(Warning: MCU spoilers will probably be found below.)
Every time I watch Star Wars: A New Hope (which is more often than I care to admit), I’m always taken aback by the shot of Owen and Beru’s charred corpses outside their home on Tatooine. They’re the good guys! They’re not supposed to die in such brutal fashion! There’s nothing else like it any of the other Star Wars movies — it’s one thing to watch a giant slug get strangled with a chain by a woman in a golden bikini; it’s another to see two still-roasting skeletons.
During this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo revealed that the highest-grossing movie ever almost had an Owen and Beru moment. It would have involved Thanos decapitating 2012 Captain America and throwing his head at 2023 Captain America (feel free to make your own deCAPitation joke), but it was removed for being too dark and out-of-place among the more typical superhero violence. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige expanded on the scene in an interview with Empire.
“I think there are behind the scenes pictures of this, us having the giant omnibus of the Infinity Gauntlet comic collection and saying, we need to do justice to this,” he explained. “One of those images was Thanos sitting on a throne of skulls, ruling over everything and we wanted to get that in there. One of the ideas was, when they finish the time heist, they returned to a world [in 2023] that Thanos had already conquered, that involved all of that, the throne made of bones and skulls and had him tossing, like a bowling ball, Captain America’s severed skull head, still in the cowl, to Captain America.” Feige admitted the scene was “pretty cool, but the logic to get there defeated us.”
I’m sure there are images on the internet of Thanos doing way more graphic things to Captain America than chopping his head off, if you know where to look. Don’t tell me. I’ll stick with Thanos x Ant-Man, thank you very much.