Avengers: Infinity War tells an action-packed story, but surprisingly it missed a lot of key moments. The film opens just minutes after Thor: Ragnarok's post-credits scene, and from there it takes viewers on a whistle-stop tour of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thanos is coming, and the entire cosmos trembles before his might.
But several concepts and themes actually go unexplored. In several cases, major events actually happen off-screen and are explained instead by dialogue. That's understandable, though. Some of the omissions actually benefit the film's structure, preventing repetitive plots; Thanos gains one Infinity Stone, and another, and another, and another... That plot can only go on for so long, especially given the Russo brothers wanted there to be an emotional impact every time Thanos acquired an Infinity Stone. In other cases, it's simply that the Russoss can only fit so many Easter Eggs into a single movie. But let's take a look at the important arcs and characters who didn't make the cut.
The Destruction of Xandar
This is perhaps the most startling omission of them all. 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy introduced the Power Stone, an Infinity Stone that could literally be used to judge entire worlds. That particular Infinity Stone wound up in the possession of Ronan, who attempted to use it to destroy the planet Xandar. Fortunately, he was stopped by the Guardians, and the Power Stone was left in the care of Xandar's Nova Corps. As the sequel revealed, the fact Xandar had possession of the Power Stone became common knowledge across the galaxy.
The opening scenes of Infinity War revealed that Thanos had already acquired the Power Stone. It wasn't hard to guess that he'd taken the Infinity Stone by force. Later dialogue saw Thor inexplicably reveal that Xandar had been razed a week ago. It's not quite clear how the God of Thunder knew this; after all, Infinity War is set straight after the events of Thor: Ragnarok, and Thor had spent the last week or so stranded on the remote world of Sakaar. Making this even odder, while Thor knew of Xandar's fate, the Guardians of the Galaxy didn't. The only possible explanation is that Thanos revealed this in an unseen villain monologue as he fought the God of Thunder.
In narrative terms, it's easy to understand why the Russos chose not to show the fall of Xandar. The Russos understand that cosmic action sequences carry more weight if they involve characters audiences genuinely care about. As much as comic book fans love the Xandarians, the reality is that general audiences have little reason to care, and haven't seen that planet on the big screen since 2014. Meanwhile, this may well serve as a smart strategic play on Marvel's part. The House of Ideas is reportedly considering a Nova film. Leaving Xandar's fate as vague as possible gives future screenwriters a lot of wiggle-room.
More surprisingly, however, Infinity War opens with Thanos having already captured the Asgardian refugee ship. His Black Order stalk through the ship's bay, stepping over the bodies of fallen warriors and civilians. The bulk of the actual battle goes unseen; as a result, key characters from Thor: Ragnarok don't make an appearance at all. Korg and Miek are notable for their absence. The most surprising, though, is Valkyrie. Although Tessa Thompson was missing from the trailers, she was seen on the set of Infinity War in May last year. Her name actually appears on the posters advertising Infinity War.
It's possible the opening scenes were cut during editing, and that Valkyrie - and perhaps even Korg and Miek - were originally seen. Meanwhile, some of the scenes shot in Scotland don't actually fit at all with Infinity War, so were presumably shot for Avengers 4 instead. If that's the case, Valkyrie may yet appear in next year's Infinity War sequel.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018