Avengers: Infinity War has left us with a nagging question, beyond the obvious ones: what does Peter Parker really mean when he says “really old movie”? Yes, it’s funny and accurate to note that The Empire Strikes Back is an old movie by the standards of a high-school kid today. We wouldn’t and shouldn’t be too surprised to hear kids dismiss it as such. But why would anyone dismissing it take the time, effort, and money to buy and build a LEGO Death Star?
The joke makes a recurrence in Infinity War, where he references another really old movie: Aliens; it’s probably not coincidence that both old movies are sequels widely considered as good as or better than the original, and we can likely expect a T2 reference next. Using his knowledge of the Aliens ending, he has Stark blast a hole in the side of the spaceship they’re in so that Ebony Maw will be sucked out into space. But here’s the thing: there are four Alien franchise movies that end with the xenomorph being sucked out into space, and one of them just came out last year. If Parker likes science fiction, as all the evidence suggests he does…he didn’t see Alien: Covenant? We could of course make the same point about Star Wars: if he’s enough of a fan to buy a giant LEGO set–or at least enthusiastically help build it with a friend who bought one–wouldn’t he have seen the more recent Star Wars movies, and not consider the franchise “old”? (And would he have made this reference to a Fox movie before Disney and Fox made nice?)
The only appropriate conclusion: He’s using “really old” ironically, to get a rise out of his fellow Avengers. It’s possible he got into the habit to razz Aunt May, and can’t help it now. He also didn’t pay close enough attention to make sure everyone including himself was securely tied down before making the hole; having seen the movie, he should know that hand-strength holding on to a web won’t cut it. Unless, of course, in the brief moment he and Tony were off-camera, Tony gave him the heads up about the four bonus appendages that were about to spring out from his back.
Let’s say that is what happened. Where’s our Marvel No-Prize?
But then there’s another question. If the Alien franchise exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then who, exactly, were the Defenders fighting?
Give us your thoughts and theories in comments.
Images: 20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios, Netflix