This post contains spoilers to Avengers: Infinity War. You have been warned.
Seriously, stop reading now if you have not seen Infinity War.
I was over a week late, but I finally watched Infinity War on Sunday. I was having trouble getting too excited for it, but it blew away my expectations.
People have compared the end of it to the end of The Empire Strikes Back. While that comparison makes sense, it made me think of a different Star Wars movie. Or really, a Star Wars movie that could have been.
Thanos slowly killing off half of the Avengers was so impacting because we had grown to know and love these characters over many movies. Even if it is obvious that their deaths are not permanent (there is no way that Spider-Man and Black Panther will not be back), watching them die was hard.
As I was walking out of the theater, it struck me that this is what the Order 66 scene of Revenge of the Sith should have been1.
Cinematically, I thought that the Order 66 scene was well done2. Watching the clones betray the Jedi in battles with the droids all across the galaxy with muted sound effects and a slow John Williams score was tragic.
The problem was not in the scene itself but in the two and a half movies that proceeded it. People watching could not even name those characters, much less feel anything about them.
Unlike the prequels, Marvel earned their scene. I cared that Bucky died. I cared that Groot died (again).
And I am excited again that the future of my favorite film franchise is in the hands of the same people that made my other favorite film franchise. The future for nerd movies is good.