There's no need to explain the ending of Avengers: Infinity War. The cliffhanger will likely live on as one of the most memorable endings in cinema. That tends to happen when half the universe is wiped away with a snap of the fingers. Every since the end of April 2018, fans have been trying to piece together what happened to Spider-Man, Black Panther, Star-Lord and the rest of universe. There's no shortage of internet theories, but now CinemaBlend wants to through its hat into the ring with a homegrown theory.
CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell has concocted a theory that the Avengers left standing at the end of Infinity War is actually a misdirect. It's the characters who were dusted that are actually alive, and heroes like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America are actually dead.
In the hunt for clues about the plot of Avengers: Endgame, there are no shortage of fans who have created their own theories about what happened during The Decimation. One of the most popular theories is that all the dusted heroes are actually in the Soul Stone, and most fans agree that Endgame is all about trying to find a way to bring the dusted back to life.
There are a ton of different theories about how the Avengers are going to accomplish, that with everything from time travel to the Quantum Realm on the table, but CinemaBlend's theory is that all of these attempts will ultimately fail because it's the heroes who thought they were "safe" that are actually in danger.
It's all just a matter of perspective. For example, Okoye saw Black Panther disintegrate right before her eyes. To her, he's the one who died, but what did Black Panther see? Does he just teleport to the Soul Stone or does he stay right where he is and Okoye is the one who disappears.
Think of it this way: The Decimation didn't take half the universe and wipe it out of existence. It moved those individuals to an identical Earth, where on that world it was the other half who looked as if they disintegrated. Both groups survive, but live thinking the other group died.
If you've ever seen The Leftovers on HBO, it's basically the same idea. The show was about a world where 2% of the population disappeared without a trace and how the leftover people deal with the unexplainable phenomena. However, the final episode presented a theory much like this one where in another reality, 98% of the world disappeared. Wild, right?
This theory is backed up by a few things. For one, all the people who were dusted in Infinity War are franchise leads for Phase 4. When you look at the list of characters who were dusted, it's actually really suspicious. Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy are all big players for the MCU in the near future.
Others like Scarlet Witch, Falcon, and Bucky are starring in their own streaming shows. (However, those series could be prequels.) They aren't just going to be wiped off the board. While fans never really thought these characters were gone for good, the assumption was the original Avengers would have to rescue them.
As this theory argues, there's no rescuing needed. Those characters are all alive and well on Earth, ready to go on vacations to Europe and have new adventures. That's not to say that they aren't broken up about all their missing buddies, but eventually they accept that there's no way to undo what Thanos did.
That would mean that the original Avengers are dead, but this works out. At least some of those characters are done with the MCU after Endgame. Contracts are up and people are ready to move on after 10 years. Having them be the ones who were really dusted is a convenient way to move them all off the board.
The argument against this is that Marvel moved the new players out of the way to give the original Avengers one last moment in the spotlight. Ending the franchise (or chapter or whatever) with the characters who started it all is satisfying for the viewer. However, you can still give those characters a meaningful sendoff while having them be dead the whole time.
As with any fan theory, there are some holes in this. For such a small guy, Ant-Man is a particularly big wrench here. Scott Lang escaped the Decimation because he was in the Quantum Realm at the time. We know that he eventually finds his way out and in a much different world. Lang is seen approaching the Avengers compound in the Endgame trailer, with Captain America and Black Widow watching him on a monitor. If Cap and Widow are in the Dead World, then how is Scott there, too?
There's no easy answer to that one, unfortunately, but I think it's important to remember that Marvel LOVES tricking people in trailers. The studio will use CGI to hide or replace elements, and will film entire shots just for the trailer. So, it's important to remember never to take anything in a Marvel trailer at face value.
Let's also consider Rocket and and Nebula also survived the snap. Despite a halt on pre-production, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still on the way. I can see Nebula getting killed off, but Rocket is a tougher pill to swallow, and it's doesn't seem likely that he'd that he'd be left out. Black Widow also has her own movie hitting theaters in the next few years. It's highly rumored to be a prequel, which might make this a moot point, but she can't really be dead AND have a solo movie.
Captain Marvel is another big wrinkle on this theory. She's going to be teaming up with the Avengers to defeat Thanos in this movie, but according to this theory, that would mean she's dead. That's really disappointing and highly unlikely considering that she will undoubtedly be a major force in the MCU moving forward.
Additionally, it would probably be a bummer if you watch the whole three hours of Endgame only to learn at the end that all the characters are dead anyway. It could make it feel like nothing that happened in the movie matters because there was really never anything for these characters to avenge. Maybe they want to beat up Thanos in the afterlife or something, but that's still a pretty low stakes situation. It's a more meaningful ending if the Avengers are trying to save everyone.
Of course, the people at Marvel are much smarter than I am, and maybe they found a way to make that type of storyline compelling and satisfying. There's more than one way to reach the goal, and the movie is so secretive that anything is possible at this point.
It's a very intriguing theory and it'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. All will be revealed on April 26. There's still a lot left to be revealed in about Avengers: Endgame, but we want to know what you think about this theory. Let us know in the poll below!
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Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.
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