Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man & the Wasp.
Thanos' master plan in Avengers: Infinity War is more diabolical than fans first thought - but it makes less sense the more Marvel tries to explain. As repeatedly explained in the film, Thanos wanted the Infinity Gauntlet so he could wipe out half of all life in the universe. Despite the Avengers' best efforts, the Great Titan assembled the six Infinity Stones and, with mastery over Space, the Mind, Power, the Soul, Time, and Reality, he snapped his fingers and won.
Many of the Avengers, including Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, and Black Panther, along with half the universe, faded to dust. Avengers: Infinity War's post-credits scene offered a glimpse of the mass murder as innocent people were dusted along with Nick Fury and Maria Hill. Ant-Man and the Wasp confirmed Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne, and their daughter Hope also turned to ash at Thanos' hand.
The death Thanos reaped upon the universe is incalculable, but it was assumed his wrath was aimed at people and sentient aliens (as evidenced by the death of Groot). Apparently, it's even more sweeping than it appeared. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed the purple monster also killed half of all animal and plant life in the universe with the snap of his fingers. So, when Thanos said "half of all life" had to die, he meant it. Unfortunately, his plan doesn't make sense and it seems like the filmmakers at Marvel didn't think what Thanos wanted to accomplish all the way through.
In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos explained his plan was about population control. He told Doctor Strange that his own homeworld of Titan grew too large to be supported by its resources and he decided that eliminating half of the people would restore balance. He applied his plan to other planets like the homeworld of his adopted daughter Gamora. He slaughtered half her people and years later, he claimed the result was her planet was now a paradise. But if the Titan believed there were too many people in the universe and too few resources to sustain them, then killing half of all life doesn't solve the problem in any way. Thanos wiping out half of the flora and fauna in the universe means he's had a key impact on how we consume major resources, leaving the survivors no better off than they were before.
If he killed people, plants, and animals, then Thanos didn't actually fix anything and he just committed mass murder for the sake of it. While his population control plan was deeply flawed to begin with, it held up with some semblance of warped reason if Thanos only killed people - which is what he stated was his goal.
In the comics, Mistress Death tasked Thanos with killing half of the universe, but it was understood that she meant people and not also animals and plants. Thanos only killed half the universe's people in The Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos' finger snap also killing plants and animals not only doesn't hold up logically, it's also not supported by what fans saw in Avengers: Infinity War. As soon as the Mad Titan snapped his fingers, the Avengers and their allies in Wakanda started dying, but only the people - the trees and other plant life all around them (not counting Groot) didn't also fade to dust.
Although Kevin Feige confirmed the full extent of Thanos' mass murder, even his word may not truly be "official" unless it's depicted in a movie. Therefore, if what Feige says is truly canon, it has to be made clear that half of all animals and plants are also gone in Avengers 4 - and the film should deal with the ramifications of that amount of universal loss as well. Otherwise, Marvel's best villain set forth a master plan that was already illogical to begin with, and they're now making it worse by offering an explanation that creates more problems than it solves.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- 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