The Super Bowl trailer for Avengers: Infinity War may have revealed how some of Tony Stark’s technology from Captain America: Civil War will factor into Earth’s Mightiest Heroes battle against Thanos. So far, we have seen only two sets of previews for Infinity War (excluding the event-exclusive clip shown at D-23 and San Diego Comic-Con): the first full trailer released in November and another one just this weekend during Super Bowl LII.
Both have been light on plot details but upon closer inspection reveal a lot about smaller aspects of the film and confirm several prior rumors. One such rumor came from a vague tease by director Joe Russo that suggested Stark’s Binarily Augmented Retro Framing aka. B.A.R.F from Civil War would be key to Infinity War. B.A.R.F. is tech that hijacks the hippocampus to clear traumatic memories, such as that last fateful encounter between the genius billionaire with his parents before they were murdered.
In the new TV spot, we may see that application. In the trailer’s shot of Stark, Doctor Strange and Peter Parker, the background is remarkably similar to that seen behind Loki handing the Tesseract in the first trailer. Not only that, but it appears the Avengers are being illuminated by the glow of the Space Stone. It’s highly unlikely the New York-based heroes would be present during the scene, but B.A.R.F. provides another possibility. It’s theorized (h/t reddit) that the scene is a part of Bruce Banner’s memory of the New Asgard being attacked by Thanos’ ship, Sanctuary II (as teased in Thor: Ragnarok‘s post-credits scene), recreated by Stark once he’s back on Earth
After all, Banner will be still in his Hulk form during this sequence, and it has already been established that the physicist doesn’t remember anything when his green raging monster alter-ego takes over his consciousness. This is where B.A.R.F. comes in, providing Banner a way to relive what happened while he was green and the Earth-based heroes with knowledge of what the Mad Titan is up to (suggesting the Sanctuary II scenes are actually flashbacks). It’s unclear where this would fit in the story, but given that Peter Parker is already wearing the Iron Spider costume, it’s presumably after the first sign of cosmic meddling in New York.
Considering that Stark has presumably continued tinkering B.A.R.F. in the two years since Civil War, it’s curious if it has any additional features from the last time we’ve seen it. Back then, the tech could only allow its user to revisit a certain part of someone’s memory without being able to alter it; as Stark said himself, it was created to help people deal with depression and regret and nothing else. But since it was introduced to the MCU with greater purpose, it’s definitely possible that there’ll more to it here.
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