Avengers: Endgame Director Explains The Big Plot Hole With Cap’s Ending
As with every other time travel blockbuster ever made, Avengers: Endgame has been the subject of a fair amount of debate, as fans argue over whether or not the film’s sci-fi logic holds up to scrutiny.
Captain America’s ending in particular has been a topic of much discourse, with many contending that Steve’s choice to journey into the past and settle down with Peggy disrupts the continuity of the franchise. Nonetheless, in a recent interview with a Chinese website (as translated by Reddit user u/gianben123), co-director Joe Russo helped clear up some of the uncertainty around the film’s final minutes.
When asked if Cap’s final trip into the past affected the timeline of the series, Russo explained that his life with Peggy was part of an alternate reality that left the franchise canon unaffected:
“To me, CA’s action in the end wasn’t the fact he wanted to change anything, it’s more like he has made a choice. He chose to go back to past and lived with the one he loved for the rest of his life. The time travel in this movie created an alternate reality. He lived a completely different life in that world. We don’t know how exactly his life turned out, but I’d like to believe he still helped many others when they were needed in that world.
“Yes, there were two CA in that reality, it’s just like what Hulk said, what happened in the past has already happened. If you go back to past, you simply created a new reality. The characters in this movie created new timeline when they went back to the past, but it had no effect to the prime universe. What happened in the past 22 movies was still canon.”
The director was later asked if Endgame’s plot operated by the logic of a closed time loop, to which he responded:
“Nope, not a time loop. Both Ancient One and Hulk were right. You can’t change the future by simply going back to past. But it’s possible to create a different alternate future. It’s not butterfly effect. Every decision you made in the past could potentially create a new timeline. For example, the old Cap at the end movie, he lived his married life in a different universe from the main one. He had to make another jump back to the main universe at the end to give the shield to Sam.”
When it comes to addressing the so-called “plot hole” that Steve’s ending supposedly creates, that last sentence might be the most important. As it turns out, Cap’s life with Peggy happened in a reality different to the main continuity of the series, and it was only at the end that he made the jump back to his original timeline.
In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how future Marvel projects follow through on the possibilities suggested in Avengers: Endgame. In particular, it’s heavily implied that Loki’s Disney Plus show will take place in the timeline where he runs off with the Tesseract. As for the future of Captain America, while Steve looks to be finished with the franchise, you can expect Sam Wilson to carry the title in the upcoming Falcon and and Winter Soldier TV series.