Two of the most popular movie franchises of all time have finally collided as Sebastian Stan, the one-time Winter Soldier from the Avengers, has made his way to a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars and Marvel have a lot in common. For starters, they’re both owned by the mega-entertainment giant Disney. They also both possess complex universes with expansive stories. Both have been popularized through film and comics, and they boast some of the top-grossing films of all time, with Avengers: End Game (2019) and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015). Their fans are also famously insatiable and challenging to keep happy. If content sways from what has worked in the past, the internet will let directors know.
As Marvel has moved on from their glory days of Chris Evans as Captain America and Iron Man, Lucasfilm has started to dive deeper into the outer rims of Star Wars stories and lore. As new characters abound in both properties, the two franchises have begun to see a lot of cross-over in terms of acting. The late Ray Stevenson, who currently plays Bayaln Skoll in Dave Filoni’s Ahsoka on Disney+, once played the Asgardian Volstagg in 2011’s Thor. Natalie Portman, who played Padme Amidala, the mother of Luke and Leia Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, also recently returned to her role as Jane Foster, Lady Thor, in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022). Probably most notable, Samuel L. Jackson, who played alongside Portman in the Star Wars prequels as Jedi Master Mace Windu, is no stranger to Marvel as he’s played SHIELD director Nick Fury since the early days of the Avengers.
The two brands are becoming increasingly familiar with each other as they expand their stories and incorporate new plots and characters. In fact, eagle-eyed viewers may have even noticed an exciting nod to Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) in Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness (2022) when the former Avenger takes an unscheduled trip through the Multiverse alongside America Chavez. For a quick second, while ripping through the fabric of space and time, Star Wars seems to become cannon in the MCU when the two heroes find themselves flying high above Mustafar, the lava-field planet where Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battle it out. Of course, those up-to-speed with both Marvel and Star Wars will both note this not-so-subtle film reference to the inclusion of Jon Favreau, who’s worked inclusively with both franchises for decades, aiding Dave Filoni with The Mandalorian and playing as Happy Hogan alongside Robert Downey Jr.
As both franchises look for new stories to tell, while keeping their loyal fan bases engaged, one way in which both have found success is to introduce past story lines of popular leads. With new technologies like facial mapping available, we’ve seen stories like Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War (2016) dig deep into the past bringing younger versions of our favorite characters back to life. Star Wars is no stranger to this technique as we’ve recently seen the same technology used to bring a young Luke Skywalker back to the screen in The Mandalorian. We’ve also seen it used to bring the likes of Admiral Tarkin and Princess Leia back in Star Wars: Rogue One (2016). However, this isn’t the only option at Disney’s disposal, in some instances they’ve actually recasted famous characters in full length features like they did in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). In this origin story about Han Solo, the classic nerfherder was recast with Alden Ehrenreich while the part of Lando Calrisian was played by Donald Glover. Fans of Star Wars hated it.
However, since the return of young Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian, fans have wondered if Lucasfilm and Disney would ever dare bring the Jedi Knight back to life in his own feature film, set in his younger years. There’s so much lore and material surrounding the famed Jedi, Star Wars fans literally can’t get enough and Disney has plenty to draw on to continue feeding them. However, the technology doesn’t seem to be quite there yet to do an entire film with facial-mapping. Therefore, recasting the legendary character made famous by Mark Hamill would be a sure thing. If Disney makes the decision to move forward with this type of project, they don’t have to look far, as fans already have a familiar Marvel counterpart selected for the role.
Enter Sebastian Stan, the best friend of Steve Rogers, the White Wolf, and the one time husband of Pamela Anderson (on film at least). Sebastian Stan has been a focal point of Marvel story-telling for years. His Winter Soldier character is one of the best story arch’s in all of Marvel, creating emotional imbalance for Captain America fans, Stan initially entered the MCU as a villain (although he was at one time the best friend of Captain America). More recently, Sebastian Stan has begun to branch out from his super hero persona and started alongside Lily James as the bad boy Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee in the Hulu dark comedy Pam & Tommy (2022). Sebastian Stan has also popped up in smaller roles here or there, including 2023’s The Covenant and The Martian (2015), but it’s been difficult for Stan to break away from his Marvel role.
Working outside of the “Marvel bubble” won’t get any easier Sebastian Stan is still slated to reprise the role of Bucky alongside Anthony Mackie in. 2024’s Captain America: Brave New World and The Thunderbolts (2024), however Star Wars fans feel that Stan would be a perfect fit as Luke Skywalker in future Star Wars projects. Not only have fans lobbied for Disney to cast the former Avenger as arguable the most popular Jedi in the galaxy, they’ve also gone as far as to create unique and convincing fan art depicting Sebastian Stan as “The Chosen One.”
For all you Star Wars fanatics that claim Anakin is the Chosen One, see Star Wars: Rebels.
Instagram user @ryansmallman is a creative designer and illustrator gaining populartiy with followers on the app. Featuring many different takes on Marvel and Star Wars characters, one post in particular caught our eye as it shows just how spot on Star Wars fans have been regarding casting Sebastian Stan as Luke Skywalker. The resemblance on-screen is uncanny, however, when given the traditional Jedi make-over, @ryansmallman really shows how well Stan would work as the son of the infamous Darth Vader. Much of Smallman’s work includes popular outlets such as Star Wars and Marvel, but also features famous athletes, musicians, and other comic-based properties. His take on these characters in unique, drawing the eye of popular fan sights like Fansided.
Although not officially cast as Luke Skywalker, we can get an idea of how well Sebastian Stan would work. His resemblance to Mark Hammil is incredible and this would be a great consideration for Disney as the facial-mapping technology used is currently too iffy and most likely very expensive. As Disney+ recently premiered their newest line-up in the Star Wars universe, Ahsoka, more story-lines will detail what exactly happened after the fall of the Empire. Many of those details, like we’ve already discovered include stories that still focus around crowd-favorite Luke Skywalker. However, although some fans are all for a recast of Luke Skywalker, claiming that Hammil’s character is the triology sequels was not up-to-par with the origianl portrayal, others haven’t forgotten the autrocity that is Solo. Maybe Stan will show up in season four of The Mandalorian!