Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo has offered details on how the Infinity Gauntlet's Soul Stone works - both in battle, and outside of it. He and fellow director Anthony Russo revisited their summer blockbuster at a special Q&A screening of Infinity War, during which they shed new light on the movie's plot developments and offered behind-the-scenes details.
The Soul Stone was perhaps the most mysterious of all the Infinity Stones before the movie's release. Unlike, for example the Time Stone or the Mind Stone, we had yet to encounter the Soul Stone in a previous movie, and it was unclear where it was or even how it worked. Thanos eventually found the Soul Stone on the planet Vormir, and made the decision to murder his adopted daughter Gamora in order to receive it. On Vormir, we were also reunited with Captain America: The First Avenger villain Red Skull, who was a shadow of his former self, and had been charged with with watching over the Soul Stone.
The Time Stone can be used to turn back time, and the Reality Stone can be used to alter reality, so it's easy to see how those artifacts could be devastating in battle, but what exactly is the Soul Stone's power? According to Collider, Russo offered clarification on this point during the Q&A:
"The Soul Stone obviously has the ability to manipulate your soul, the essence of who you are. One key moment where it’s used is where Doctor Strange turns into multiple Stranges and then Thanos uses the Soul Stone to eradicate all the fake Stranges and momentarily shoves Strange out of his own body, and Strange has to pull himself back in… Of course when Thanos goes to the Soul Stone itself, to speak to his dead daughter, he obviously has an ability to resurrect, conjure the spiritual representation of the people who are dead."
Gamora's spirit is actually trapped in a place called Soul World, a pocket dimension held within the Soul Stone. After successfully wiping out half of all life in the universe, Thanos visits Soul World and finds young Gamora there waiting for him. She asks him if he accomplished his goal, and he says that he did. She then asks, "What did it cost?" - to which a heartbroken Thanos replies, "Everything." Some fans have theorized that the fact that Gamora still exists inside the Soul Stone means she could be resurrected in next year's Avengers 4. Another popular theory is that the characters who died in "the snap" are trapped in Soul World with Gamora.
Russo said during the Q&A that the search for the Soul Stone was "the hardest story to come up with":
"It was really when, the point where we decided that the movie was Thanos’ movie, we needed the lowest moment of the film to belong to him, so that’s when we started to develop the Soul Stone story. How could we create pain? How could we dimensionalize him so he went on this journey during the film."
The Soul Stone currently still resides in the Infinity Gauntlet, but the Gauntlet was permanently damaged by the devastating impact of Thanos' snap, so it's unclear whether the Titan will still be able to use it to its full effect in the upcoming sequel. Regardless, the Soul Stone is one of the most interesting and mysterious Infinity Stones, and it's hard to believe that we've seen all of its secrets and uses just yet.
- 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 02, 2019