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Warning! SPOILERS ahead. Read at your own risk!
As viewers experience Captain Marvel for the first time, no doubt they're analyzing the character's story and wondering how it will play into the future of the MCU. Carol Danvers is already confirmed to be an important player in Avengers: Endgame, but some might assume that other theories proposed ahead of the film are now invalid after seeing Captain Marvel. Specifically, we're referring to the representation of Skrulls as villains in the Marvel universe.
It's easy to think otherwise after watching, as the species was portrayed to be nothing more than frightened refugees seeking safety from the vigilant Kree and their desire to eradicate the species. The Skrulls weren't the bad guys this time around, but that doesn't mean the MCU isn't planning on working in the Skrulls to be major aggressors in Phase 4. There are some clues that point to Captain Marvel's Skrulls being outliers as opposed to the norm.
All credit to Marvel Studios for subverting hardcore fan expectations, as using Talos was a perfect way to throw them off the trail. He's one of the more brutal and notable Skrull characters in Marvel Comics, so it was easy to expect that even if the Kree weren't the "heroes" Carol assumed they were, the Skrulls were just as nasty, if not a little worse.
The lack of evil wasn't the only thing different about Talos either, as the character was also known for being a Skrull who lacked the ability to shape shift. Talos touted himself in Captain Marvel as being one of the best at shapeshifting, which stuck out to me as an oddly specific line given the character's origin. Talos might be a great shape-shifter in the '90s, but could he have lost his ability in the years since?
If that happened, it may have been the result of an incident that's changed his attitude on many things since. It's one of those things that screams as a catalyst into making a likable character a villain, and also making him closer to the version in Marvel's canon. Plus seeing Talos transition from grateful ally of Captain Marvel to fearsome foe would be quite the story arc.
That's just one character, however, and as many know, the Marvel universe is not lacking for evil Skrulls. Just because Talos and his crew were good doesn't mean there aren't some other Skrulls lurking about intent on infiltrating cultures and dominating societies. After all, every species in the MCU has a few bad eggs. It would be weird if the Skrulls were the sole exception to that rule.
Again, imagine all the things that could've happened in the last 20 years. The Skrulls could've found a new home, re-grew its numbers and could be seeking revenge on the Kree, especially now that adversaries like Ronan The Accuser are gone. It's also possible there were some Skrulls on Earth unaffiliated with Talos and his crew, and are slowly working their way up the chain of power to make a big play on behalf of Skrulls everywhere.
In typical Skrull fashion, this could be done by disguising themselves as authority figures. People like Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross, who have bounced back into the MCU like nothing happened after being gone for so long. Captain Marvel showed the perks of a Skrull positioning themselves in a position of power, and Ross has been in a pretty sweet power position threatening heroes with the power of the United States government. I'm not saying Ross is for sure a Skrull in disguise, but I won't be surprised if he is.
Plus, it doesn't seem like Marvel Studios to go to such lengths to introduce the Skrulls, and then immediately erase any chance for a "Secret Invasion" adaptation. Skrulls slowly taking over the identities of notable heroes was an exciting event in the comics, and could make for some really mind-blowing twists in the MCU in Phase 4. It's a story line that could slowly develop during Avengers: Endgame and serve as an explanation behind some actors' high profile exits.
It's also a big MCU event substantial enough to shoulder another major Marvel ensemble feature, which is something the studio will need going forward. After Thanos' defeat, the bar has been set to work towards the next major threat to the universe. Sure, Galactus, Annihilus and Cronus might be more intimidating, but what the Skrulls lack in god-like powers, they more than make up for with their ability to surprise audiences again and again.
Let's be honest, if putting the most powerful villain available as the head of a major feature was always the right call, X-Men: Apocalypse would've been a slam dunk. Marvel may not have the vision to tackle massive foes like Galactus just yet, and could use a Skrull invasion in the meantime without doing a massive amount of work to explain why that could happen.
Of course a secret invasion wouldn't exactly be easy, but Captain Marvel already got a bulk of the exposition on Skrulls out of the way. We know they can shape shift to make themselves look like anyone, and can only retain recent memories. That's more than enough to start laying some eggs, and it's enough even for Carol to potentially out an Avengers character as a secret Skrull during Avengers: Endgame.
Put simply, a few good Skrulls doesn't mean the race won't be a major player in Phase 4 and an aggressor towards a future lineup of heroes. Whether it's The Avengers, Guardians, or some other upcoming hero group that will be introduced in Phase 4, we shouldn't assume the MCU will keep the Skrulls as a race solely comprised of pacifists. With that said, things might be a little bit easier on Earth's Mightiest Heroes if they stay that way.
We won't know for sure what's happening with the Skrulls until Avengers: Endgame at the earliest, so keep checking with CinemaBlend in the weeks leading up to and after its release for more details. For more on Captain Marvel, read up on its box office debut and how it's killing it in its first week.