The Avengers: Endgame trailer establishes Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is stranded in space, but we have a theory that Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) will save him and get him to Earth. The ending of Avengers: Infinity War left Earth's Mightiest Heroes devastated, losing half their numbers to Thanos' Decimation. Those fighting Thanos and his Outriders in Wakanda were forced to watch their friends turn to dust around them. On Titan, Tony Stark watched as most of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and, finally, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) disintegrated. As a result, Tony was left alone on Titan with Nebula (Karen Gillan).
But, those heroes left alive will return in 2019 for Avengers: Endgame, the movie that will conclude not only Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the narrative Marvel Studios kicked off in 2008's Iron Man. As such, a significant aspect of Avengers: Endgame will be how it wraps up the character arcs of particular heroes, include Tony Stark, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and more. To this point, it makes sense for the first Avengers: Endgame trailer to open with where Tony Stark is following the events of Avengers: Infinity War. And we have a theory about how he reunites with the rest of the Avengers in Endgame.
The release of the Avengers: Endgame trailer provided quite a few answers to questions fans have had about the upcoming Marvel Studios movie. It (finally) confirmed the Avengers 4 title is Endgame, and announced the official release date for Avengers: Endgame has moved up a week to April 2019. Further, the teaser confirmed certain MCU characters to have been victims of the Decimation. However, it also brings up new questions, like how exactly Tony Stark will get back to Earth. Well, perhaps it has something to do with Marvel's most powerful Avenger, Captain Marvel.
- This Page: Iron Man is Stranded & Captain Marvel's Introduction
- Next Page: How Captain Marvel Can Save Iron Man & Join the Avengers
Tony Stark (& Nebula) Are Trapped In Space At The Start of Avengers 4
From the opening of the Avengers: Endgame trailer, we know Tony Stark is stranded in space and near death as he records a message for Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who's back on Earth. Based on the exterior shots, he seems to be on the Guardians' ship. And though we don't see Tony and Nebula in the same shot, she also appears to be on the Milano, indicating the pair boarded the ship on Titan and set a course for Earth.
Some fans are already speculating Marvel might be misleading viewers with these scenes, and they're from the end of the movie, not the beginning. But it makes much more sense that these trailer scenes are exactly what they seem. Because of how Infinity War ended, we know Tony can't return to Earth on the ship he arrived in (since it crash-landed). But both the Guardians of the Galaxy and Nebula arrived in their own spacecrafts. With the Guardians gone, it makes sense for Tony and Nebula to use their ship to try to get back to Earth and reconvene with the rest of the Avengers.
However, based on the trailer, it appears their situation in space gets rather dire - to the point that Tony doesn't believe he'll make it home and records the message for Pepper. But there is a hero not featured in the Avengers: Endgame trailer who might be in Tony's neck of the universe at just the right moment.
Captain Marvel Is In Avengers: Endgame - But Where Is She?
After the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene teased Captain Marvel's arrival, we know she'll be returning to Earth for Avengers: Endgame. Presumably she'll help Earth's Mightiest Heroes battle against Thanos and defeat the Mad Titan once and for all - but even that's largely speculation because how she fits into the movie hasn't been confirmed by Marvel. Despite arriving days after the second Captain Marvel movie trailer, the Avengers: Endgame teaser doesn't include any glimpses of the cosmic hero. So where is she?
We've speculated Captain Marvel is stuck in the Quantum Realm. That would explain her absence between her solo movie, which is set in the '90s, and the events of Infinity War/Endgame. It would also still allow for Fury's distress page to make it through to her so she'd get the call to action and arrive in Endgame. However, perhaps the correct answer is the more simple one: Captain Marvel is in space. As established by the recent Captain Marvel trailer, the movie will see Carol Danvers return to Earth after spending a great deal of time in space. She'll be searching for her real identity and will, presumably, learn who she is and what she's truly capable of. The movie is her origin story, so by the time Avengers: Endgame rolls around, she's a fully established hero.
So it's possible that at the end of Captain Marvel, she may simply decide to leave Earth and use her powers to help solve cosmic conflicts elsewhere. That is, until she receives the SOS call from Fury, at which time she'd need to return to Earth - and offer some assistance on the way.
Captain Marvel Can Save Tony Stark... And Then Join The Avengers
It's unclear where Tony Stark (and Nebula) are in space or how far they are from Earth. But since Captain Marvel is one of the few MCU characters confirmed to be in Avengers: Endgame who may also be traveling to Earth at the same time, it stands to reason she could be the one to save Iron Man. Of course, it would be an awful big coincidence if Captain Marvel was to stumble upon Tony's ship in the vastness of space. But they'd both be traveling in the same general direction, and it's arguably the kind of coincidence that can be easily accepted by viewers. Plus, between Tony and Nebula, they'd likely be able to rig up some kind of distress beacon that could be intercepted by Captain Marvel. That is, of course, unless the message Tony's sending to Pepper isn't already being broadcast; if it is, then that might be what Carol runs across in space.
Ultimately, Avengers: Endgame will have to address how Tony gets back to Earth from Titan after the events of Infinity War. It's been speculated Pepper Potts will get her Rescue armor for the purpose of saving Tony. But, it seems fairly improbable that an Iron Man suit would be able to get to Tony, let alone get him back home to Earth.
Instead, Captain Marvel, who's presumably heading to Earth already after receiving Fury's distress call, is the more obvious rescuer of Tony Stark. Further, Captain Marvel and Tony crossing paths before reaching Earth would also explain how she comes to join up with the team, since her point of contact on Earth - Fury - is gone. She's been gone since the 90s, so she wouldn't know about the Avengers. As a result, her running across Tony in space would solve both the problem of Tony being stranded and Carol not knowing what to do once getting to Earth and learning Fury was decimated. Instead, Tony can be the one to introduce her to Earth's Mightiest Heroes - before she officially joins the team herself.
What Captain Marvel Saving Iron Man Means For Avengers: Endgame
Captain Marvel being the one to save Tony Stark from being stranded in space also has implications for the rest of Avengers: Endgame. Beyond setting the stage for her to join the Avengers, it also makes her key to Tony's story arc in the movie. As the first-ever Avengers character introduced when the MCU launched, Endgame will no doubt spend a great deal of time bringing his arc to an end - perhaps even (at least a little) more so than Steve Rogers. Fans have speculated Tony Stark will die in Avengers 4 as one way to conclude his narrative. While it's unclear whether Iron Man will meet his demise or if Tony will simply retire from superhero life - for good this time - the fact remains Endgame will provide some kind of resolution for the character.
So if Tony is the first member of the Avengers that Captain Marvel meets, and is the one to re-introduce her to Earth since her last time on the planet, their character arcs will become intertwined. However, unlike Spider-Man, another hero Tony has a close relationship, Captain Marvel isn't necessarily a character who needs a mentor. Instead, they could form a bond of mutual respect, one that offers emotional weight to Endgame. Obviously there are no shortage of characters in the MCU who would be affected if Tony were to die - Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers, for instance. But Captain Marvel's emotional reaction to however Tony Stark's storyline concludes could actually pave the way for Phase 4 and the future of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Ostensibly, Tony Stark is the leader of the Avengers and though Captain America: Civil War saw the team split into two separate groups - one led by Iron Man and one by Steve Rogers - he's most likely to pick his successor. If, as has been heavily speculated, Avengers: Endgame concludes the stories of both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, then both of them are out as leader. There are other potential leaders, but as one of the strongest heroes in the universe, Captain Marvel would make a good successor to Iron Man as the head of the Avengers. And, if her arc in Endgame includes rescuing Tony and demonstrating the full extent of her powers, the movie could easily set Carol Danvers up to lead the next generation of the Avengers. Of course, that's presuming the Avengers team will carry on after the events of Endgame - which, with the MCU heading into Phase 4, they very well might.
With all that said, Captain Marvel rescuing Iron Man from space is still just a theory. After all, until we learn where Carol is at the end of her solo movie and why she hasn't returned to Earth before the Decimation, we won't know if it's even possible for her to be Tony's rescuer. Still, it would be a cool way to introduce Captain Marvel to the rest of the Avengers, bring her into the fold for Endgame and even set the stage for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.