The surviving heroes of Avengers: Endgame were always going to try and bring back their dusted friends. Marvel fans suspected from early on time travel would be integral to achieving this goal. Time travel, however, throws up a lot of problems and many fans have been left puzzled. Warning: major spoilers for Endgame from here.
How does time travel work in Avengers: Endgame?
Many a metaphor has been used to try and explain time travel in Endgame.
Entertainment Weekly has come up with an analogy that makes it easier to understand.
Fans wrongly presumed time travel would rely on a butterfly effect concept, and that any action taken in the past would have an unforeseeable impact on the future.
Instead, Professor Hulk threw a wrench into this theory when, as the Avengers began to theorise about time travel, he said none of those other time travel movies got it right.
Here’s how Entertainment Weekly explained time travel in Endgame.
“Think of it literally as a movie — that’s easy to do, right?
“It’s a continuum, and you can’t rewind your own film while you’re still moving forward.
“But — you can hop out of your Blu-ray and into a player spinning another disc and land at any point in that copy of that story.”
So when present-day Nebula is confronted by 2014-Nebula, the present day one can kill her past self because she’s killing a copy.
The Ancient One expressly told Professor Hulk that removing the Infinity Stones from their ‘DVD’, so to speak, would create a new timeline for everyone still living in that DVD.
As EW wrote: “That’s why he promises to return the stones, to cause as little disruption to these other worlds as possible.
“If they can do that (as Captain America says he does at the end) those branched timelines realign with the central timeline — let’s call it the Prime Timeline — and it’s like the stones never left.”
So by returning the stones to their initial place, the two DVDs merge (the metaphor gets sticky, here) becoming the main DVD we, the audience, care about.
In the same way, when Captain America goes back in time, he lives his full life with Peggy in another DVD, while the Peggy in our DVD (which includes her TV show Agent Carter) features her married with two kids.
When you think about these timelines as distinct physical entities to which you travel, Professor Hulk’s claim that you can’t change the future by altering the past begins to make sense.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in cinemas.
Published at Wed, 01 May 2019 18:05:00 +0000