The latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 'Rewind', features the return of Leo Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) – and includes a fantastic reference to Star Wars. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted on ABC in 2013 as a small screen extension of Marvel Studios' Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has since inspired its own dedicated viewership. Plus, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has fans in Disney since the Marvel TV parent company saved the show from cancellation after season 4. Now that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back for season 5, fans have been treated to a space-based futuristic adventure.
In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premiere, the majority of the team was transported to the future by way of a Kree monolith, where they discovered the remaining members of humanity were trapped on a space station and being ruled by Kree. However, the season 5 premiere left fans wondering where exactly Fitz was, since he didn't travel through the Kree monolith. Now, this latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. answers a lot of big questions about season 5, but it also included a fun Star Wars reference - and it arrives not too long after the release of Disney/Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Throughout 'Rewind', Fitz and former team member Lance Hunter discover where his friends have gone and how exactly Fitz will be able to reunite with his friends. At the end of the episode, Fitz gets into a cryo-freeze chamber he and Hunter recovered from a military base, with the promise that Enoch (Joel Stoffer) will be there when Fitz wakes up. Just before Fitz is frozen, Hunter puts his hand on the chamber and looks down at his former teammate. "I love you," Hunter says; "I know," Fitz replies - in an obvious reference an iconic scene in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.
In Empire Strikes Back, Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) tells Han Solo (Harrison Ford) that she loves him just as he's about to be frozen in carbonite by the villainous Darth Vader. It's well remembered and has been parodied throughout pop culture many times since the film hit theaters in 1980. However, since we know Star Wars exists in the MCU, this scene in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s 'Rewind' isn't a parody, and is simply the characters referencing the Lucasfilm movie.
The 'Rewind' exchange isn't even the first Star Wars reference on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) has referenced the movies a number of times - including comparing Maveth to Tatooine in a season 3 episode - in addition to other members of the team, like Jeffrey Mace (Jason O'Mara) and the Koenigs (Patton Oswalt). Plus, Hunter's ex-wife Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) wore a Star Wars shirt back when both characters were still regular fixtures of S.H.I.E.L.D.
So, the Star Wars reference in 'Rewind' isn't out of place on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it does offer a nice and emotional capper to Fitz's brief reunion with Lance Hunter. Plus, with The Last Jedi recently having premiered in theaters around the world, fans of both Star Wars and Marvel no doubt appreciate the reference to another middle chapter in a trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 returns Friday, January 5 with 'Fun & Games' at 9pm on ABC.