Entertainment Movies

I’m Still Confused By Time Travel Concept in Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame Team in their time travel suits

Another post about Avengers: Endgame? Oh, yes it is! With spoilers too! You know the deal, proceed with caution, spoilers, ahoy.

There were some loose ends left in Avengers: Endgame, some I’m sure I just need to be patient and wait for Phase 4 to begin, but one thing is for sure. One thing that has been bugging me for a while.

The entire concept of time travel as explained in Avengers: Endgame? I still don’t get it.

I don’t mean I don’t agree with it. What I mean is I’ve woken up a few nights thinking “But how…that doesn’t make sense?..how?” It does not compute. I have SO MANY questions. But I’m hoping I could gain more of an understanding with their take on it so I could, I don’t know, get some sleep at night?

How Time Travel Works In My Mind

If you were anything like me growing up, TV raised you and taught you valuable life lessons. One of those valuable lessons was how to conduct yourself if you ever travel back or forward in time. I got three takeaways

  • Do not try to speak to your past/future self
  • Something as small as squashing a bug could change everything
  • It’s almost always a bad idea

So watching Scott Lang’s face as Hulk tries to explain how time travel actually works (in this universe anyway) is quite similar to my face when I watched Hulk tell him this:

“I don’t know why everyone believes that, but that isn’t true. Think about it. If you go into the past, that past becomes your future, and your former present becomes the past, which can’t now be changed by your new future!”

Well…shoot. I’m still scratching my head. Let’s get right into it and explore some of these time travel concepts that threw me for a loop in Endgame.

The Past won’t Affect The Future??

Avengers: Endgame Team in their time travel suits

So this is the biggest part that had me confused. Ant-Man asks Hulk why they couldn’t just go back in time and kill baby Thanos. Which is, morbid…but that plan does ensure the safety of half of the population by executing it (for lack of a better word), right?

WRONG! Hulk tells him that the past can’t affect the future which has me very, very, VERY confused.

Because let’s say that by some stretch of the imagination, a dead baby Thanos still grows into an evil, adult, and somehow-still-alive Thanos. This brings me to my next question:

If that was the case, why the need to put the stones back?

So if the past does not affect the future, then why even go back into the past to place the stones in their exact location? I get that we needed a reason for Steve Rogers to retire in 5 minutes, but other than that, why would they even need to spend the extra effort to place the stones back?

How Did Captain America Seeing Captain America Not Mess Everything Up?

This was another big moment of confusion. Perhaps their time travel rules still go against movies like Back to the Future and See You Yesterday. But I think even then, there’s no way that seeing your future self cannot 1) end with both people keeping their sanity and 2) keep that timeline neat and tidy. Seeing yourself has got to result in some serious consequences, even if you just assume they’re a Hydra agent.

Didn’t Loki Stealing the Tesseract Mess Everything Up?

Loki in Avenge the Fallen Poster From Avengers: Endgame

So if we are in agreement at this point that the past doesn’t affect the future and Steve Rogers vs. Steve Rogers has no consequences to it, then I still have one thought nagging me at night. and that’s that Loki running off with the Tesseract HAD to do some damage to that current timeline.

Or maybe it’s just that *gasp* Loki is still alive??

Wait and Thor Saw His Own Mom??!!??

I know it was too early on in the movie, but even with Thor’s mom somehow knowing what was going on and admitting to being a witch, that moment, when he saw his mother moments before her own death, that should have been Endgame (see what I did there). It somehow doesn’t change up a thing in the future. What happened to you can’t even squish a bug in the past let alone speak to your own MOM??

Did Doctor Strange Somehow Know All This?

I’m not sure if looking through 14 million possibilities gives you detailed information or just a quick glimpse into the future. Is it possible that when he looked at all of those futures that he did, in fact, know how time travel would work and just didn’t say anything?

It’s pretty clear he was aware of Tony’s demise in this outcome. Slightly off topic, I’m curious if he could see that all of humanity was initially saved by a large, New York rat.

Seriously, How Does Age Even Work Now?

spiderman sitting after Avengers: Endgame takes place

Let’s just say that this is the concept of time travel in Avengers: Endgame is the one that we are going with now. We are in agreement that time travels slower in the quantum realm, right? That means that by the end of the movie, some people are 5 hours older while some others are 5 years older.

What is going to keep me up at night for years to come (or at least until this answer is revealed in Phase 4) is that scene where Peter Parker goes to a school to and Ned is there. It’s a very sweet and touching reunion but this opens not just one but several questions:

  • Is this officially high school or is this college?
  • Was Ned in the snap too?
  • Would this make both Peter 5 years younger than his classmates?
  • Does he have to repeat high school?

If this goes beyond high school, it raises even more questions. In life after the snap, what age do people tell them that they are? I would assume they would go with 5 years older to go with their government issued ids to make things easier. But since half the population got snapped without a trace, did this change how they document people? Weren’t their tons of cases of fraud? *goes down a rabbit hole for infinity*

I still remain a very confused fan. However, I still enjoyed and am I’m sure I’ll watch it many more times. How did you feel about the concept of time travel through Avengers: Endgame? Were you confused too or were there some big concepts I missed in the article? Let me know in the comments section below.

About the author

Quinzel Lee

Quinzel comes to this site armed with a background in creative writing that's peppered in sarcasm and humor. Her current outlets are Geeky Girl's Guide to Life and SheUnplugged. She also makes appearances on the Geeky Girl's Night In podcast.

"A degree in theater will get you nowhere" she was once told. Who could have guessed that nowhere is a place of fun, amazement, and a world of writing.