WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Wonder Woman.
The story of Wonder Woman begins with her leaving home, selected as the champion of the Amazons and the very best of their society… but as the final Wonder Woman trailer for her movie confirms, that’s all about to change. The decision is likely to irritate or enrage the DC Comics fans who argue against any departure from the source material, no matter the reasoning behind it. But in this case, the decisions made by director Patty Jenkins to update, modify, or simplify seem to be in the best interest of the film. In particular, its core story of Diana departing one world for another… with no way of going back.
It’s not the first notable change to the traditional, classic, or Golden Age origin story that the film is taking, with mounting evidence that Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is the daughter of Zeus (a change made in DC’s New 52 relaunch). That alone is a “betrayal” of the heroine’s origin to some staunch Wonder Woman fans, making the competition held among the Amazons to select their champion rigged from the outset. Make no mistake: if the latest reveal is as it seems, there may be no competition at all. In fact, Diana’s journey may be her own: not as a champion, a diplomat, or bodyguard… but a daughter and sister.
How It Happened In The Comics
To know what has been changed, and construct your own opinion on whether the changes are for better or worse, it’s good to have a bit of a reminder. The best update or modern interpretation of the classic origin story comes courtesy of Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott’s Wonder Woman: Rebirth (in fact, it’s really the perfect Wonder Woman comic to read before the movie), in which the classic beats of Steve Trevor’s arrival on Themyscira, Diana’s early relationship with him, and how she wound up carrying him back to the world of man are given new, but faithful meaning.
It’s established in the comic that Diana, the daughter of the strong, proud, and beautiful Queen Hippolyta is everything her mother is, and more. So when an outsider crashes onto her island and is in need of a return to safety, the Amazons know that a Champion must be chosen. Hippolyta’s heart grows instantly heavy, along with the rest of the Amazons… for they know that no matter the challenge, Diana will be the best of them. And to win the role of Champion means they will all be robbed of her presence – for once an Amazon leaves Themyscira, they can not return home.
Diana proves best at archery, swords, shields, horse riding, you name it. Until finally, her ability to deflect a bullet – the weapon of the world she now sets out toward – leaves no further hope. Diana is dressed in the Amazons’ finest armor, equipped with her priceless relics and weapons, and given a heroine’s farewell.
How The Movie Will Change It
There was reason to believe that things had changed in prior trailers, showing Diana fetching the Godkiller Sword, as well as her famous golden lasso and signature shield and armor, but the final trailer is all the proof we need. Fans don’t need to worry about Diana winning the Amazons’ tournament “fairly,” since it doesn’t look like any tournament takes place at all. From the shot above, Diana and Steve are making their escape in the dead of night, bid farewell by only Queen Hippolyta (who sounds like she’s urging Diana to stay behind her people).
The shots that follow seem to support this idea of Diana breaking from the wishes of her people, or at least from the expectations of her mother to stay where she is, and most importantly, stay safe. From what we know of the movie discussed during our trip to the movie’s editing bay, there’s a secret link between Wonder Woman and the villain. A link that makes Diana something that she can never fully know, but something Hippolyta knows is likely to see her “found” by “him” should she exit the protection offered by Zeus.
On Themyscira, hidden, with her sisters, Diana is safe from what may find her. But exit with Steve Trevor, and her true nature will likely be learned… if not by Diana, then by her enemies. We know which decision Diana will make… but how different will her story become as a result of these changes?