The Russo Brothers on How Star Wars Influenced Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame

Two of the highest grossing films of all time have earned their spots as pop culture fixtures, with Marvel Studios release of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame in back-to-back years. Filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo had the unenviable task of directing these massive movies, which have now become as highly regarded as the Star Wars franchise in the years after their releases. The duo have made it clear over how much George Lucas' movies influenced their own approach to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including how both Empire Strikes Back and Infinity War have dark endings with the heroes facing defeat.

Asked about the importance of the narrative in Star Wars and whether they would have taken a similar approach with the sequel trilogy, Joe Russo said the Avengers films gave them an opportunity to explore the themes that interested them.

"I mean I think being such Star Wars fanatics, we would’ve probably focused on the Luke Skywalker story. And so, to me, there was the potential for three movies focusing on that arc coming to completion. But different choices you can make," Joe said in an interview with "I think you know, the fact that Star Wars is so important to us growing up, we got to make our Star Wars Empire in Infinity War and Endgame. That was really our expression of what those commercial films meant to us as children and what we took away from them and the patterns of narrative structure that were so profound to us. We were able to replicate those patterns in those movies. So I think we speak to those films rather than the Star Wars films."

Anthony Russo addressed the fact that Luke and Rey Skywalker were both tempted to the Dark Side, but both characters managed to refuse those temptations because of the journeys fans saw them take.


"That’s a really good point in a sense that you don’t really think — they don’t seem very likely to make that choice, but it just reminds me of how similar our enjoyment of these movies is to something like opera in the sense that there can be these crude sort of narrative beats that maybe don’t play in a very subtle or sophisticated way, but there’s something about their resonance and there’s something about the way the rest of the cinema surrounds that moment and then the music and the iconography and the drama of it all that somehow creates emotion and sort of excitement and thrill and danger and peril," said Anthony. "It’s just a reminder to me when you’re pointing your finger at something that seems weak or fit, at like how much the other elements, that sort of cinematic experience perceived is to what we walk away from a movie with."

Fans can see the Russo Brothers' latest project every week on YouTube with the release of their commentary and interview series Pizza Film School.

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