Spider-Man: Homecoming was the first Marvel film to make it clear that Star Trek and the MCU were (cheekily) closer than we thought, after Kevin Feige pushed for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home‘s “Punk on Bus” to appear in Queens during a scene in Homecoming, many decades after bothering Kirk and Spock on a San Francisco public bus. We thought that would be the end of it.
We should have known better.
[Don’t worry, no spoilers for Captain Marvel. This is stuff from the trailer.]
If you’ve heard a bit about the villains of Captain Marvel, you’d know that the leader of Skrulls (shapeshifting aliens who cause all sorts of trouble) is named Talos. He is played by Ben Mendelsohn, who you might also remember from Rogue One, the most recent iteration of Robin Hood, or Ready Player One. The character has been around since 1994 in the comics, and will make his big screen debut alongside Carol Danvers, Maria Rambeau, and more.
Talos? His name is Talos?
As in Talos IV, one of the most infamous planets in Star Trek?
It’s a fair bet that everyone involved with the making of Captain Marvel couldn’t have guessed that the name Talos would be cropping up elsewhere in the entertainment multiverse in our year 2019—likely because they had no idea that Star Trek: Discovery would be returning their attention to this particular locale (in the very same week!). Talos IV was the name of a creepy planet that the Enterprise visited in Trek’s very first episode, “The Cage”, back when Christopher Pike was captain and Spock unnervingly smiled on occasion. It’s kind of an important place.
But that could just be a coincidence, right? (Right.)
Thing is, Talos the Skrull first cropped up in The Incredible Hulk #418, and was created by Gary Frank and Peter David. The same Peter David who has written many, many Star Trek comics and novels, such as the New Frontier series.
Oh, and Captain Marvel in the 2000s.
(Although the mantle of Captain Marvel of David’s run was tossed between Genis-Vell and Rick Jones, and not yet Carol Danvers.)
So the name Talos is feasibly a cheeky homage to Trek, given unexpected life on the big screen via Captain Marvel.
You could take the notion further, if you want. Maybe the Skrulls eventually annex Talos IV? Maybe Skrulls don’t really shapeshift, but use the Talosian “power of illusion” to change their appearance? Or maybe Skrulls heard about the freaky stuff going on over on that world, and “Talos” became a cool thing to name kids for a while?
Regardless, the point is that this is the second time that these universes have converged. It’s getting harder to ignore now. At some point, they will fuse and become one.
You know where this is heading. You’ve always known.
To the moment where Tony Stark looks Steve Rogers dead in the eye, notices the absence of Bucky, and asks, “Hey, Cap… where’s your imzadi?”