Science

Does space travel in the MCU make any sense?

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand in all directions, we often forget that it took a while for the space and magic in the movies to really take off. Phase 1 opened a lot of doors with Thor and The Avengers, but the lid didn’t open until Phase 2. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy took fans to another galaxy, Andromeda, and made us question how Marvel works on travel. space.

We’re now officially in the middle of Phase 4: Multiverse is the new hot stuff, and heroes and villains have been bouncing around the universe like nothing for years on the big screen (and now on TV). While the Guardians movies told us it’s all about wormholes, the Infinity Saga’s main villain Thanos took a long time to bring his armies to Earth. Was occupied? Also, Captain Marvel doesn’t need ships at all due to Tesseract’s magic. And we will keep Doctor Strange and wizards out of this because they operate on a completely different level.

Disclaimer: We are going to try to make more sense of the nonsense from the comics that are simply aimed at telling entertaining stories about space jumps and about reality. Going all Christopher Nolan in this universe only leads to frustration. However, universes born out of pulpy entertainment, like this one or Star Wars, often almost nail the science anyway.

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Drilling holes in space-time is the easiest way

Does space travel in the MCU make any sense?  The image shows a wormhole in space

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The MCU’s first adventures in outer space are pretty straightforward: Thor (2011) introduced the public to the Nine Kingdoms of Norse mythology, a set of planets scattered across different galaxies and connected by the Tree of Yggdrasil. For Asgardians, the act of visiting these worlds depends on the Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard.

While Asgard is a very fantastic setting and the Bifrost seems to draw energy from the center of Asgard itself, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) describes the resulting phenomenon as a “wormhole” or “Einstein-Rosen bridge.” Bifrost-powered trips are always described as near-instantaneous, so that’s probably the best guess in town.

It also seems logical that the elegant cannon-shaped Bifrost building harnesses a great deal of Asgard’s energy and literally burrows a hole in space-time, shooting at people and quickly fixing the tear afterward. Furthermore, the entire mission in the third act is to prevent Loki from destroying Jötunheim with a continuous blast of energy from the Bifrost; this leads to Thor doing “hammer time” on the bridge and severing Asgard’s connection to the other kingdoms. Loki also falls down the resulting (messy) wormhole.

The Avengers picked up right after the events of Thor, showing Loki returning with a “glorious purpose” thanks to a savage manipulation of wi-fi through space via the Tesseract, one of the first Infinity Stones to appear in the MCU. . Most of the movie is about preventing Loki from opening a larger portal for Thanos’ armies, who are capable of space travel themselves, so this raises an important question: why did they need a wormhole?

Does space travel in the MCU make any sense?  The image shows Thor and Rocket in a spaceship.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

As previously stated, the Einstein-Rosen bridges are all about creating shortcuts for long journeys through the universe. At this point, we hadn’t yet been exposed to the truly sci-fi side of the MCU, so Joss Whedon and everyone involved probably didn’t think too much of the Chitauri and their ships – a massive portal over New York was a major threat to many possibilities for the third act of the film. That’s all that mattered.

Thor also returns to Earth under the orders of Odin and Frigga, who used “dark magic” to learn about Loki’s whereabouts and “trick” the transport to Earth while the Bifrost was being repaired. The dark magic trick reappears in Infinity War when Heimdall conjures up some remaining energy before sending the Hulk to Earth (the Bifrost was destroyed forever in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok). This magic appears to be a kind of variation of what the Bifrost works, a hidden energy that is probably unstable and is only used in emergencies by those who can manipulate it. Fortunately, Thor receives the Stormbreaker later because he hatches and can now create rainbow bridges himself. Rad.

Guardians of the Galaxy, which takes place in the Andromeda galaxy according to James Gunn, marked Thanos’ first major appearance; We see that he has quite a few allies who are perfectly capable of regular space travel. Infinity War then doubles at the angle of the “typical alien invasion”, with Thanos finally taking the fight himself to Earth and other worlds that housed the Infinity Stones. So at least Thanos’ main force didn’t need a wormhole at all, and the only reasonable in-universe explanation for the entire portal test in Whedon’s Avengers is that they wanted to take Earth’s defenses off guard and not approach them from outer space. . After all, the Other tells Thanos that perhaps they underestimated Earth and its heroes in the post-credits sting, so it seems they didn’t have much inside information on the current state of the planet before that first invasion by some. reason. .

Space travel is everywhere because of the needs of stories.

Does space travel in the MCU make any sense?  Picture shows Q Ship from Marvel Cinematic Universe

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Yes, the science and space-related plot points in these stories have to do with what the narrative needs, with creating tension, and what’s at stake. If the script wants things to move slowly, we’ll spend more time with our heroes and villains jumping through space. If the movie needs an immediate threat, just open a portal and make things work. With that said, we are not done with this exploration yet.

So Thanos’ army didn’t need a big wormhole after all, but that doesn’t mean “regular” space travel in the MCU works any differently. James Gunn’s Guardians movies did most of the heavy lifting when it came to these matters. Mind you, most of the little nuggets of information weren’t too explicit, and the first installment doesn’t show us how space travel through the galaxy works (yes, ellipses), but it seems Gunn heard those questions loud and clear. , because Vol. 2 deals directly with how ships traverse Andromeda.

Apparently, space explorer civilizations built a kind of highway that even connects different galaxies, with marked “jump points” that make traveling long distances relatively easy as long as you stick to the “road” and follow the recommendations, one of the most important of the film. The funny scenes show the consequences of jumping too fast. Little else is said about the process, but the images support the idea that these jump points are also wormhole-based. They’re more scientific (we might be able to replicate them at some point) and they’re definitely not as fast as Asgard’s magical paths, or Doctor Strange and wizard’s literal gates, but they get the job done.

Does space travel in the MCU make any sense?  The image shows Captain Marvel in space.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Somehow, there is an even cooler way to travel through the Marvel Studios universe: simply by accelerating blazingly fast and going to Star Wars with the help of the mysterious energy of the Tesseract. As seen in the post-credits scene of Thor and the beginning of The Avengers, SHIELD kept the Tesseract (the Space Stone) locked away since Red Skull played with it and disappeared, but of course they played with it themselves. The US Air Force, SHIELD, and NASA jointly created Project PEGASUS to develop a light-speed engine powered by the Tesseract.

Kree scientist Mar-Vell (in disguise, of course) was part of the project and worked on it because it could be the Skrulls’ way out of the ongoing Kree-Skrull war and find a new home off the “galactic highway” traced earlier. talked about. Due to the intervention of the Kree, Carol Danvers, a pilot alongside Mar-Vell, absorbed the power of the engine and gained superhuman abilities (like a ton of them).

Once Carol harnesses her latent powers later in that movie, she becomes the Captain Marvel we all know from the comics, and the craziest thing is that she can traverse space at the speed of light, allowing her to watch over worlds. far outside the “space highway system.” This is how you help the Skrulls find a new home.

While Captain Marvel doesn’t need outside help to move through the vastness of space, it seems like it takes him some time to get to places despite going above the speed of light (wormhole rock), and that’s the perfect excuse for you to miss out on some of the sights. Avengers Biggest Battles – He could defuse most threats too quickly, as Endgame showed us.

Finally, it’s also interesting to consider why it doesn’t seem to age at all, and it probably has to do (at least in part) with Einstein’s theory of relativity, which states that time is relative, moving “differently for objects. in motion than for moving objects. for objects at rest, “though this would have more complicated implications for both her and other MCU characters traveling through space.

Watch all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies on Disney Plus

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