Captain America’s best moment in Avengers: Endgame has strong parallels to a big moment in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Captain America has one of the strongest arcs in the conclusion to the 22-movie Infinity Saga, from battling with the 2012 version of himself to his poignant ending. The one that really thrilled audiences, though, comes during Avengers: Endgame's final battle.
As Thanos and his forces attack the Avengers Compound, all hope seems lost. The Mad Titan blazes a trail of destruction, and is on the verge of killing Thor with his own weapon, Stormbreaker, when another of the God of Thunder’s weapons comes into play: Mjolnir. Except on this occasion, it’s not into Thor’s hand it flies, but rather Captain America’s. It’s a scene that led to actual cheers in cinemas, and while it’s a huge hero moment for Cap, we have seen something like it before.
In The Force Awakens’ climactic battle, again, all hope seems lost. Kylo Ren is on the attack, and while Finn fights bravely in lightsaber combat, he’s no match for a trained Force-user like Kylo Ren. The Skywalker saber lands in the snow, and that’s when it happens. The music swells up, the lightsaber begins to move, and then it flies into... Rey’s hand. In that movie, it serves as her hero moment, once again eliciting whoops and applause from its hyped-up audience. But the similarities start to stack up the more the scene is broken down.
In both of these scenes, the moment is telegraphed in a similar way: the feeling of hopelessness, the reminder of the weapon, and then subverting the expectations of who’ll get it (Thor/Finn) with the purest hero of each movie wielding it instead. There are great musical scores lifting both scenes, heavy use of the color blue (from lightning and the lightsaber, respectively), and it leads to a turnaround in fortunes. Cap summons Mjolnir and proceeds to take the fight to Thanos; Rey holds the lightsaber and goes on to defeat Kylo Ren.
There’s a deeper symbolic meaning at play as well. For Rey, it’s signaling that she is the hero, the new Jedi for this generation of films. Captain America was well-established as a hero by this point, of course, but it confirms something similar: that he is worthy. That’s long been a moment of debate among fans and even the Avengers themselves, dating back to the scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Cap is able to make Thor’s hammer move just a fraction, much to the shock of Odinson.
The Russos have recently revealed that Captain America was always worthy, but that in their minds he didn’t pick it up in Age of Ultron so as to not upset Thor. Even if that wasn’t the case at the time of making that movie, it is at least now confirmed that Captain America is worthy of wielding Mjolnir, thus ending years of debate. Prior to The Force Awakens, there was a similar debate as to who the new Jedi was. The trailers had shown Finn wielding the lightsaber, and he's the one who takes it from Maz Kanata. Rey being able to summon it then confirms that it’s really her lightsaber, which has echoes in the Captain America scene. She, too, is worthy to wield an iconic weapon.
The difference is that, for Rey, it’s the beginning of her hero’s journey. For Captain America, it’s the end of his. Her first fight and his last one. Whether Endgame's similarity to The Force Awakens here is intentional or not is unclear, but the similarities are undoubtedly there, and both occasions deliver incredible, spine-tingling, cheer-worthy moments with huge amounts of payoff for fans.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019