Disney owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm, often resulting in films hitting theaters that often feature the same kind of family-friendly action and adventure. Disney's last two releases, Black Panther and The Last Jedi, not only have some tonal similarities, but offered audiences a surprising and much more specific connection within their narratives.
***WARNING: Spoilers for Black Panther and The Last Jedi below***
Heading into The Last Jedi, audiences knew that Supreme Leader Snoke, played by Andy Serkis, would be one of the key villains in the film's narrative alongside Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Towards the end of the film's second act, audiences were shocked to see Kylo Ren turn on his master and kill Snoke.
Fans heading into Black Panther knew that Klaue, played by Serkis, would be one of the major villains, having previously met him in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Additionally, we knew that Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger would be a formidable foe. In the film's second act, Kilmonger vanquishes Klaue as an offer to the Wakandan elite.
Killing a major villain before the film's finale is already one major connection between the two films, with Serkis having portrayed both villains feeling much more like a coincidence. Last year, Serkis also had to say goodbye to Caesar, the character he portrayed in the Planet of the Apes films, as War for the Planet of the Apes concluded the trilogy.
"I've had a tough year. I lost Caesar, I lost Snoke, and now I've lost Klaue. I am franchise free. I'm gutted, actually. I would've loved to go on," Serkis shared with ComicBook.com.
Serkis' departure from two of those franchises are pretty definitive, yet some fans hold out hope that Snoke could return for Episode IX.
"Look, it's Star Wars, so you never know how life, or whether life can be come back to or not. Whether you can be resuscitated or brought back," Serkis said to /Film. "I was shocked. Dramatically, it felt absolutely right for that moment in the film, so I didn't question it. I just think it's a very, very important scene, so I didn't question it. But I do, I know it's left fans feeling like, that they were really searching for something there. And what I'm saying is, who knows?"
Black Panther is now in theaters. It will be followed by Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.