Warning! The following contains SPOILERS for Captain Marvel**. Read at your own risk!**
All of the MCU's Infinity Stones are shown to have massive amounts of power, yet few are given the amount of screen time as one in particular. Disguised in a device known as the Tesseract, the Space Stone has again and again shown up as a subject of interest in various hero adventures. It's more than a coincidence at this point, and we have to ask why.
Because let's face it, the Space Stone feels like one of the least interesting stones to have when compared to all the other options. So why does Marvel Studios insist on updating fans on its whereabouts and continue to include it in various films? We have a few theories, all of which might explain why MCU films are so obsessed with the Space Stone.
To begin, let's dive into what the Space Stone is capable of. The stone grants the user the ability to create portals and the power to travel to various worlds and dimensions. It's also an insanely powerful energy source and has been used by different organizations over the years as a power supply when housed within the Tesseract. Its power is something only a select few can control, with grave consequences for the unworthy who try and yield it.
Yet some have had a certain degree of success wielding this artifact, and while the most recently shown version of one doing so was unconventional, we have to wonder if the Space Stone will end up vital to Carol Danvers. As seen in Captain Marvel, Carol's cosmic powers are largely derived from her absorbing of the Space Stone's energies back when she and Mar-Vell attempted to evade the Kree.
This is important to remember, as Carol was also seen holding the Tesseract and being able to withstand its immense energy without being harmed. In a hypothetical situation where Infinity Stones are being doled out, she appears to be capable of wielding the Space Stone and enhancing the powers she's obtained from it even further. Captain Marvel's already pretty damn strong, so what would she be capable of with the Space Stone?
That's a question Avengers: Endgame may answer, as the film's post-credit sequence showed Goose the "cat" coughing the Tesseract up. With the object chilling on top of Nick Fury's desk in 1995, maybe someone could travel back in time, snag it, and return it before anyone finds out it's no longer in the Flerken. It's possible the Avengers does just that, and gives it to Carol to up her power in a fight against Thanos.
Now, whether that would result in two Space Stones being in the present or it would erase Thanos ever obtaining the Space Stone to begin with remains to be seen. If it's the latter, Captain Marvel would almost certainly have a leg up on Thanos, and the Mad Titan's snap would, presumably, be unable to happen. Those details will come in time, but for now, the only person who has the Space Stone in the present time period is Thanos, as it's in the Infinity Gauntlet along with the other Infinity Stones.
Taking the Space Stone from Goose would arguably be easier than trying to obtain the stone during World War II or the Battle of New York. With time travel more or less confirmed for Avengers: Endgame, that post-credit sequence may have been a way of creating a quicker scenario for that stone to be obtained. Maybe Nick Fury even catches them taking it and Carol explains why and adds that he should never use that beeper until he turns to dust?
Wouldn't that be a neat way of resolving fan questions? With that said, it's possible Marvel Studios is so Space Stone-centric because it's vital not just to rounding out the future of Phase 3, but helping grow the MCU as it kicks off Phase 4. Plans for the next stage haven't been revealed yet, but there have already been rumors that the X-Men, Blade and more will be involved.
This has been seen as a problem by some, as incorporating the existing X-Men and Blade universes could be messy. Their universes haven't been as neatly executed or meticulously plotted out as the existing MCU, so including them leaves the potential for each franchise to mess up the Utopian Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Space Stone presents a way to fix that, of course, and could be Marvel Studios' trump card in keeping its universe united, but separate.
With the Space Stone, all Marvel properties can essentially exist in their own world and only be brought together when a screenwriter decides to. The X-Men can continue to have their own adventures completely separate from the rest of the MCU for the next decade, and then the Space Stone can be used to pull them from their dimension into the MCU for a action-packed adaptation of Avengers vs. X-Men.
The same is true with the Blade films, although one would think incorporating him into the MCU would be a bit easier than the X-Men franchise. With that said, the Space Stone may be how Marvel ties in its R-rated heroes, but keeps their violent and gory adventures from complicating the morals of their own universe. It sounds like a situation where Marvel Studios can have its cake and eat it too, and I like it.
Perhaps the Space Stone isn't about Carol or inter-dimensional travel, however, and it's just so convenient to continue to tell stories centered on it? After all, an unlimited energy source is valuable, so it's not surprising that it's changed hands a few times over the past few decades. Still, its frequent appearance in different places all over the MCU has to have some deeper meaning, right? Is this the story of how Nick Fury lost his eye all over again?
Most likely no, and while we don't have guaranteed answers behind why the Space Stone is so important, its constant appearance in MCU adventures strongly indicates there's some bigger plan for it in the near or distant future. The Infinity Stones can only be destroyed under very specific circumstances, so unless someone wills for them to be gone at the end of Avengers: Endgame, count on seeing them again as the franchise moves forward.
What comes beyond is really an afterthought at this point, as Marvel fans are ready to see Avengers: Endgame come Friday, April 26. CinemaBlend will keep movie lovers up to date on all relevant details in the meantime and continue to dissect the little things in MCU films some may casually overlook. For example, take a look at the great Pulp Fiction references that were in Captain Marvel.