The release of Avengers: Endgame inspired a never-before-seen level of fervor among moviegoers and comic book fans. Every minuscule detail was breathlessly analyzed and held up to public scrutiny. One such detail which caused a lot of raised eyebrows was Thanos’ time jump into the future, and the logistics behind such a feat.
When Nebula travels into the past with the help of the Pym Particles created by Tony Stark, she gets captured and Thanos uses the Particles she was carrying to bring his army and himself into the future to battle the Avengers in present times. The problem with this, though, is that Nebula only had a tiny vial of the Particles left. Barely enough to travel through time for a single individual, let alone Thanos’ entire space army and war weaponry. So, how did he manage to jump through the timeline?
Well, on the commentary track for Avengers: Endgame‘s digital release, co-director Joe Russo had this to say about the issue:
Now, the obvious assumption being that, Thanos who has a spaceship that can carry his army throughout the galaxy and conquer planets can also figure out how… Science up a little… Add some Pym Particles… with his magician who can move matter.
The explanation does make sense. In the MCU, Earth is a pretty technologically-backward planet, compared to the far more advanced civilization that Thanos is from. As such, it could be perfectly feasible for the Mad Titan to be able to reverse engineer something a human being created, especially considering he has Ebony Maw at his side, a being who can literally reshape matter itself.
Elaborating further on the theme of geniuses within the MCU, the commentary track also reveals that Tony was able to create an Earth-based version of the Infinity Gauntlet with the help of Bruce Banner, who’s just as intelligent as Stark and Rocket Raccoon, who in addition to being a genius as well, is familiar with minerals and machine-making techniques from across the galaxy. Even so, Tony’s gauntlet in Avengers: Endgame wasn’t nearly as strong and capable of harnessing the powers of the Infinity Stones as the one made by Eitri for Thanos on Nidavellir.