Avengers: Endgame's Biggest Plot Controversy Explained
‘Avengers: Endgame’ was a masterpiece and rapidly on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film of all time. But anything relating to time travel is bound to raise some questions, especially because this movie presented a new perspective about it due to the Quantum Realm. Fans have managed to find some interesting plot holes, and this one about Steve Rogers is a real head-scratcher. Let’s get into detail!
THE CAPTAIN’S HAPPY ENDING
After they won, Steve Rogers was tasked to take the Infinity Stones back to their respective places in time and space so that their absence would not create a nasty alternative reality as the Ancient One explained to Bruce Banner. The Captain was supposed to return to the present after accomplishing his work, but he did not.
Instead, he appeared as an old man in a bench near the new Quantum portal, and Steve gave the Captain American shield to Sam Wilson, essentially passing on the torch. He had a ring on his finger and the next scene revealed that he went back to the 1940s, married Peggy Carter, and spent his life with her. But, some people were quick to question this part of the film.
After all, Bruce Banner had explained that changing the past does not necessarily change the future. But, it would be foolish to think that the Russos as well as writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely did not think about every part of the film thoroughly. The problem is that they could not explain everything on the screen correctly.
One of the major concerns regarding Steve Rogers’ actions is that when he went into the ice in 1945, Peggy Carter moved on with her life, married someone else, and had children. Since we still don’t have time travel in the real world, as far we know, it is hard to tell what actually happens when people do this. Movies like ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ deal with it, but each has its own rules.
Netflix’s ‘Dark’ is perhaps one of the most confusing shows ever. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ took some time off their screen time to describe the rules of time travel in their world. The logistics were laid down in the simplest way possible for young viewers – it is a Disney film, after all – and everything was seemingly understood until Captain America went back.
One part of the question here is how old-Steve Rogers exists at all in their timeline if changing one bit of the past creates an alternate universe. If he is on an alternate world, then he cannot give Falcon the shield. There are many unknowns about his travels to the past and how he returned each gem, especially the Soul Stone.
This whole journey could be a new movie, as it must have been difficult. He shouldn’t have been alone, but that was how he probably came to the decision to return to Peggy. However, fans should not have been surprised that Steve stayed in the past. In fact, the MCU had hinted that he was not meant to stay in the future.
The first indication happened in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ when Steve met up with Peggy, but she was 96 years old. When talking about her life, Peggy told him, “My only regret is that you didn’t get to live yours.” Later, she added,
“Sometimes the best we can do is to start over.”
Traveling to the past does not change the future because you are going to a future version of the past. So, that past becomes your present. Time is not linear but a loop and any major differences do not impact what fans have already seen in the MCU. All of those things happened already, but time traveling creates a new timeline instead.
Therefore, when Steve returned to Peggy, an alternate timeline was created, essentially making two universes: one where Peggy married him and another where she married someone else. Both of these scenarios exist. But, how did old-Steve appear in the same timeline as Sam Wilson, Bruce, and Bucky in 2023? After all, that is the timeline where Peggy married another man.
The answer is Tony’s GPS. The characters did not just travel through time but also space. Thanks to that device, the new Quantum tunnel, and the Pym particles, the Avengers went anywhere they wanted at any point in time. This is what Steve and Tony did when they went to New Jersey in the 1970s from New York in 2012.
They failed their mission in 2012 but did not have to return to 2023 before going back to the 1970s. They just jumped from there as it was the same trip. Therefore, Steve Rogers lived his life with Peggy in the alternative universe, grew old, and probably saw her die after a battle with Alzheimer’s before he went back to the Avengers’ 2023.
However, for him to actually go back to that moment in 2023, he needed to live past it, otherwise, he would need another Quantum tunnel. Therefore, the old Steve Rogers came from the future in the alternate timeline, and not from the past in the Avengers’ own. He could be a week older than that date in 2023 or even years older depending on how the Super Serum makes him age.
He used the GPS again to flash back to the original timeline as his newer self, and appeared in the bench instead of popping out of the tunnel. There is no problem regarding the Pym particles because Hank Pym was brought back, or Steve could have had enough particles when he went back in the first place. So, returning to the original timeline was like closing his journey.
The other timeline could be part of the multiverse, a world where Steve married Peggy, and probably had children with her. There is also speculation that he and Peggy hid from the world all that time so that no one would recognize Steve. They probably lived a simple life like Clint Barton with his family. Luckily, they lived in a time with no social media; so, it was easy to go unnoticed.
An interesting detail is that if Steve was 30+ years old when he went back to Peggy in the 40s, he was somewhere over 100 years old in that scene. On another note, the trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ hinted about the existence of a multiverse; so the MCU might get even more complicated from now on.
It’s a bit confusing, but we are glad that Steve finally got his dance with Peggy. Let us know what you think about time traveling in ‘Avengers: Endgame’. If you liked this article, share it with your friends who screamed through the entire movie. See you next time!