Captain America’s First Trip Into Space Is Actually a Callback to ‘Avengers 1’
Traveling into space was not always a rare occurrence in The Avengers movies, yet not every movie took place there. If most people link space with Captain Marvel, or the Guardians of the Galaxy, no one should forget trips there occurred with Captain America, plus Tony Stark.
For some Avengers, space seemed like no big deal. Rocket Raccoon, for instance, spouted some snarky lines when the human Avengers took a deep space trip for the first time like little kids.
With Steve Rogers/Captain America, it was quite the experience going to space. The scene gave fans reminders of when Tony Stark did the same (briefly) in the first The Avengers movie. Both Stark and Rogers brought a sense of human awe back to seeing our universe.
Steve Rogers’ reaction to space was a callback to a different generation
Someone on Reddit recently posted a thread with a still shot of the moment Rogers first went into space during Avengers: Endgame. His reaction somewhat harks back to films like 2001: A Space Odyssey when Dave Bowman visits the farthest reaches of space for the first time in human history.
For Rogers, just going into the orbit of earth was an extraordinary experience. Not everyone born during the time of the original space race would probably truly understand what it was like to initially see space through human eyes. The same goes for the level of awe that occurred when the first moon landing occurred.
Unfortunately, Steve Rogers missed all of that (in the first timeline) due to being buried in ice for 70+ years. It gave his little moment in space a different reaction shot from others in space movies over the last 50 years. Fans on Reddit note how much of a standout the scene was and how it never gets quite as much attention as it deserves.
In contrast, it also recalls Tony Stark’s quick fly into space during The Avengers. Reactions from both prove how effective actors Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans are.
The art of acting awed while in space
Ever since 2001: A Space Odyssey set the bar for actors reacting to space, all others had to follow in the same shoes. What made 2001 so extraordinary is it released a solid year (1968) before America landed on the moon. However, NASA astronauts had already experienced the wonder of orbital space, albeit for only a few short years prior.
In movies following 2001, various actors had to pretend to react in awe to space, if eliminating Star Wars movies because space was already their world. Most 2001-like reactions came in later movies like 1983’sThe Right Stuff (about the U.S.’s early space programs), plus Contact in 1997.
Jodie Foster managed to convincingly give one of the best ever cinematic depictions of jaw-drop about traveling dimensionally through the universe.
Others have followed, including Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Since the MCU is about as American as it gets, they had to include space reaction shots from their superhero bigshots. Tony Stark’s reaction to space in The Avengers is ultimately different from the one Steve Rogers had.
Yes, when Stark had to bolt into space after shooting a nuke into a wormhole to battle Thanos, former thinks he is about to die. His reaction was one of determination and sacrifice, something ironically happening later at the end of Endgame.
Space will probably play a factor again in future MCU movies
A lot more opportunity exists now for more space reaction shots. While fans will likely never see ones from Stark and Rogers again, some human Avengers might have more opportunities in space. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might offer scenes like that once it finally gets made and released.
As for films like The Eternals, MCU fans will have an opportunity to see space from a different perspective. Being able to see how omniscient beings from space react to earth for the first time will be the ultimate parallel in bringing an all-new type of big-screen reaction.