Avengers: Endgame is a cinematic event unlike any other. With the promise and potential of culminating a saga of storytelling spanning 22 films and bringing it to a satisfying conclusion, it has grown in hype beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations. Naturally then, every single bit of footage, poster or still that comes from the movie’s marketing is met with some intense scrutiny and analysis and is the subject of breakdown videos, tweetstorms and articles such as this.
Given the self-professed fan that I am coupled with my penchant for sharing all the excitement and enthusiasm about Endgame, I was obviously overjoyed when Marvel dropped a special look trailer comprising almost entirely of new footage to announce ticket sales. It’s good enough that many could alternatively refer to it as Trailer 3; in many ways it’s even better than the surprise second trailer. And again, given the fanboy that I am, I’m going ahead with breaking down that one minute’s worth of footage, possibly to the chagrin and ridicule of online readers and despite having done breakdowns of both the trailers. Can’t help it though; the footage is just too tempting not to dissect.
That said, I’ll refrain from pouring over every single frame or still revealed and will instead focus on the key moments from the trailer, some small, some big and others, monumentally eventful.
Going In Shorthanded
The trailer opens with Banner cautioning the remaining Avengers that should they do “this”, they’d be going in shorthanded. Rhodey retorts sarcastically and a bit angrily stating the obvious, that it’s due to a certain him having killed all their friends. The fact that Rhodey says “he” coupled with the scene description from Disney’s shareholder meeting suggest that the Avengers are debating about mounting a return assault and attacking Thanos. This also suggests these scenes take place shortly after the snap; the one with Banner is pretty much a continuation of the post-credits scene.
Beard Shaved Off
Seeing Steve Rogers in what looks like a washroom inside the Avengers facility makes me believe that this is the scene where Rogers shaves off his beard. It could also be a symbolic transformation, with Rogers shedding off his Nomad persona and looking to adopt the mantle of Captain America, one last time.
Marvel Studios Logo
Of all the trailers that we’ve seen, this is the only one in which the Marvel Studios logo doesn’t disintegrate. A small tidbit but an interesting one nonetheless.
We next see several shots that all but confirm the return of Tony Stark and Nebula back to earth. The shot of a spaceship flying over a city immediately followed by Nebula reunited with Rocket and Stark reunited with Pepper sort of confirms (or misdirects) that the ship seen is the Benatar, the one which Stark and Nebula manage to repair and use to find their way back to earth.
This kind of throws the solid tease built by the first trailer where Stark’s return was kept entirely in the shadows. Of course no one really expected Tony to stay stuck or die in space in Endgame but the trailers thus far were building up an interesting situation, one that even got NASA to respond. This special look essentially undoes all that work and anyone who’s seen it is now going into theaters 100% certain that Stark and Nebula make their way back.
And as an aside, it kind of also confirms that Pepper survived the snap, another thing that was up in the air (although the cast details on the recently released posters did give that away a bit). This coupled with the voice-over by Rogers about focusing on how much they have left instead of what they’ve lost is a glimmer of hope in the otherwise gloomy scenario. It’s also worth noting Rocket and Nebula share a moment remembering their fallen Guardians; they were stuck together in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and I’m pretty sure this is when Rocket learns the fate of Star Lord, Gamora, Drax and Mantis while Nebula learns what happened to Groot.
Iron Man Flying Around New York?
This was one of the more obscured and poorly done bits in the trailer. Iron Man is shown flying around what looks like New York, although the buildings and skyline details are too blurry and out of focus to ascertain this. The flying though looks radically unrealistic compared to how it’s been thus far, which could be attributed to either bad camera angles or something more going on in this scene. It almost looks as if they’re revisiting and replaying the events of either Infinity War or The Avengers, meaning this could either be the New York during Thanos’ invasion or the one during Loki’s.
Hawkeye’s got a big-ass Tattoo on his bicep and arm. It almost looks like a variant of Jack Sparrow although I’m sure it’s more closely related to his adoption of the Ronin persona. It’s already spawning memes about how buffed up Hawkeye became in his 2 years of house arrest as opposed to say Scott Lang. Shoot out in the comments with what the tattoo symbolizes.
We’re The Avengers
Cut to a hero moment that shows everyone in the room, ready to fight Thanos. Now I have a really hard time believing that all of this is from the first act, as Feige hinted at. In all fairness, there are many scenes taken from subsequent acts and this team-up shot looks like it’s either from the second or third acts, perhaps right before they don the Quantum Realm suits.
You Trust Me. I Do.
This was the single-most eventful shot in the trailer, one that gives you a strong inkling as to what extent the Russos could have had the trailers manipulated. This looks like the exact sequence whose set photos were leaked during filming last year sparking the entire MCU fan theory frenzy, and is widely rumored to be the one that involves some time-travel shehnanigans.
The interesting thing to note is, Rogers’ outfit in the trailer looks more akin to his Winter Soldier costume, as well as the one he’s seen wearing throughout the trailers. In contrast, the outfit spotted on set was the one he wore in The Avengers with the bright blues. Moreover, the costumes on set had markers on them, a highly likely sign that the Quantum Realm White suits or some other interdimensional effect could be superimposed over their traditional costumes in some way. For now, it looks like the marketing team has superimposed a different costume entirely using those markers. If you look hard and close though, you could practically see the earpiece in Cap’s left ear in the set photos which is present in the trailer footage as well.
Regardless, if we’re to assess all scenarios, it could only mean one of a few things at this point. It’s possible that the “time travel” isn’t really a time-travel but more like the B.A.R.F. tech used by Stark to allow them to observe the events of New York. That way, they could still be in the scene as they are with the older Rogers showing up, fighting the Chitauri. The manner in which Stark is interacting with Rogers though, assmuing it isn’t a manipulated performance, it’s possible that Cap’s costume is CGIed to look like the one in the trailer to avoid the time-travelling from leaking out and that Rogers will indeed be wearing the original costume in the final movie.
Finally, and this is me going out on a huge hunch, it would be a real shocker of a moment if Endgame ends up not having time-travel at all.
Avengers In Space
This is the follow-up to the scene we saw partly as a mid-credits scene from Captain Marvel and partly during the second Endgame trailer. Regaining some lost confidence after Carol’s arrival, the Avengers head into space to battle Thanos once again. Now this is where the timelines get a bit murky? Are Stark and Nebula back by this time? The ship should suggest they’re not there, implying Captain Marvel arrives first before Stark and Nebula do. But it does look an awful lot like the Benatar which means either Stark and Nebula are back but refuse to go on the mission, or they’re there, just not visible (Nebula can be seen in another shot below). Scott Lang is also not there around this time, meaning this looks more like a first attempt than a second one. This has some implications for the act that follows.
Mourning A Protege
In a sad moment, Stark mourns the loss of Peter Parker. Of course he won’t have to mourn too long though, seeing as we know what’s going to be the status quo by the time Endgame ends.
The Avengers finally arrives at Thanos’ planet. Or do they? We now see Nebula in the ship but is that the same attempt? Or is this a second attempt? And why does the ship look a lot more like the Sanctuary II than the one on which the Avengers launched into space?
It’s also possible this is the Asgardian ship carrying the surviving people. Valkyrie, Korg and Meek should all be aboard this ship. We’d have these guys joining in the battle as well.
Thanos In Battle Armor
Finally, Thanos makes an appearance, all decked in his battle armor. The weird thing though is Thanos arriving through a teleporting effect that looks like he’s using either of the Tesseract or the Bifrost. This could imply that Thanos himself is doing some time-travelling or portal-hopping courtesy the Space Stone.
Iron Man, Captain America and Thor vs a Broken Thanos
The last shot is the money-shot. We see Iron Man, Captain America and Thor (the core three Avengers) approach Thanos. This is the same sequence glimpsed at in the trailers where we’ve seen Cap, Nebula, Rocket and War Machine fight. They approach towards Thanos who now looks like a lost man himself from the distance. Is that why Tony Stark is surprised? Seeing Thanos dejected at the genocide he’s inflicted? The area around the ruins is also a question mark; the second trailer suggested that this could be the Avengers facility in ruins which further complicates the placement of this scene.
That’s it from my breakdown. I’m not sure if I’ve gone on for too long but there’s just loads to uncover and review. I’ll be revisiting this piece to update a few things as I watch the trailer on repeat. Meanwhile, feel free to pitch in with your own theories in the comments below.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters worldwide on April 26, 2019. Check out our Road to Avengers Endgame series and follow Appocalypse for all Endgame related coverage. It’s easy – just click the Like button below, or enable Notifications when you get a prompt.