Did ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Create a Parallel Universe?
The twists in the Avengers: Endgame finale have everyone talking, or not talking due to not wanting to spill major spoilers. While we’re probably past the point of ruining any surprises for the most devoted fans, we’re going to assume you’ve seen Endgame by now. If you still don’t want spoilers, stop after this sentence and go read the next non-Marvel article on our main page.
What we’re going to discuss here is a very complicated plot development in Endgame, but it’s one we’re glad they took on. It deals with time travel and alternate realities, something we all know is a crutch in more than a few movies to create mind-blowing fun.
Whether it was an overly convenient device here (involving Captain America) is worth exploring a little deeper.
Yes, Marvel went the ‘Back to the Future‘ route
One thing we can say about Endgame deciding to use time travel and exploring inter-dimensional/alternate realities is it was new territory for the Marvel universe. While we’ve certainly seen our share of alternate reality superheroes in every comic book, these elements haven’t been used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe until now.
Whether it was a smart idea was another thing. Then again, with 22 movies and a massive cinematic history spanning 11 years, it was clearly an emotional ride being able to see specific scenes from the past movies play out again.
Those of you who don’t know what this means: it refers to the Avengers intending to use the Infinity Gauntlet to destroy Thanos, yet finding out the latter destroyed it with the Infinity Stones. Using the Quantum Realm, the Avengers plot out a vast time-travel plot to retrieve the stones from the past to attempt a positive outcome to the timeline.
While all the superheroes manage, Captain America (Steve Rogers) decides to stay in the past. Yes, since he’s from the past already, you can’t necessarily blame him for wanting to stay there.
Explaining the difference between time travel and alternate realities
A lot of fans were left scratching their heads when Steve Rogers decided to stay in the past and live a more peaceful life with Betty Carter. There were still some perplexing unknowns when it was explained he didn’t so much as time travel as traveled through other dimensions.
Hence, the official explanation is Rogers created an alternate timeline for himself so it wouldn’t affect any of the events in the official present.
What this just did is set up an interesting premise for upcoming MCU films. Ultimately, it means the term “canon” wouldn’t have to apply to the Avengers universe, something dogging so many sci-fi/fantasy/superhero movies.
Even so, we may still need an official explanation of this alternate timeline scenario from someone like Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Allowing for alternate universe films
Thanks to this plot development, you can finally say superhero movies have caught up with comic books. Now the MCU won’t have to worry about fans saying they ruined the canon of what’s happened before since multiple timelines have just potentially opened up.
Arguments can still be made about whether time travel is always the go-to area to explore to potentially mess with audience minds. It ultimately worked well for Endgame, though. The human elements to it are what worked rather than the scientific equations, an explanation in how the Back to the Future trilogy worked as well. However, even the latter mapped out the time travel so it had basic logic.
In BttF, creating alternate timelines was considered dangerous. Most people prefer the alternate timeline scenario in movies using time travel, according to public polls. When you think about it, such a scenario offers more satisfying situations you can’t always pack into one timeline or life.
Let’s hope part of this means further catching up with the comic books and allowing more women to assume the role of male Marvel superheroes.