'Avengers: Infinity War'—Questions, Speculations, and Possible Answers!
SPOILER ALERT! Do not read if you haven't watched the movie. The article contains major spoilers.
Spoiler Alert! Please do not continue reading if you haven't watched Avengers: Infinity War. This article contains major spoilers. It also contains speculations about the future of the MCU, so if you don't want to read any of those either, please leave now. I couldn't have warned you better so if you continue reading it's at your own risk!
RIGHT. You're still here, so this means you've watched the movie and you have a lot of questions. You're not alone. I had been waiting for this movie for years, from the moment it was still only 'rumored' and then provisionally titled Infinity War part 1 with Avengers 4 titled Infinity War part 2.
I think that alone is an important clue and the main reason why the actual title of Avengers 4 is still not released. Avengers 4 is, in fact, the second part of Infinity War, and therefore the ending of the first movie is in fact only the middle of the Infinity War story.
But what does the second half of this story hold? And who did actually die? And why on earth did Doctor Strange give up the time stone just to save Tony Stark? Finally, what's going on with Gamora and Loki, the two people most likely dead for real (along with Heimdall and half the people of Asgard)? Oh, and where on earth is Hawkeye and Antman (and the Wasp)? Or Valkyrie?!
The Time Stone question
So when Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-man, Drax, Mantis, and Starlord are on Titan, before they face Thanos, Doctor Strange uses the time stone to see possible futures of their fate. He then confesses to the rest of the team that there are over 14 million possible futures and only one in which they win. The audience immediately gasps and awkwardly laughs—we all know that one scenario is what's going to happen, right? Right?? Well, we hope at least.
Then, when the time comes and Thanos is moments away from killing our beloved Iron Man, Doctor Strange casually trades the time stone for Tony's life. After repeatedly—and rightfully—claiming that nothing will stop him from protecting and guarding the time stone: "The universe depends on it." "I won't hesitate to let you die", Doctor Strange to Tony Stark. Did he suddenly feel all sentimental and put his oath to the side? Doubtful. Especially when he knows that the price of giving up the time stone is half the Universe being wiped out, potentially including himself, the man he was saving and, well, plenty of other people.
So at this point, it is pretty safe to say that this one possibility of winning includes giving up the time stone to Thanos at that specific moment.
After saving him, Doc tells Tony "We're in the endgame now,""Tony there was no other way." These words sound too big to simply mean there was no other way for you to survive and for me to die when Thanos clicks his fingers... No, they must mean something else. It seems to me that Doctor Strange has done everything he could by giving up the time stone and now the future depends on what decisions are made after Doctor Strange vanishes. But here's the big question for me: before Doc does vanish, does he give Tony any insight on what these decisions should be? I guess that's something we'll find out pretty early on in the Avengers 4 movie.
The Soul Stone - Gamora question
Gamora is sacrificed by Thanos to retrieve the soul stone. Now there are multiple questions about what exactly happened there. Clearly, Gamora knew where the soul stone was and that's why she asked Starlord to kill her if Thanos got hold of her. But how much did she really know remains a mystery. Did she know what it would take to retrieve the soul stone? And if so, did she genuinely think Thanos didn't love her? Most importantly, the only reason Gamora takes Thanos to Vormir is to save Nebula's life, and for what? Bringing Thanos a step closer to wiping out half the Universe and potentially Nebula too, anyway? Something doesn't quite add up here. I understand the whole "we don't trade lives" thing that Cap says to Vision, but that implies trying to find an alternative. What Gamora does to save Nebula guarantees that Thanos gets the soul stone, as it happens. Either Gamora seriously didn't think her actions through or she knew something we still don't.
Nevertheless, is she coming back? In this article from May 2017, we can read about James Gunn, writer, and director of Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, supposedly teasing that he is having "intense conversations" with Zoe Saldana (Gamora) about her role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a confirmed movie that will be set after the events of Infinity War and Avengers 4. However, this is not concrete evidence that Gamora is coming back since this tease might just have been a rumor, or even if it was real at the time, maybe the events of Infinity War forced James Gunn's plans to change.
Still, if Gamora were to come back, how could she? The simplest thing that comes to mind for me is that the same way Gamora's life was traded for the soul stone, the soul stone can be traded for Gamora's life and resurrect her. All the Guardians would need to do is get hold of the soul stone, visit Vormir and bring her back.
The other option would be that Gamora comes back with everyone else who died in the movie. More on this possibility further down.
The Loki question
Loki has already died so many times in the MCU it's almost impossible to believe that he is actually dead, but Thanos's statement 'No resurrections this time' as he kills the God of Mischief seems to try hard to put our doubts to rest. Loki is, in fact, dead this time. And it's no surprise as this character has gone through a full circle in the MCU with no more room for development really.
If everyone is coming back though, wouldn't he be coming back too? In one of the possible scenarios that conclude the Infinity War story in Avengers 4, every single death in this movie will be reversed which means that, yes, in that scenario Loki's death would probably also be reversed.
Where are Hawkeye and Antman?
No, they're not taking time off to be with their families. Hawkeye came out of his supposed retirement over the Sokovia Accords and now half the Universe is in danger of being wiped out and he stays in retirement? No, I can't believe that. It's a slap in the face for Hawkeye's character. Good news is that the character has been confirmed for Avengers 4, so we will have to wait at least until the trailer to find that out, if not for the full movie due to be released in April/May 2019.
With Antman and the Wasp coming out this July, a movie set after the events of Civil War and before the events of Infinity War, we're hoping that July will also be when we find out where on earth Antman has actually been during Avengers: Infinity War. The character has also been confirmed to appear in Avengers 4, along with the Wasp, so hopefully, a credit scene in Antman and the Wasp will hold some answers as to what their role in Avengers 4 and the final battle against Thanos will be.
Valkyrie, Heimdall and the Asgardians
After all the efforts of Thor and the "revengers" in Thor: Ragnarok to save the people of Asgard, Avengers: Infinity War begins showing everyone on the Asgardian ship dead/half dead. Valkyrie is nowhere to be found, even though she at least deserved an on-screen death, and Heimdall dies after sending Hulk/Bruce Banner to earth to warn everyone about Thanos. It's all a bit sad and a bit disappointing, but you could say that's life, deal with it. So I will. However, what I won't let go is that Valkyrie is nowhere to be seen, where is she? And why? The character is also not confirmed for Avengers 4 yet. So either of two things is going on here: Valkyrie is somewhere out there with the rest of the Asgardian people and we will see her in Avengers 4, or Marvel Studios didn't think they need her anymore and killed her off off-screen. Cruel.
What's going on with Hulk and Banner?
Throughout the movie, we see that Banner is trying hard to transform into the Hulk as the latter is much more useful in battle. However, Banner is unable to do so and we are left thinking that Hulk is traumatised from battling Thanos in space and doesn't want to come out and fight again. Some people have even suggested that since Hulk thinks people on Earth hate him he doesn't want to appear on our planet, but wouldn't he still appear and then try and escape earth?
There is a very simple way for Bruce to get the Hulk out—shoot himself. As he mentions in The Avengers, it won't be the first time he tries this. If he shoots himself, the Hulk, not wanting to die, will come out and save his host. Bruce doesn't seem to want to try this, fair, maybe he doesn't trust the fact that Hulk doesn't have a deathwish. And indeed Hulk's behaviour in this movie points towards the fact that he does have a deathwish. He doesn't want to come out and fight, but he is Bruce's best chance for survival and if Bruce dies so does he. So if he wants to survive his plan of staying hidden is a bit flawed.
I don't know how everyone else feels, but although it was hilarious to see Banner failing to transform into the Hulk early on in the movie, Hulk not appearing in Wakanda was just annoying and too convenient for our villains. But I guess everything is usually very convenient for our heroes so it's not exactly a surprise that a story told in two parts will be much more powerful if that's not the case for part one at least.
Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Thor
This movie shows great strength from some characters, who are in fact not the most powerful in neither the MCU nor the comics. I'm speaking mainly about Captain America and Black Widow who to me showed the most admirable strength in this movie both mentally and physically even though they had limited screen time. There's nothing badass about the way they take down Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive in Edinburgh, it's pure skill and maturity. Something they both show in Wakanda too. Okay, they were pretty badass, but what I'm trying to say is that it wasn't for the sake of it.
On the other hand, two of the most powerful characters in the comics and from what we've seen so far in the MCU too were not done justice at all - Scarlet Witch and Vision. It is true that in the MCU both these characters are still children - they've both only had their powers for three to four years and in fact Vision has only existed for that long. Still, he has an infinity stone on his forehead and Wanda's reality-altering powers are almost as strong as those of the reality stone. In 'Avengers: Age of Ultron', when she first attacks the Avengers, we all saw that she can do way more than blast people and move objects yet that is all she does in 'Infinity War'.
On top of it, she leaves Vision's side in Wakanda to fight outside where already so many heroes are fighting. This is an epic moment and Okoye makes it even more epic by saying "Why was she up there?' It is a moment that makes us all go YES! Scarlet Witch will take them down. Of course, that's not what happens. After that moment Wanda's powers seem to weaken again and leaving Vision's side is the main reason why she then has to kill him.
Another extremely powerful character is Thor. After Thanos blows up the Asgardian ship Thor literally floats into space and DOESN'T DIE. This is not about him being a cosmic being, so is Ebony Maw, but it only takes him less than a minute to die when Iron Man and Spiderman release him into space. This is Marvel Studios telling us "Yes, Thor is a god, deal with it." And in case you still hadn't got that, Thor then goes on to forge the Stormbreaker by taking the full power of a star and still NOT dying.
So the moment Thor appears in Wakanda and Banner shouts 'you're so screwed now!' we're all thinking the same thing and indeed that's what happens to begin with, Thor takes down half the army single-handed. But then for some reason, it's Black Widow, Okoye and Scarlet Witch trying to take down Proxima Midnight, Thor where art thou? Stop fighting hand to hand and use the Stormbreaker again.
Thor's whole storyline in 'Infinity War' is about forging the Stormbreaker to kill Thanos and then he fails to do so properly. Vision is also completely incapable of fighting Thanos and the mind stone is removed from his forehead with extreme ease.
If the Scarlet Witch has the power to destroy the mind stone she has the power to destroy all infinity stones. Yet she doesn't even try, in fact she doesn't try to fight Thanos one bit, even Cap tries to and he knows he doesn't even stand a chance. Maybe she's in shock after having killed the man she loves and then watching him come back to life only to be killed again. Fair point. But why on earth leave his side in the first place, Wanda? Why?
I appreciate that essentially storytelling was the reason for all the above and we can attribute our heroes' mistakes and bad decisions to human error. I mean human and AI error... And Asgardian god error. Never mind you know what I mean.
I guess being a huge fan of Scarlet Witch, Vision and Thor, I felt they could have done - or at least try to do - a lot more. Still, this movie is so awesome I don't care.
Why were things from the trailers missing in the actual movie?
That to me was a proper slap in the face, which I will forgive only under one condition: Those scenes in the trailers that were missing are somehow actually scenes from Avengers 4. Otherwise, what? And why? Not seeing Hulk in Wakanda or Iron Man saying "Wow" after Starlord shuts his plan down on Titan was extremely confusing. It reminded me of those awesome video game trailers that have a disclaimer saying *not actual gameplay. Of course the trailer shouldn't spoil the movie and that certainly applies for the scene Cap tries to stop Thanos with his bare hands, and the gauntlet only seems to have two infinity stones. But the scene with Hulk in Wakanda that never actually happens? That was not a white lie, that was pointless... unless it's from Avengers 4?
Did Thanos ACTUALLY wipe out half the Universe?
And that is essentially the most important question. Did he or did he not? What does it mean if he did? And what next?
I mean he clearly did, but what does 'wipe out' actually mean? Are they dead? Vanished? Transported into another dimension? Will we see them in that other dimension?
For a start, everyone who turned into dust is coming backfor real. The Russo brothers clearly want us to know that by the characters they chose to disappear. Amongst everyone who turns into dust is the Guardians, Spiderman, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther, and all these characters are definitely coming back for solo-movies set after Infinity War, so it's pretty clear that one way or another they'll be back. And judging from the credit scene, Captain Marvel will play a big part on the 'how'.
Possible scenarios for Avengers 4:
Time travel, in fact, seems to be the most possible scenario since photos from the set of Avengers 4 seem to suggest that a lot of scenes from previous movies have been re-shooted. Yes, this could also mean flashbacks, but if that was the case surely they could just use the actual scenes from previous films rather than reshoot them?
If time travel is indeed what Avengers 4 holds for us and if we assume that Captain Marvel is the reason that's possible, there are still a few questions left unanswered. Who is going back in time and how far exactly?
The who seems fairly simple - the original Avengers are still standing, so do Antman and the Wasp (most likely) and of course, Captain Marvel has been called to join the action. Maybe Rocket also joins them since he was still standing too? Maybe. Maybe Okoye and Nebula too? We'll see.
But how far back will they go? Will they go and destroy all infinity stones before Thanos even gets a hold of them? Not sure exactly how time travel works in the MCU, but it sounds to me that any meaningful time travel will change past events and create a ripple in space-time that will completely alter the timeline and result to basically some of the events in our favourite MCU movies never actually happening. Not sure I'm down for that.
If this is the case though then yes, not only it will mean that half the Universe comes back, but that the deaths of Loki, Gamora, and half of Asgard will be reversed. But wiping the events of some of the greatest MCU movies is too high a price to pay to have Gamora back. Because frankly, Loki has met death in a pretty good time for his character, but Guardians of the Galaxy without Gamora is like English tea with no milk. Her character only began to develop in Infinity War, in my opinion. We want her back.
Of course, there's another possibility that still includes Time Travel. Our heroes, most likely led by Captain Marvel, will go back in time just enough to destroy the stones before Thanos clicks his fingers. Maybe just enough so Thor can smash his skull with the Stormbreaker this time.
Using the stones to reverse Thanos's doing:
Personally, that's the version I want to see the most. I don't know how that's going to happen, but instead of erasing the past, I want to see our heroes going forwards, killing Thanos, getting hold of the gauntlet, and bringing everyone who disintegrated back this way. No time traveling tricks. Does this mean Gamora won't be coming back? Most likely. But returning the soul stone and bringing her back this way somehow might also be an option.
Our heroes fail to reverse Thanos's doing.
That is the most unlikely thing to happen for two reasons: Why even bother having a second installment if all it means is another two and a half hours of our heroes failing to defeat the mad titan? And of course, how are they planning to do a second solo Spiderman movie, Black Panther movie, or Guardians vol. 3 with those heroes wiped from existence?
No one knows what's going to happen for sure. Except I guess the Russo brothers, and thankfully I trust them! The next year will be full of small clues as to where Avengers 4 will take us, but it will all be speculations until the most anticipated movie in the MCU hits cinemas in April/May 2019!
So for me, only one thing is certain right now: the MCU is finally as dark as Earth-616.