- Warning: There are massive spoilers and discussion for “Avengers: Endgame” ahead. Do not read this if you haven’t seen the movie.
- After a few showings, INSIDER wrangled the burning questions we have about the movie, and some answers where possible.
“Avengers: Endgame” is an epic culmination of 22 films for the ultimate fan, but it’s far from perfect.
Some of the movie’s holes become much clearer upon a second and third go-round when you’re less emotional over the film’s many tear-worthy moments.
After multiple close watches, INSIDER gathered a list of the lingering questions (and some answers) we have now that we’re out of the “Endgame.”
1. How did Captain Marvel know where to find Tony Stark and Nebula?
This is something that initially bothered me while watching the movie. Captain Marvel conveniently shows up the moment Tony Stark is dying and brings him and Nebula home from space. How does she know where to find them? We were given the answer to this back in March.
There’s a post-credits scene in “Captain Marvel” that looks as if it’s a scene from “Avengers: Endgame.” Marvel released it online for you to watch here. That scene never appears in “Endgame” but is extremely important for understanding how Tony gets back home.
In it, Captain Marvel arrives at the Avengers HQ, where she meets Captain America, Black Widow, Bruce Banner, and more. She finds out Nick Fury is missing, and the scene ends.
It can be assumed this is where she also meets Tony’s fiancée, Pepper Potts. Tony has been sending her transmissions from space via his Iron Man suit. If she’s been receiving those messages, then she was likely able to tell Captain Marvel where to find Stark and Nebula.
2. Why is Captain America old at the film’s end? How did he age?
If you were initially thrown off by seeing an older Captain America at the film’s end, in 2023, you shouldn’t be. Yes, Cap was injected with the super serum, but he didn’t age because he was put on ice and frozen in 1945. Nick Fury tells him in “Captain America: The First Avenger” that he’s been out for about 70 years.
Cap went back to 1970 to be with Peggy and got older over the following 53 years.
This may have thrown some people off because in the comics Captain America doesn’t usually age because of the super serum. He did get older when he had it sucked out of him at one point by a villain.
Even if the super serum was slowing down Cap’s ability to age, he probably could’ve asked someone, like Howard Stark, to whip up something to allow him to grow old with the love of his life.
3. Does Hawkeye now have a bunch of enemies, and, if so, is he putting his family in danger?
After Clint Barton/Hawkeye loses his family at the film’s start, he goes down a really dark path. In a nod to the comics, he takes on the alter ego of Ronin, a lone vigilante ninja.
We see Barton killing an entire group of men in Tokyo and hear about other “work” he’s doing with a Mexican cartel. Now that Hawkeye’s reunited with his family, all that stuff doesn’t just disappear. Yes, he killed a bunch of men, but are any of the scorned still alive?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the past five years come back to haunt him. With his family back, it’s not just Hawkeye that his enemies would be after.
This may be something that will be directly addressed on the reported Disney Plus streaming show about Hawkeye.
4. Did no one go to school for the five years after the “Infinity War” snap? Is going back to school super weird if some of your classmates weren’t affected by “Infinity War”?
How did that work? At the film’s end, in 2023, we see Peter Parker reunited with his best friend, Ned, at school. My brother, who I saw the film with, thought it was funny that five years passed and Spider-Man was still in high school. However, it completely makes sense. They haven’t aged a day since the snap. For them, no time has transpired.
But what about the people in their grade who weren’t snapped? Did they just continue with school, graduate, and go on into the real world? If that logic’s followed, then Ned and MJ (Zendaya) must have disappeared in the snap too, along with some of their other friends. We know the “Spider-Man” sequel “Far From Home” takes place moments after the end of “Endgame.”
Will some of their friends be in college? Are there younger kids who are now the same age as them? I feel like a lot of this is just going to be ignored.
5. How does no one die from Thanos directly shooting up the Avengers HQ?
When 2014 Thanos arrives in the future, he wastes no time trying to take out the Avengers. He hit his target squarely and leveled the building, and somehow no one managed to have more than a scratch on them. I’m calling shenanigans.
6. Is the time travel in “Avengers: Endgame” sound?
I’m not a scientist, otherwise I’d be off studying quantum physics. So I’m not going to pretend to know whether the time travel in “Endgame” checks out.
Lucky for us, Newsweek asked some scientists to look over the science in the movie, and they said “Endgame” did a pretty good job in its attempt to “adhere to current high level-thinking about time travel.”
For what it’s worth, the time travel in “Endgame” is explained rather quickly. Not a lot of time is spent on it, so I just accepted whatever I was watching on screen for the most part without worrying too much. If Tony Stark tells me he figured out how time travel works, I trust him. I’ve put my trust in him since 2008’s “Iron Man,” and he hasn’t steered us too wrong (other than “Age of Ultron” with his murder bot). I won’t stop now.
For those who care, Bruce Banner says that if you change something in the past it won’t necessarily change the future. OK. That’s why the group doesn’t go back in time and kill baby Thanos. (That’s actually discussed in the film.) When the group goes back in time to acquire the Infinity Stones before Thanos, Banner is told that when they’re done using the stones in the present, they must return them to the exact moment they retrieved them from the past, otherwise they will cause multiple realities.
Newsweek referred to this as the Many Worlds theory.
7. Why did the Avengers pick those specific moments to go back in time?
Tony, Bruce, Clint, Natasha, and the rest of the Avengers could have picked any moments in the past to revisit to gather the Infinity Stones ahead of Thanos. So it’s a little puzzling that the team went back to several tricky moments to gather stones.
For instance, instead of revisiting “Thor: The Dark World” to extract the Reality Stone from Jane (Natalie Portman), wouldn’t it have been easier to retrieve it from the Collector at the film’s end? That’s where Thor had it dropped off. Likewise, Thor’s home of Asgard was home to the Tesseract for years before Loki removed it from a basement tunnel.
The same goes for the Power Stone in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Rocket Raccoon was with Peter Quill when it was left with the Nova Corps on Xandar. It just seemed as if the team went out of their way for unnecessary reasons. I guess the movie would have been a lot shorter and less exciting if everything was easy, but it makes our heroes look incredibly silly. No one was rushing them to head into the past. They had all the time in the world to get their plan in order.
8. Why doesn’t future Nebula die when past Nebula is shot and killed?
The majority of “Avengers: Endgame” takes place in 2023, five years after the events of “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Late in the movie, Nebula from 2014 time-travels to 2023. She’s then killed by Nebula from 2023. If future Nebula kills her past self, shouldn’t she be dead too?
I suppose she’s alive because Bruce tells the group earlier that your past self doesn’t affect your future, but I’m really having a tough time seeing how Nebula continues to exist if she’s just been wiped from history.
9. We can bring Gamora back after being killed in “Infinity War,” but you’re telling me you can’t bring back Black Widow?
This is where the time-travel stuff started to bug me. Red Skull said anyone who gives their life for the Soul Stone cannot come back from the dead. He didn’t explain why. When pressed for answers, Hawkeye tells Thor to go and talk to Red Skull himself.
Gamora was killed in 2018’s “Infinity War” because of the stone, and she’s now back (even though it’s a past version of herself from before those events). If we’re playing by those rules, then couldn’t the team just get a Black Widow/Natasha from the past and bring her back into the future?
Bruce Banner simply says there’s no way to bring Black Widow back, without explanation. Later he mentions that when he snapped his fingers wearing the new Infinity Gauntlet he tried to bring her back but simply couldn’t. Some force wouldn’t let him.
Earlier in the film, Banner is told by the Ancient One that right after they use the Infinity Stones to fix their timeline, they need to return them to the moments in which they were removed. If not, they will have opened up some bad alternate realities. I’m wondering whether some of those bad alternate realities would have occurred if they tried bringing a Nat from another point in time into 2023.
10. How easy is it to put the stones back in time?
The Ancient One told Bruce Banner that as soon as they reverse the effects of Thanos’ snap, they need to return the Infinity Stones to the exact moments where they retrieved them. Otherwise, time as they know it could split into different realities where terrible events could occur.
At the film’s end, we see Captain America volunteer to go back in time and put the stones back. He apparently has no problem doing this. Honestly, it seems as if it should be a bit tougher to do that. Wouldn’t there be even more versions of himself in some realities he has to deal with?
It also seems it would be more of a hassle inserting the Aether back into Jane in “Thor: The Dark World” instead of extracting it. I would really like to see how Captain America goes about doing that without getting caught.
11. One more thought about this: How exactly does Captain America return the Soul Stone?
How does that work? Does he just hand it to Red Skull? Shouldn’t he be able to get Natasha back?
You need to trade a soul to get the Soul Stone. It seems you should get something in exchange for returning it. What a rip-off.
12. Why didn’t they use the time machine to just get more Pym Particles?
Several times throughout the movie, Ant-Man makes it very clear they have a small supply of Pym Particles to travel back in time. Once they’re used up, that’s it! But if they simply travelled back to a moment before Pym vanished, the team could have easily had a possibly unlimited supply of Pym Particles. At the least, Pym could have provided them more.
This is even more mind-boggling when Tony, Captain America, Bruce Banner, and Ant-Man go to 2012 to acquire three Infinity Stones at once. When Tony loses the Tesseract, Ant-Man tells him he blew it and that they have enough Pym Particles only to return home.
Tony and Cap decide to go further back in time to get some more Pym particles. But they could have just stayed in 2012 and flew to Hank Pym to ask him for more. I guess all of that wouldn’t have been as fun.
13. Where were all these missing characters?
“Avengers: Endgame” features a lot of characters, including some faces from past movies. However, we were surprised that a few characters were nowhere to be found, including Ant-Man’s best friend, Luis; his ex-wife, Maggie; Sharon Carter; and the Vision.
We were convinced Luis would have helped his best friend out of the Quantum Realm if he wasn’t among those lost at the end of “Infinity War.” Why even bother with the Sharon Carter and Cap romance in “Civil War” if we were never going to see her again? I was also surprised that Tony never tried to rebuild some form of Vision/Jarvis. He can figure out time travel in no time, but rebuilding a friend? Nah.
One of the biggest mysteries to me while watching was why we never saw either of Cassie Lang’s parents briefly on screen. Was Cassie just living on her own? I need answers and closure.
14. Where was the villain from the beginning of “Guardians of the Galaxy”?
If we’re following the events of the 2014 movie, after Peter Quill gets the Power Stone, he’s met by Korath, who tries to take it from him. He conveniently never shows up to confront Nebula and War Machine though.
15. How do Nebula’s 2023 memories sync up with her 2014 self?
The moment that Nebula heads back in time to 2014, her past self gains awareness of all her memories.
What is going on, and how does that make any sense? I’ve interpreted it as if all of Nebula’s memories are stored in something similar to Apple’s iCloud, which is unfortunate for the Avengers. Nebula in 2014 is more machine than human. Thanos has basically ripped her apart and rebuilt her with robotic parts. When Nebula goes back in time from 2023, she unexpectedly syncs up with other self.
Still confused? It’s like when you buy a new iPad or phone and you’re able to download all your content from the cloud. It makes sense, but it’s awfully convenient to keep the plot moving along.
16. What was the point of making such a big deal out of Project Pegasus in “Captain Marvel”?
It seemed like a very clear setup for the entire time-travel story. It’s blatantly said in “Captain Marvel” that Project Pegasus involved Wendy Lawson was trying to figure out how to harness the energy of the Tesseract – the cube that held the blue Infinity Stone – to create a light-speed engine.
What would that have been used for? Probably to travel through time and space. Yet it’s never even mentioned in “Endgame.”
You can read more on Pegasus here.
17. Is Loki’s fate changed at all now that he escaped with the Tesseract in 2012?
When Tony and Ant-Man went back in time to 2012, they changed things up for Loki. Instead of returning to Asgard with his brother Thor, he wound up with the Tesseract and escaped into the unknown.
Where’d he go? We have no idea. Do his actions still lead to his death in “Infinity War”? Also unclear. We know Loki is among the few characters to get a Disney Plus show.
Is his Disney Plus streaming show going to take place somewhere in this new timeline of events?
18. Is Thor a Guardian of the Galaxy now?
Thor goes off with Rocket and the Guardians at the film’s end, hinting that we’ll see him head on adventures with them next. Does this mean we could see the God of Thunder in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”? If he doesn’t get a fourth “Thor” movie, perhaps. The quirky humour and vibe of “Ragnarok” certainly lent itself to “Guardians.”
19. Where did Gamora go, and will she return to the Guardians of the Galaxy?
The Gamora we know now has no memories of the Guardians of the Galaxy. As a result, she just left and disappeared after Thanos and his army vanished in thin air. When Thor boarded the Guardians’ ship, you could see that Quill was searching for Gamora with no luck.
Where did Gamora go? Is she even really out there?
What would be interesting is if Gamora actually vanished with Thanos and everyone else from 2014. We don’t know what Tony wished for when he snapped his fingers. He didn’t know Gamora. He could have wished for all the bad guys to be gone, or for everyone from the wrong timeline to vanish. It would be devastating to lose her again, but it would really clear things up and make them a bit less confusing.
20. What’s next for the Hulk?
Thor left his other buddy back on Earth. Bruce Banner’s BFF Tony is gone, Captain America is an old man, Natasha’s dead, and Clint is back with his family. Disney still can’t do its own standalone Hulk movie because it doesn’t have the rights for that, so will we see him team up with someone else?
I’m absolutely OK with Banner hulking out with Peter Parker as the two grieve a common friend. Maybe Hulk will head back to the Sanctum Sanctorum and properly introduce himself to Doctor Strange. He already went there twice now, in “Infinity War” and “Endgame.” That doesn’t seem like a coincidence. If Mordo’s alive, Strange can use some friends.
21. If the Ancient One really sees everything, shouldn’t she have seen that Bruce would come to her?
If not, does the Ancient One who later meets Doctor Strange know of everything that will come to pass?
22. Who is Black Widow’s dad?
If you go back and watch every “Avengers” movie, there’s always a brief explanation of moments from Black Widow’s life. In “Endgame,” Red Skull mentions her father’s name. Loki also mentioned her dark past in “Avengers.”
I’m guessing this will be something at the heart of the planned “Black Widow” movie.
23. So that Black Widow movie is a prequel, right?
We watched her give her life to acquire the Soul Stone, and Hawkeye and Bruce Banner made it very clear several times that she’s not coming back.
The only logical way for her to come back in a movie would be in flashbacks. We only know bits and pieces of Black Widow’s harrowing past so far.
24. What happened in Budapest?
Clint Barton and Black Widow have, nearly every time they have been on screen together, vaguely talked about something that happened in Budapest. After 11 years, we still have no idea what they’re talking about.
Maybe Hawkeye will be in this “Black Widow” movie too.
25. How does time in the Quantum Realm work? It appears to have worked differently for Scott Lang and Janet van Dyne.
Scott was in there for five years and said it felt like five hours. Janet was in there for 30 years, and it’s safe to say that more than 30 hours passed for her. She doesn’t appear to have aged any slower.
As the dalek in “Doctor Who” say, “explain.”
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