SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for Captain Marvel. If you have not yet seen the film, read on at your own risk.
The adventure featured in Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Captain Marvel answers a lot of questions fans had going into the blockbuster, but there is still one lingering that doesn’t have a specific conclusion: where Carol Danvers has been in the years between 1995 and 2018. We know that she left to help the Skrulls find a new homeworld, and do her part to end the Kree-Skrull, but everything else is pretty vague.
It’s an arena that may or may not be a part of Captain Marvel’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as time will tell how filmmakers choose to engage with the story. As of now, though Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is looking at it one way, and he told me about it during an interview earlier this month. Talking about the 23-year gap, the executive/filmmaker said,
Once people see the movie, the answer is a part of it. She's been dealing with this unjust war, as it's referred to at one point in the movie, between the Kree and the Skrulls - she's vowed to help them find a home, she's vowed to come after the Supreme Intelligence. So how long that took and how hard that was, it could certainly be one answer to that question.
How long does it take to peacefully transplant a society and sort out a centuries-long conflict? It’s really impossible to say, especially because you have to add in the fact that one of the most powerful beings in the universe is trying to achieve both goals. This in mind, it’s possible that she is still fighting the good fight when she receives Nick Fury’s signal following Thanos’ snap, or maybe she was able to wrap things up in a span of five years and has been instead dealing with a whole lot of other stuff instead.
As I said, this whole situation remains an open-ended question, but one thing that Kevin Feige revealed is that Carol Danvers’ adventures in space have done a significant job changing her perspective – as we will see during her next appearance in Avengers: Endgame. While she leaves Earth in 1995 with a much stronger cognizance of her own humanity, visiting other worlds and experiencing other cultures and societies in the time since has apparently given her an awareness of the variety of life in the universe, and it gives her a different angle on things post-Decimation that members of the Avengers won’t have. Feige explained,
There's no full flash back to the last 23 years [in Avengers: Endgame]… I don't want to say anything about Endgame, but I will say, as established in this movie, she very much takes responsibility for places that are not Earth - in large part because Earth has Fury and the Avengers.
This absolutely tracks. If Carol Danvers feels that the Earth is safe and in good hands under the protection of Nick Fury and the Avengers, she’s not going to put her (literal) energy towards enforcing that already powerful shield. Instead, she will be looking out for those that don’t have defenders, perhaps even those who we haven’t yet seen introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Captain Marvel, of course, is now playing in theaters everywhere, and we have less than two months to wait before her big comeback – with Avengers: Endgame set to be released around the globe on April 26th. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for a lot more from my interview with Kevin Feige, as there’s still a lot left to mine from our great conversation!