Here's How Star Wars Influenced the Winter Soldier in the MCU

Bucky wasn't really around until the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, but he and Steve Rodgers finally got a chance to reconnect before the film came to a close. It is no secret that the Russo Brothers love his character and they revealed how Star Wars influenced their handling of The Winter Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When it comes to complicated relationships between heroes and villains, Star Wars is a classic example.

In an interview on The Star Wars Show, the Avengers: Endgame directors talked about their favorite figures from a galaxy far-far away. Joe Russo pointed towards Luke Skywalker as one of the most identifiable heroes ever and Anthony Russo just loves Darth Vader. Anthony's comments on Vader really lay out their inspirations for the audience to see.

“It’s certainly Darth Vader, I love complicated villains. I love complicated relationships between protagonists and antagonists. That’s as good as it gets with Darth Vader,” he explained to the hosts.

After that answer, the host asked about how that dynamic pops up among the Avengers characters. It wasn't long before Joe Russo started talking about how the central relationship in the first trilogy ended up helping mold the interactions between Bucky and Captain Americain Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.

Joe Russo began, “We sat down with Marvel the first time we met with them and talked about the relationship between Cap and Bucky. We said it’s a ‘Star Wars Relationship.’ You have a villain that is related to the hero.”

“Although they’re not actually related, they grew up together, they’re like brothers. That creates the richest, most profound kind of storytelling when you have that kind of close relationship between hero and villain,” Russo continued.

Fans who have seen the two share a laugh, or even the knowing nod before the giant fight in Wakanda during Avengers: Infinity War, know that the bond that Steve and Bucky share is solid as a rock. That tension between Bucky's espionage-filled past and his new life is always lingering in the background. In fact, that friction helped get the Avengers into the mess they faced for the last two films after the fight to close out Captain America: Civil War.

For more evidence that the tension isn't going anywhere, near the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, Captain America chooses to hand the shield down to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). Fans were surprised that Cap would choose Falcon over his best friend. In the commentary track for the film, according to the creative team, there's a certain quality Falcon possesses that Bucky doesn't because he still has the risk of being mind-controlled again.

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"It’s pretty hard to give it to Bucky," co-writer Christopher Markus told Variety. "As much as we love him, he is on the dark path and is recovering from that. Sam really is a truly stand up guy. It wasn’t a wildly difficult choice, certainly. I think Bucky has a lot more story as Bucky and as someone headed on a path of atonement. And Sam has ascended into this new role."

With The Falcon & The Winter Soldier coming soon on Disney+, fans will get to see more of Bucky's journey to atone for the things he did as The Winter Soldier and might even be able to see his old friend again.