The Avengers are believed to be on a time travel mission in Avengers: Endgame, but it may be to create their own Infinity Stones instead of stealing them. The six singularities known as Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been at the center of the story since nearly the beginning. Although the Tesseract and Loki's staff were not created to be them, they are two of many objects that would later be revealed to be among the most powerful artifacts in the universe.
After waiting patiently to acquire them, Thanos (Josh Brolin) finally set out to gather the stones himself in Avengers: Infinity War. Once he successfully found them all and wielded their power through the Infinity Gauntlet, he snapped his fingers and wiped out half of the universe's population. Infinity War only briefly showed the world crumbling as a result of the chaos, but the marketing for Endgame has truly shown what a post-snap MCU looks like. In doing so, it also became even more clear that the remaining heroes will try to figure out how they can put reality back together and bring back those they lost.
Marvel has done a great job of officially keeping Endgame's plot under wraps, which has led to several theories on what exactly the plan will be. Even though the details of these theories can vary greatly, there are two key recurring aspects to some of the most popular: time travel through the Quantum Realm and the Avengers needing the Infinity Stones for themselves. But, what if the latter isn't correct and the Avengers have different plans with the Infinity Stones?
- This Page: Time Travel Could Make The MCU More Confusing
- Page 2: The Avengers Are Duplicating (Not Stealing) Infinity Stones
The Avengers Are Time Traveling To Undo The Snap
There has yet to be any direct confirmation that Avengers: Endgame will involve time travel, but there's more than enough evidence at this point to support it. Some of the earliest set photos for the film showed an older version of Tony Stark back at the Battle of New York with Ant-Man and others. These photos were the first piece of information to spark time travel theories for the film, and they only increased in popularity after Ant-Man and the Wasp's mid-credits scene mentioned time vortexes. With this scene also leaving Ant-Man stuck in the Quantum Realm, him appearing in "archive" footage in the first Endgame trailer resulted in the time travel theories gaining more credibility.
If time travel is central to Endgame though, the purpose of it is then called into question. There's still a divide on what exactly the Avengers' plan will be, but their goal is pretty clear. They have all lost someone to the snap and will look to avenge these losses by stopping the snap from ever happening or undoing it. One of prevailing theories is that the Avengers will somehow travel through time and steal the Infinity Stones before Thanos has a chance to acquire them, but how can they do that without completely screwing up the timeline?
Time Travel Could Be Bad For The MCU Timeline
Time travel is one of the most difficult concepts to pull off in movies, as any small change to reality could alter the space time continuum. With that in mind, the idea of the Avengers plucking even a single Infinity Stone out of the past would completely change the course of history, let alone if they did so for all six. The MCU timeline already has its fair share of inconsistencies, so rewriting it further would be a confusing turn of events and may even negate what happened in past films.
However, even beyond whether or not time travel can make sense in Endgame, the MCU has already established how dangerous it is to mess with time. In Doctor Strange, Baron Mordo warns, "Temporal manipulations can create branches in time, unstable dimensional openings, spacial paradoxes, time loops." While this warning could even potentially be connected to Thanos' own actions in messing with reality having unforeseen consequences, Mordo also tells Strange that these actions could even result in someone never existing. Strange may not be around to explain this to the Avengers right now, but Tony Stark and Bruce Banner should be able to understand the risks of simply stealing Infinity Stones from the past. That's why we think they may be up to something else.
- 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