Written by Amy Chase and Gracie Bifulco
Now that Star Wars Celebration is over and everyone has returned from the galaxy far away, it’s time for another Thorsday!
If you were asked to name a superhero heavily related to science and technology, we’re guessing Thor probably wouldn’t make the top of your list. At first glance, the Odinson’s home realm of Asgard is all about lore and magic, where there are seemingly unexplainable things like Mjolnir, the Bifrost Bridge, black hole grenades – things unfit for scientific inquiry. Or are they? Asgardians are, if anything, a very advanced people, and Thor himself explains this to Jane Foster when he says, “What your people used to call magic, now they call science. Well, in my world they are one and the same.”
On the other hand you have Star Wars, one of the most popular science fiction franchises of all time. But when you think about it, Star Wars exists in a universe that is very similar to Thor’s own; A universe filled with incredible advanced technologies – weapons, ships, the Death Star itself. But then you have the unexplainable mysteries of the Force, that mysterious, metaphysical, spiritual power that binds the very galaxy together. It seems the two have quite a bit in common, rooted in the name of science fiction, after all!
In honor of Celebration and Thorsday, let’s take a moment to celebrate the legacy of actors from the Thor film franchise who have appeared in other awesome works of science fiction:
Natalie Portman, Jane Foster (also appeared in Star Wars)
Starting with the most obvious connection, before she played a star-gazing astrophysicist, Natalie Portman was an intergalactic senator in the prequel series of Star Wars. Starring in the Phantom Menace as the young Queen Amidala, she reprised her role as Padme in the following two films of the prequel trilogy- Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, respectively. She moved into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play Jane Foster, who dreams of understanding the galaxy, some years later.
It should be noted that both of Portman’s character’s romantic interests, Thor and Anakin Skywalker, had a hand cut off in the second movie of their franchises. Probably had nothing to do with her, though…
Chris Hemsworth, Thor (also appeared in Star Trek)
When he wasn’t thundering about as the mighty Avenger Thor, Chris Hemsworth was off elsewhere in the galaxy in 2009’s Star Trek film. He played George Kirk, father of James T. Kirk. He only appeared briefly, aboard the space ship USS Kelvin, in a battle with Nero.
Hemsworth’s Kirk dies in the onslaught, but not before helping to name his son with wife Winona Kirk. She was played by Jennifer Morrison, current co-star of the first Fandral, Josh Dallas, who left the Thor franchise to film the show Once Upon a Time. Very few degrees of separation between the characters and actors!
Idris Elba, Heimdall (also appeared in Pacific Rim)
The stoic watcher of the universe almost saw the destruction of it by the malevolent alien race known as the Kaiju. Idris Elba, known for playing the gold-clad, all-seeing Heimdall, starred in Pacific Rim as the equally as stoic ex-pilot Stacker Pentecost.
Inside the Shatterdome, he was in charge of managing the Jaeger troops and pilots as the humans prepared to go to war against the giant reptilian Kaiju who were trying to eradicate all human life on Earth. In Thor: The Dark World, he was Asgard’s first line of defense against the vengeful Dark Elves.
In any universe, it is apparently his job to cancel the apocalypse. I feel very safe with him defending the universe.
Jaimie Alexander, Sif (also appeared on television’s Kyle XY)
Before becoming Lady Sif, shieldmaiden of Asgard, Jaimie Alexander appeared as a genetic experiment named Jessi XX in television’s sci-fi mystery show Kyle XY.
She was introduced in the second season as the secondary protagonist and counterpart to the titular Kyle, formed by a strange organization that experimented with the generation of life to create an advanced civilization. She had superhuman cognitive abilities as a result of this experimentation. No word on how well she could swing a sword, though.
Christopher Eccleston, Malekith (also appeared on television’s Doctor Who)
You never forget your first Dark Elf. Or is it Doctor? Actor Christopher Eccleston made his debut in the Thor franchise as the villainous Malekith, the primary antagonist of Thor: The Dark World. Before leading at the helm of the Svartalfheim fleet, though, he was traversing the galaxy in the TARDIS as the ninth incarnation of the famous Doctor.
As the Doctor, he carried a sonic screwdriver but its power was nowhere near the power of the infinity gem Aether that he sought out as Malekith. The Dark Elf leader wanted to plunge the universe into eternal darkness. The Doctor traveled in his TARDIS with companions, helping to protect the people of the universe from threats, including the Daleks. He probably would have tried to stop the Dark Elves too, if their paths ever crossed.
A short but sweet list, the actors from Thor have been making contributions to science fiction cinema long before the conception of the film series. Sometimes their characters are similar, sometimes they are worlds apart in difference. Would any of these series make a good crossover with Thor? The universe is vast- what do you think would happen if the Thor characters ever interacted with any of these other characters? Is it too much for me to hope for Star Thors? Would Thor trade Mjolnir for a light saber? Only time will tell…
While you ponder that, I hope you had a wonderful Celebration weekend and checked out all the delights the show had to offer, whether you were there in person or keeping up online.
Until next Thorsday, Jedi Knights and Asgardians alike!
Amy’s first trip to a comic book store was a complete accident- it turned out to be the happiest accident of her life! Since then, she has delighted in reading all sorts of stories by Marvel, DC, and Image publishers each week. She also works in her local comic store and collects action figures and posters to feed her habit of general nerdiness. Her favorite hero is Thor, followed closely by Squirrel Girl. Amy manages and edits general comic book content for The Geek Initiative news site.