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Spoilers ahead for Carol Danvers' origin story.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong for well over a decade, and Phase Three brought a new success to the massive franchise. Every single blockbuster in the current slate of films has been a financial and critical success, as Disney continues to bask in the winning nature of the MCU. This includes the newest release, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's Captain Marvel, which is earning a ton of money at the box office and breaking new ground for the shared universe.
Captain Marvel introduced Brie Larson's Carol Danvers to audiences, after fans waited years for the origin story to finally arrive in theaters. The film also brought the cosmic side of the MCU back to the silver screen, as Captain Marvel and her new buddy Nick Fury got involved the Kree/Skrull War. She ultimately navigated her memories and awesome powers, and even shared a brief scene with the surviving heroes in the mid-credits scene.
Its the mid-credits scene fans have been waiting for for nearly a year, after Nick Fury heralded Captain Marvel right before fading to dust during the final moments of Avengers: Infinity War. Carol Danvers was finally brought to the present MCU timeline, and is shown rocking longer hair than in Captain Marvel. She arrives at the Avengers facility seeking Nick Fury, but a new theory indicates her meet-cute with the surviving heroes might be darker than we thought.
The Captain Marvel mid-credits scene shows Carol Danvers coming face to face with Black Widow, and immediately asking where Fury was. But a new theory indicates it might not be Carol at all, but yet another shape shifting Skrull. This would indicate a major twist ahead for Endgame, as well as a stronger tie-in to the events of Captain Marvel. And perhaps the real Captain is still somewhere in the cosmos, and therefore able to rescue Tony Stark and Nebula from their precarious position stranded in space.
Of course, there is one major factor that may stop this fan theory, (which comes to us from THR) from gaining more steam: the characterization of the Skrulls in Captain Marvel. While they were set up to be villainous shape shifters, it turns out that the Skrulls were actually a refugee alien race who were simply trying to live our their time in peace, away from the Kree War. As such, it might be unlikely that they end up being imposter villains in Avengers: Endgame.
Then again, Endgame is set decades after the events of Captain Marvel. While Ben Mendelsohn's Talos and his compatriots were friendly Skrulls, things may have changed in the years that Carol Danvers has been in the cosmos. What's more, the Skrulls are an entire alien race, so there could still be some bad guys out there. And the idea of Captain Marvel starting off Endgame as an imposter would certainly be a fascinating plot twist.
The war between the Skrulls and Kree framed the narrative of Captain Marvel, while the title character attempted to navigate her memories and mysterious past on Earth. The trailers and first act of the movie make the shapeshifting aliens the enemy, as Carol Danvers is seen scrapping with a seemingly innocent old lady, that turned out to be a Skrull in disguise.
But Talos and the rest of the green aliens got a much more sympathetic edit in the final product, as it was revealed that they're refugees trying to escape Carol Danver's alien allies, The Kree. In the end, Captain Marvel herself was a victim of the Kree, who manipulated her into joining the Star Force, and used a disrupter to tone her abilities down. Carol Danvers ultimately sided with The Skrull, while laying the beat down to Ronan's forces and Jude Law's Yon-Rogg in the process.
It should be fascinating to see how Captain Marvel and her supporting characters continue to factor into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Carol Danvers' origin story has already made a ton of money during its first week at the box office, all but guaranteeing a sequel in the process. Phase Three also introduced Black Panther and Spider-Man, who have quickly become major presences in the overall franchise. Smart money says Captain Marvel follows suit, especially given how many OG Avengers' contracts will be up with Endgame.
Brie Larson was announced as Captain Marvel years ago, so her Marvel debut has been a long time coming. The character is teased to have a major presence in Avengers: Endgame, especially after so many heroes turned to dust as a result of Thanos' finger snap of death (aka The Decimation). The surviving heroes are going to need all the help they can get if they hope to vanquish the Mad Titan, and reverse the affects of the snap. Luckily, Captain Marvel has been teased as the most powerful hero in the MCU, so they've got the big guns. As long as Carol Danvers doesn't end up being a Skrull in disguise, that is.
With just one movie left before Phase Three concludes, it seems like just about anything is possible in the future of the MCU. Marvel Studios hasn't revealed its plans after Spider-Man: Far From Home, guarding the next slate of films until Endgame hits theaters. But Kevin Feige has teased that the cosmic side of the shared universe will be a focus in Phase Four, with Captain Marvel helping to expand the fictional galaxy. Smart money says we haven't seen the last of the Skrull or Kree races, although whether or not they factor into Endgame remains to be seen.
Luckily, the wait is almost over for Avengers: Endgame. Anticipation has been at a fever pitch, and things should only get crazier for the rabid fanbase in the month leading up to its release. Thanos' snap seriously upped the stakes, and fans are eager to see how it all turns out.