Revenger Submission: “Who Really Screwed Over The Universe In INFINITY WAR?”
Revenger Submission: “Infinity War: Who Really Screwed Over the Universe?“
By Brent Clark (@BrentacPrime)
[Warning: This post contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War.]
I’ve been thinking about Avengers: Infinity War a lot. As I write this, I’ve seen it three times. I’ve listened to a handful of podcast reviews and I’ve recorded two of my own; on my own show Fans Without Borders and with the guys over at Batman-On-Film. I still feel like I have things to say.
During the recording for Fans, I made a throw-away comment about Peter Quill/Star-Lord screwing over the universe in Infinity War. To set the scene you have to realize the team on Titan had actually managed to subdue Thanos, and rather impressively. They were clearly in control of the fight, and I was surprised at how well the Guardians and Avengers worked together. At one point Mantis and Nebula put it together that Thanos had killed Gamora, so that he could get the Soul Stone. This causes Peter to flip out, attack Thanos again, and breaks the hold that Mantis and the others had on him. To make it worse, Spider-Man had just about gotten the gauntlet when Thanos snapped out of it, and taking control of the fight. Clearly whatever advantage the heroes had, was gone.
And man, did I read that scene wrong. Or more accurately, I didn’t look at the larger picture. Like many people all over Facebook and Twitter I thought it was Star-Lord’s fault. How could he screw up so badly? How could he be so blind to the bigger picture? How could he put revenge for one life over the fate of half of ALL life?
I asked myself that a few times after listening back to when I said “Star-Lord screwed the universe.” How could Star-Lord screw up so badly?
Why aren’t we asking “How could Loki screw up so bad? How could Gamora screw up so bad? How could the Scarlet Witch and the Avengers screw up so bad?
Let’s look at how Thanos got the stones in Infinity War. Two of the Stones were acquired off screen. The power stone from Xandar and the Reality stone from the Collector on Knowwhere.
The first on screen acquisition, Thanos defeats Thor and the Hulk and threatens the life of Thor if Loki doesn’t give over the Tesseract/Space Stone. When Loki sees that Thanos absolutely was going to kill Thor, he hands over the stone to save his life. Loki, has seemingly redeemed himself trying to kill Thanos and saving the life of his brother.
The Soul Stone was found on the planet Vormir. Gamora had already said, and proven, that she was ready to die to keep Thanos from the soul stone. Or more accurately from learning of its location, which Gamora had discovered years ago. It wasn’t until she saw that Thanos was torturing, and threatening to kill, Nebula that she relented and took Thanos to Vormir. To save the life of her sister, Gamora gave up the information. Once on Vormir, to get the stone Thanos killed the only person he ever loved.
On Titan, after Star-Lord’s freak out on Thanos, to save the life of Iron Man, Dr. Strange offered the time stone to Thanos. It’s important to note that Dr. Strange had seen 14 million possible futures, and knew that only one path lead to victory. Which most (myself included) think means that Iron Man had to survive for that one winning outcome Strange saw. Of course it wouldn’t have come to that had Star-Lord not lost control.
On Earth, despite his willingness to sacrifice himself, Vision still has the mind stone. Scarlet Witch and the other Avengers refused to destroy the stone, even though Scarlet Witch was capable of doing exactly that. Of course, destroying the stone would destroy Vision as well which is why she refused. And as Steve Rogers says, “we don’t trade lives.” Ultimately when they decide to destroy the stone because they have run out of time, it’s too late and Thanos is able to take possession of it, completing the gauntlet. Had Scarlet Witch been willing to kill the man that she loved, Thanos would not have gotten the final stone.
So here is my new question for you. Why did I blame Star-Lord and no one else? Why is everyone blaming Star-Lord and no one else? Out of the six stones, four of them ultimately went to Thanos because the heroes didn’t want to “trade lives.” Now, I’m not arguing that they should have; They wouldn’t have been the heroes we’ve come to know over the previous 18 movies if they would have done that. But if we are going to conclude that Star-Lord is at fault, I feel we have to also conclude that Loki, Gamora, and Scarlet Witch are as equally at fault.
What do you think? Did Star-Lord screw over the universe in Infinity War? Or was that more of a team effort?
One thought on “Revenger Submission: “Who Really Screwed Over The Universe In INFINITY WAR?””
Infinity War was full of heroes that were just plain stupid. One of the reasons I just don’t like it. The heroes repeatedly do stupid things and often act out of character. Loki is smarter than conjuring a dagger and thinking stabbing Thanos with it would do anything. Thor’s apparently a great fighter but in all his battles it has never occurred to him to cut the head off – except he did that in Ragnarok and is too stupid to do it now.
It’s ultimately lazy plotting to drive forward a story – and a story that was poorly planned. Just re-watched the first Avengers. At our first intro to Thanos in the mid-credits scene we see him being told that to “Attack the humans is to court death.” and Thanos smirks. This was a wonderful reference to Thanos’ purpose of desiring the Infinity Stones to kill so he could impress Mistress Death – except they likely rewrote that due to complaints about MCU villains and realized this would not create a “deep” villain, but this direction was likely not contemplated over six years ago when Avengers was put together.
It just shows the overall sloppiness of the entire production. It’s beautiful to look at and has some great action scenes, but if you dig into it, it is very shoddy craftsmanship. Even Justice League, for all its problems, did a much better job concerning the Mother Boxes and their call after Superman died AND did a better job of having a villain be consistently difficult until Superman showed up – completely in line with why the Mother Boxes would wait to call out until he was gone.
The internal logic of the film is poor and it does a bad job fulfilling the promise of the past decade. So many great films along the way and the best they could do was Infinity War, driving it forward with stupid heroes that were so valiant in past films and yet so incapable of being anywhere near intelligent in this film.