Avengers: Endgame introduced a number of major plot developments and fictional concepts that are still at play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe today. One of the biggest, however, has to be time travel, which ultimately aided Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in defeating Thanos. Loki (which is available to Disney+ subscribers) was the next MCU production to feature time-hopping and more recently, the complex and (dangerous) practice cropped up again in Ms. Marvel. Time travel came into play during a pivotal moment for the latter series, and some may be wondering whether that incident syncs up with Endgame’s pre-established rules. To that end, the show’s head writer, Bisha K. Ali, has shared some thoughts.
Bruce Banner a.k.a. Smart Hulk was the one to lay out the rules of time travel in Avengers: Endgame. The good doctor, and the film’s writers, ignored Back to the Future and explained that changing the past won’t automatically adjust the future. Instead, any kind of change at some point in time could result in the creation of a branch reality. This was expanded upon further in Loki, in which the operatives of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) referred to those moments as Nexus events. And the massive organization doesn’t take kindly to those who attempt tamper with the Sacred Timeline.
In Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan was sent back in time to the 1940s amid the partition of India, where she encountered her great grandparents and a young version of her grandmother, Sana. Before this point, the show had established that Sana was separated from her father as they attempted to flee to Karachi and that she was led back to him by a trail of stars. Well, as viewers eventually learned, it was Kamala who created those stars, after being asked by her dying great grandmother to guide Sana. When I spoke with Bisha K. Ali, I asked whether that broke any of the MCU’s principles of time travel, and she believes that everything works:
In addition to serving as the head writer and EP on Kamala Khan’s solo series, Bisha K. Ali was a writer and story editor on the God of Mischief’s show. So she’d definitely be an authority when it comes to the way time travel works in the cinematic universe, and her reasoning does make sense. When helping Sana find her dad, Kamala didn’t actually alter anything but simply fulfilled something that was meant to happen. I guess you could say she simply helped to “fill a need” in the timeline.
Marvel has created some fairly interesting rules for time travelers, and some fans seem to think that they clash with each other. When Loki dropped, some debated whether its time travel rules fixed Avengers: Endgame’s issues in that regard. The jury may still be out, but I’d agree with Bisha K. Ali in that the TVA would serve as the be-all and end-all when it comes to the rules of time in the MCU.
Since big things are poised to happen in the franchise over the next few years, you have to wonder if time travel will come into play again. The recently announced Phase Six slate is confirmed to include the film Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (which just found a director), and will see the heroes face off with the titular conqueror. Might they use time travel to defeat him as they did with the Mad Titan. Probably not, though I’d expect it to come into play again at some point down the road.
Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
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