Avengers: Endgame was always going to be a bittersweet affair for fans. The penultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three film wrapped up a decade of storytelling. Chris Evans’ tenure in Marvel was rumoured to be coming to a final conclusion, but fans were not ready for how it was handled in Endgame. Warning: spoilers below.
Here’s how Captain America’s time travel life could work.
Time travel always brings up a lot of problems in any franchise.
From Terminator to Hot Tub Time Machine, time travel is convoluted at best.
When Captain America went back in time and stayed, fans were thrown for a loop as to how this would impact the MCU as they knew it.
Steve Rodgers decided to remain in the 1950s to live a full life with his true love, Peggy Carter.
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But as fans will know, this undoes a lot of the plot work from the other Marvel movies.
The time travel also majorly disrupts Peggy’s storyline in her own TV show, Agent Carter.
However, it is worth noting the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel TV Universe are distinct entities, despite the Easter eggs included in Endgame.
Cast your mind back to Captain America: Winter Soldier when Steve visits the Smithsonian Institution.
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There, He sees a video of Peggy from 1953 explaining how Captain America saved a group of men which also included the man who became her husband.
Canonically, Peggy’s husband had always been a shadowy figure at best, hidden in the background with little details known to Peggy’s friends and coworkers.
At the end of Winter Soldier, Captain America visits an elderly Peggy who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Peggy is revealed to have had two kids, who are visible in a photo on her bedside table, though there is no picture of her husband.
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Then, in a heartbreaking moment, Peggy’s confusion leads her to believe a young-Steve has come back to her in the 1950s.
So, Captain America time travelled back to the 1950s, lived a life with Peggy as her secretive and reclusive husband.
In Endgame, Cap and Iron Man travel to 1970s Camp Leigh, where Peggy is working as part of SHIELD.
Peggy, who would be in her 40s or 50s, has a photo of a young Steve on her desk.
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The photo bolsters the theory, after all, if Peggy was married man, why would she keep another man’s photo on her desk?
Many were quick to point out how unlikely it would be that no one in Peggy’s life would recognise Steve, including her own niece (with whom Steve had a brief affair).
If the world at large believed Rogers to be dead, an older looking Steve (maybe having re-grown his beard) might garner odd glances, but perhaps people would not make the direct link.
Even if this is a stretch, the way time travel works in the MCU could mean Steve Rogers was always meant to go back to Peggy.
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If, when Rogers went back to the 1950s he created a new timeline, that timeline might have intersected with the 2023 ‘present’ (as we know it) leading Steve to know he was meant to return in the first place.
After all, according to the laws of Endgame, impacting the past doesn’t change the future.
So perhaps Captain America was always working towards this moment in Endgame when he returned to his one true love.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in cinemas.