There are some things you're guaranteed to get in a Star Wars movie. Stormtroopers, Jedi talk, political allegory, and hands that have been removed from their bodies thanks to lightsabers. One Star Wars fan took it upon themselves to make an official count of all the hands that have been sliced off for an official tally, and naturally there's a reference to the Neimoidian's of The Trade Federation. These totals come strictly from the feature films in the Star Wars universe, but according to the official records both Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi have the most severed hands to their name with four each (arugably Obi-Wan has five but General Grievous' two arms are counted as one). See the full results for yourself below.
The phenomena of Star Wars cutting off hands isn't just an in-joke for the followers of that franchise in a galaxy far, far away but has permeated itself into pop culture at large. Even the Marvel Cinematic Universe has dabbled in severing hands and arms in reference to Star Wars with Marvel head Kevin Feige confirming it himself and tying it all back to The Empire Strikes Back.
"I'm obsessed with Star Wars. Who’s not? I’m 40 years old. I’m in the movie business. I went to USC. So I’m obsessed with Star Wars," Feige told CinemaBlend back in 2015. "And it didn’t start out as intentional, but it became intentional, including that beat that you referenced. It sort of happens in every Star Wars movie, but I was sort of looking at it, ‘Okay, is Phase Two our Empire Strikes Back?’ Not really, but tonally things are a little different. Somebody gets their arm cut off in every Phase Two movie. Every single one."
For those playing along at home, Aldrich Killian loses his hand in Iron Man 3, Thor loses his hand in Thor: The Dark World, Bucky loses his arm in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Groot and Nebula lose an arm/hand in Guardians of the Galaxy, Ulysses Klaue loses a hand in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and as Yellowjacket begins to shrink in the Ant-Man his hand is the first to go. Not every Marvel movie since has stayed the course and kept the tradition, but plenty of other entries in the franchise have had notable hand severing scenes including both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
To bring this entire thing full circle, Kevin Feige himself, despite being President of Marvel proper now and not just Marvel Studios, is working on a new Star Wars movie. Though it's unclear what filmmaker will step behind the camera for the Feige-produced Star Wars movie, one thing we can likely bank on is at least one severed hand.
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