Not everyone who loves the Marvel Cinematic Universe thinks that Avengers: Endgame is a perfect movie, as much as it exceeded all expectations in box office totals. The biggest problems still occur in fan opinion of the time-travel heist and how many plot holes exist therein.
No one can do time-travel like the Russos attempted without having a few things not quite stand up to scrutiny. While some still argue time-travel rules set forth in Endgame made sense for the Marvel universe, others think it created extra and needless confusion.
Who is really right here? The place to start is with fan opinion on social media where trying to figure out the time-travel complications is like dissecting a complicated physics equation.
What was the original intention of the MCU time-travel rules?
As someone reminded in a thread on Reddit recently, the Russos originally intended to have all time-travel not affect the present or the future. The plot hole is Captain America going back to the past and changing the present and future timeline, or the official version of the latter.
In some minds, this refrains from keeping the time-travel rules consistent as the Russos promised. On the other hand, it also connects with their theory that travel to the past also creates alternative timelines.
Are both happening at once, or was there really a consistent timeline going on after the time-travel heist occurred? Based on some further explanations, Steve Rogers might have done slightly more time-travel to catch up with the present time when on the famous park bench.
All of this is explained through a little logic: No way could Steve/Cap be the age he is if he stayed in the main timeline from the 1940s onward.
The age of Steve Rogers/Cap is off the charts
Radio Times went to the trouble last year to calculate how old Steve really is at the end of Endgame. Some contend he would be 117 at the point where he shows up in 2023. Another calculation would have him technically older (183 to be exact) if going by how long he was in the 2010s after being resurrected out of the ice, then living out his life starting back in the ’40s.
All of this suggests Steve did a little more time-traveling beyond simply living out his life in linear time. The thought is he lived linearly with Peggy Carter up until the time she died. Then he jumped ahead to 2023, if not already jumping ahead earlier.
More realistically, he would have had to do something to prolong his time with Peggy since he likely would not live beyond 100. Well, unless the Super Soldier Serum Cap took made him live longer than the average person.
Much of this is a mystery, and maybe explained later. If so, it makes the time-travel rules the Russos applied have two divergent timelines.
The multiverse will widen all time-travel concepts
From all indications, the time-travel seen in Endgame will not be its last use. Through the new Disney+ series, Loki, audiences will have a chance to see the title character time-traveling to key events.
Also, the multiverse will now be tapped, creating scenarios where numerous alternate universes play out. Upcoming series What If…? delves deep into this niche, if being an animated series.
Perhaps the whiteboard the Russos used to map out their entire time-travel saga is still a bit incomplete. No doubt fans only saw one-half of what comes later, not including Doctor Strange’s proclamation of seeing 14,000,605 futures.
By merely introducing the multiverse, any type of time-travel plot hole can be easily explained away as a visit to the past creating a new timeline. Cap, though, was a lone exception and stayed with basic time-travel theories most physicists and the public can understand in basic terms.