Ever since the credits rolled on Avengers: Endgame in 2019, Marvel has been facing mixed to negative reviews on everything it has tried to release in a theater. The once-untouchable studio hasn’t been able to fully recapture audience’s attention the way it was before they released what many believe to be a satisfying conclusion for the characters that they had been following for the last decade.
This is not the first time one of Disney’s biggest properties has faced growing criticism from the fans that once thought it could do no wrong however, as Star Wars faced a similar issue during the release of its sequel trilogy of movies. From burnout due to the sheer amount of content released in a short period of time to directors using movies to feud with one another, Star Wars has been fraught with issues in recent years in much the same way that Marvel is now.
In the case of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which itself already faces mostly negative reviews from critics, the similarities to Star Wars run far deeper than similar amounts online hate. From broad strokes like character design to minute details like almost exactly identical plot points, the new Ant-Man movie is a Star Wars movie through and through. Every story is similar to every other story in some capacity due to plot structure having a generally accepted flow, the protagonist tends to get the love interest in the end and evil is always vanquished, but Ant-Man goes a step further by having almost exact recreations of scenes particularly from the original Star Wars trilogy.
16 A Long Time Ago…
Always the first words to appear in Star Wars‘ opening crawl, the phrase “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away” is used to set the audiences’ expectation that what they are about to witness will be completely alien to anything they know as normal. Similarly, Quantumania goes out of its way to state multiple times that the “Quantum Realm,” where the movie takes place, is outside of time and space entirely, serving the same role of telling the audience that nothing can be considered normal in this space.
Soon after entering the Quantum Realm, the audience is introduced to Quantumania‘s version of a rebel alliance. This alliance is all that’s left of the Quantum Realm’s original inhabitants after being forced out by the mysterious evil conqueror and is in no state to launch any kind of fight to take back their home, at least not without more help. This is a close mirror to Star Wars‘ rebel alliance, which seeks to free the galaxy from the tyranny of the Empire.
14 Evil Emperor
Every story with a hero must also have a villain. On its own, that isn’t enough to make any judgments about a movie, but taken in conjunction with everything else it supports the idea that Ant-Man is a Star Wars movie. In both cases, the films spend a considerable amount of runtime keeping the main characters and therefore the audience in the dark as to exactly who the villain is that is being dealt with. Also, in both cases, keeping the villain vague is entirely pointless for anyone who has heard anything about either franchise as Kang (Jonathon Majors) has been known for a long time to be the next major villain of the MCU.
13 Resistant to help…
When Ant-Man (played by Paul Rudd) first meets the rebels, he is initially unwilling to help their cause. His main and only priority is reuniting his family and getting them home. He is grateful for the help the rebels provide but won’t get any more invested than that despite his daughter begging him to reconsider. In Star Wars, when the audience first meets the rebel alliance, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is initially reluctant to be on their side unless he was getting something out of it.
12 Nameless Faceless Soldiers
No matter what era of “Star Wars’ you’re watching, the villains’ method of choice is always a lot of nameless faceless soldiers with little in the way of personality. Droids, Clones, and Stormtroopers all serve a similar role as cannon fodder that are replaced as soon as they are killed. “Ant-Man” gives Kang a legion of soldiers that don’t have speak, or even have a generalized name like “Stormtrooper”, they are completely blank slates.
11 Elite Bounty Hunter
Upon escaping the Empire’s clutches, a bounty hunter or elite soldier working directly for the main villain is dispatched to return the heroes to custody. The main difference however is that while both are beloved character’s, “Ant-Man” spends a long time exploring the personality of M.O.D.O.K. (Corey Stoll) while Boba Fett is left more ambiguous.
The cantina scene in Star Wars is one of its defining moments. It’s one of the first times the full breadth of the world the movies are trying to create becomes clear as the audience is introduced to the seedy underbelly of the galaxy and first gets to meet fan favorite character Han Solo. The cantina scene in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is much the same, using vibrant colors to show just how different and alien this setting is.
9 A Suave Character and a Ship
Upon arriving at the cantina, a pair of heroes must talk to someone who they aren’t sure they can trust to acquire a ship and that guy turns out to be full of himself and only interested in his own gain. While the outcome of these scenes in each movie is different, the premise is nearly identical. In the case of Quantumania, the scene entirely exists as a vessel for Bill Murray to have a role in the MCU as they kill of that character later that same scene.
8 Force Choke
Darth Vader is an iconic villain with an iconic set of powers. As Star Wars continued to grow, many more flashy Force powers were introduced, but nothing has ever been as terrifying as being able to squeeze the life out of someone with a disinterested wave their hand. Kang is an equally iconic villain for fans of Marvel Comics, and in Quantumania, he too has the ability to lift people with the wave of his hand. It isn’t clear if he is then choking those people or just squeezing their entire bodies, but the effect is the same either way.
7 The Equally Suave Traitor
The single biggest plot twist in Star Wars is when Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) turns out to have been working with the Empire all along despite an old friend being sure they could trust him. In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) makes the mistake of trusting Bill Murray who turns out to be a bad guy that sells them out just like Lando.
6 The Cloud City Moment
The lowest point for the heroes comes when they have just been reunited after the villain has just gotten what they wanted and won the day. In Star Wars, this takes place in Cloud City. Darth Vader has just cut off Luke’s hand, but Luke still manages to escape back aboard the Millennium Falcon after falling out of the city. Despite losing Luke, Vader still has Han frozen in carbonite and that’s where the movie ends.
In Ant-Man, Kang uses Cassie (Kathryn Newton) to force Ant-Man into retrieving something for him. Upon retrieval, he is rescued by his other allies, but not before Kang is able to claim what he needs for his ultimate weapon. He also holds on to Cassie for good measure, leaving the heroes on their own and needing to figure out how to save the day.
5 Big Spherical Weapon That Doubles as a Vehicle
The Death Star is another in a long list of things that have become staples of the sci-fi genre. The evil villain always has a big bad super weapon that will ensure they hold power for the rest of time. The Death Star is a big sphere that can travel through space and destroy planets with a single laser shot. Kang’s weapon doesn’t have a special name, and it also isn’t technically a weapon. Like the Death Star, it serves as a vehicle, but unlike the Death Star, Kang himself is the weapon. Once fully activated it would allow him to bring his army across the multiverse to impose his will on everything.
4 …But in the End, He Comes Around
No rebel story is complete until the person who was resistant at first ultimately decides to join the resistance. In Star Wars, Han is initially only willing to help the rebels as long as he’s getting paid, but in the end his mind is changed by his love interest. Ant-Man, too, joins a resistance out of love for a girl, but in this case it’s his daughter. He understands that he needs their help to get her back.
3 Big Attack Seems Doomed Until Reinforcements Arrive
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was supposed to be the climactic finale to The Skywalker Saga, and for that reason included many moments that were meant to be impactful to long time Star Wars fans. One of the biggest examples of this comes as the movie enters its final third and the confrontation with the Empire begins. At first, all seems lost, that is until the reinforcements they called for earlier that they had given up hope on show up and turn the tide. Even the way the scenes are shot are clearly meant to be similar as in both instances ships start to show up just at the last moment when everything seems lost.
2 The Marketable Backup
Star Wars fans tend to have mixed opinions on Ewoks and what they represent for the franchise. Many believe there was no reason to include them as they are just there to sell toys, while others believe they have just as much a right to be their as every other unusual Star Wars race. In the context of the movie, while at first hostile, they end up playing a major role in turning the tide of what was originally the final battle.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania also has a form of backup that just like Ewoks showed up out of nowhere during the last third and were only mentioned once before, that being a race of technologically evolved ants. Every Ant-Man movie needs ants as its half of the title, but whereas in the previous movie’s ants were used in a “realistic” manner, here every ant looks like a toy already.
1 Villain Redemption
Despite a lifetime of bad deeds, Darth Vader still chose to protect Luke in the end as somehow through it all he still feels a form of fatherly love for his son. It’s a powerful ending to what many say is one of the best trilogies of all time. Ant-Man is also a trilogy with a villain present from the beginning who has done nothing but villainous acts the whole time but is ultimately “redeemed.” This time, however, it is not a case of love being stronger than anything else, but not wanting to “be a dick”.