Avengers Infinity War ending

Holy crap, the ending of Avengers: Infinity War is insane. We had been told that the film would dramatically change the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I don’t think anyone expected THIS. Join me as I explore what the Infinity War ending might mean for Avengers 4 and the future of the MCU.

Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War follow.

Avengers Infinity War Trailer Breakdown - Thanos

What Happened in the Avengers: Infinity War Ending

One snap from the completed Infinity Gauntlet and half of the living things in the galaxy have disappeared from existence, turning into piles of dirt. And while the ending is very powerful and dramatic, it’s hard to walk out of the theater not recalling that Black Panther, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy all have announced sequels from Marvel. And while not announced, Marvel has strongly hinted that a Doctor Strange sequel is in the works too. How is this possible if they have all been erased from the MCU? Well, Avengers: Infinity War was always meant to be the first part of a two-film series.

The formerly titled Avengers: Infinity War Part II, now untitled, is set to hit theaters next year, on May 3, 2019. So it is expected that the events of that film will somehow restore at least part of the living universe that Thanos erased at the end of Infinity War.

Kevin Feige

Kevin Feige Suggests the Deaths Are Permanent

But there’s one small problem with that theory – Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, in advance of Infinity War, gave an interview promising that the deaths in the third Avengers film would not be retconned:

One criticism you’ve gotten is when somebody dies in a Marvel movie, they tend to come back in some way. If it happens, will it be for real this time? 

Yes. I mean, I could always list off the characters that we’ve killed in our movies that haven’t come back, but the big ones, which I know they’re looking at …? [Pause.] I would just say, yes. People need to be careful what they wish for.

That “yes” seems pretty definitive, but don’t let that worry you too much. I’m not sure the heroes who turned to dust are “dead,” but instead “erased from existance.” I think this loophole would allow for Feige’s answer to be truthful. But this does mean that other deaths we saw on screen were probably permanant.

Thor Ragnarok - Tom Hiddleston as Loki

So Who Is Really Dead?

The film opens with Thanos’ attack on the ships holding all of the remaining Asgardian people and the bloodbath continues:

  • Tom Hiddleston‘s Loki is visibly killed by Thanos during the opening sequence.
  • As is Idris Elba‘s Heimdall as he sends Banner to Earth as an early warning for what’s to come. I think it’s pretty safe to assume these two deaths are for real. Even Thanos comments that this time there will be no resurrection of Loki.
  • Zoe Saldana‘s Gamora is thrown off a cliff on Vormir in an effort for Thanos to get the Soul Stone. While it’s not 100% confirmed that Gamora is dead, she looked pretty dead laying on the bottom of the cavern. At very least, Thanos believes that she was killed.
  • Paul Bettany‘s Vision met his end not once, but twice. First in the loving sacrifice by Wanda in an effort to destroy the Mind Stone, and moments later when Thanos used the Time Stone to reverse time and brutally extract the gem from Vision himself.
  • Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight and Cull Obsidian all meet their ends in their encounters with the Avengers. Heck, their only purpose in this movie was really to offer a big fight and a a little success for our heroes before their ultimate loss.

Who Might Actually Be Still Alive Offscreen?

But what about all the other Asgardian people? What about Korg, Meek, and Valkryie (Tessa Thompson)? It’s hard to hear in the opening to this movie, but it’s apparently said in the distress signal that some of the Asgardians had escaped the slaughter. I’ve been told that secondhand by a good source, but haven’t heard the actual line in the movie itself. So it’s possible that they may have escaped Thanos’ destruction.

On Knowhere, we see Benicio Del Toro‘s The Collector before realizing that Thanos was creating a previous reality and the whole collection had been destroyed. It’s safe to assume that Taneleer Tivan did not survive this encounter.

There is also the possibility that Shuri was able to back up Vision’s data in an effort to bring him back at a later time.

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