The first trailer for Avengers 4 has finally arrived and - as we speculated back in April - the movie's title is Avengers: Endgame. The title isn't exactly a spoiler, but it is a reference to a very important line in Avengers: Infinity War, when Doctor Strange tells Iron Man, "We're in the endgame now." Yes, while all might seem lost (half of all living creatures in the universe being wiped out is a bit of a downer), there's every reason to believe that Doctor Strange had a plan for the Avengers to ultimately win.
Unfortunately, Doctor Strange himself is no longer around to explain what the plan was, since he was turned to dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. In fact, the roster of superheroes is currently looking a little thin, with only the original Avengers (and Rocket Raccoon) left to try and undo the devastation.
The Avengers: Endgame trailer makes it clear that the Avengers do have some kind of plan, with Black Widow telling Captain America, "This is going to work, Steve," and Cap replying, "I know it is. Because I don't know what I'm going to do if it doesn't." But whatever they have in mind, it's part of a larger plan that was set in motion by Doctor Strange - a plan that started with letting Thanos win.
- This page: What Avengers: Endgame's Title Means
- Page 2: Previous Teases Of Endgame in the MCU
Endgame Is Doctor Strange's Infinity War Plan
When Doctor Strange decided to hand over the Time Stone to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, many fans guessed that he probably had a good reason for doing so. While he was stuck on Titan with Iron Man, Spider-Man, Nebula, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, Strange went into a trance and looked into more than 14 million possible outcomes of the battle ahead, searching for one in which they would beat Thanos. It turned out that there was, in fact, only when possible future that didn't end in total defeat - and judging by Doctor Strange's tone, it sounds like that one possible outcome would require a considerable sacrifice.
The general assumption right now - based on the clues proffered in set photos - is that the Avengers will find a way to undo Thanos' actions through time travel, going back as far as the Battle of New York (or perhaps even further) in order to change the course of history. The big question that remains, however, is whether Doctor Strange somehow managed to put together a plan and leave a message explaining it all (maybe as a recording on the Guardians' ship, the Benatar), or whether he simply foresaw the Avengers coming up with a plan of their own in the wake of the Decimation. Either way, Strange telling Tony that "we're in the endgame now" was a clear indication that they were on the path to victory - however painful and difficult that path might be.
Is This The Only Way To Defeat Thanos?
Another obvious question that arises is why the only way for the Avengers to win was to let Thanos win first. When we last saw the Mad Titan, he had finally settled down for retirement, content in the fact that he had achieved his goals. The trailer for Avengers: Endgame even shows that he has turned his armor into a scarecrow - a fun nod to the comics upon which these two movies are based. Thanos has clearly let his guard down, which actually creates an opening for the Avengers to undo "the snap" while he's not paying attention. Moreover, the Infinity Gauntlet itself was permanently damaged by the devastating force of the snap, so Thanos may not be able to repeat his actions even if he wanted to. Perhaps Doctor Strange handed over the Time Stone precisely because he knew the only way to cripple the Gauntlet was to unleash its full, horrifying potential.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019