, Star Wars

Gwen Stacy looking forward sadly, Darth Vader in Empire Strikes Back, Miles Morales looking forward with worry on his face

Credit: Inside The Magic

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023) was immediately regarded as one of the greatest animated superhero films of all time after it was released. However, it may not have reached that potential if it wasn’t for Star Wars.

Miles Morales and other Spider-People interrupting Spider-Man therapy
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Related: ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’: Every Difference Between the Digital and Theatrical Releases

Across the Spider-Verse is one of the most critically acclaimed and popular films of 2023, with gorgeous animation, epic music, and a wildly talented cast, which includes Shameik Moore (Miles Morales), Hailee Steinfeld (Spider-Gwen), Oscar Isaac (Miguel O’Hara), Jake Johnson (Peter B. Parker), Issa Rae (Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman), and Jason Schwartzman (The Spot).

People have had very few negative things to say about the film. However, if producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller went with an early draft, it may not have been that way. And the team behind the film has Star Wars to thank for it.

WARNING: Spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and The Empire Strikes Back ahead. Read on at your own risk.

‘Across the Spider-Verse’ Took Inspiration From ‘Empire Strikes Back’

miles morales as prowler beyond the spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

One of the most divisive parts of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the cliffhanger ending, which leaves Spider-Man Miles Morales at the mercy of Prowler Miles Morales. Shortly afterward, we also get a glimpse of Gwen forming a super Spider-Team meant to go and rescue Miles. However, a recent interview with directors Justin K. Thompson, Kemp Powers, and Joaquim Dos Santos revealed this was not always the case. According to Thompson:

“I think another one that would probably surprise you is the ending that you just watched, where Spider-Gwen goes out and gathers Peter B. and Mayday and Peni and Noir and Ham, and she kind of gets the band back together to go save Miles, and you’re filled with hope and excitement that, ‘Oh, they’re gonna go back,’ and, ‘Oh, it’s coming! They’re gonna get the band back together,’ — that wasn’t there until about six weeks before the film wrapped.”

C-3PO, R2-D2, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia look out into space
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ Star Teases Live-Action Debut

According to Thompson, they held a screening for the film, and the ending was literally met with boos. So they looked to the greatest middle film of all time: Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

“We actually had a screening and it just ended with Miles on the bag, and everybody was just like, ‘Boo!’ And we went, ‘Oh god, what are we gonna do? We gotta do something.’ We ran back and we quickly scrambled and brainstormed and realized. We went back and watched The Empire Strikes Back again, and said, ‘How did Empire Strikes Back do it?’ And we realized, ‘Oh, they gave you hope at the end.'”

A team of Spider-People, including characters from Across the Spider-Verse and Into the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Related: New ‘Spider-Verse’ Project Coming Soon

Thompson continued:

“‘Okay, we need our Go Rescue Han moment.’ So we boarded it, animated it, put it all together within six weeks, and then screened it again. The audience went through the roof, and we went, ‘Okay!'”

While the new ending still proved controversial for some fans, it is much more satisfying to have Gwen reunite with Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glen), and the rest of the team than to simply have Miles hanging from a punching bag. Now, the hype only grows for the final film in the trilogy, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse (2025).

What did you think of the ending of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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