A new theory lays out multiple reasons why Star-Lord’s actions on Titan in Avengers: Infinity War were necessary.
Avengers: Infinity War delighted many MCU fans, but, of the moments that caused some discontent, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) breaking Mantis’ (Pom Klementieff) hold on Thanos (Josh Brolin), ruining the Avengers plan to take the gauntlet from Thanos on Titan, definitely angered them the most. Well, after years of people being mad at Peter Quill, a fan theory on Reddit argues this moment was necessary for various reasons.
The most obvious of them all is Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) assertion that in every future he saw there was only one in which the Avengers won. In that outcome, the user points out that Thanos had to win so he could destroy the stones. Had he not destroyed the stones others might have searched them out with similar or equally destructive intentions, so Star-Lord had to let Thanos keep the gauntlet. Lastly, Thanos had to have the stones in order to destroy them because he’s the only one with raw enough power to do so, citing what happened to Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) when they used the gauntlet.
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These arguments seem to fit into two groups. One is that Doctor Strange only saw one future where the Avengers win and the other is that Thanos needed to keep the gauntlet to eventually destroy the stones, as he’s the only one that could, meaning Star-Lord needed to do what he did for the Avengers to eventually win. The latter argument seems to have some holes, as pointed out by various comments by other Reddit users. If Star-Lord hadn’t done what he had done, it doesn’t mean that Thanos couldn’t have gotten the stones back immediately after.
Thanos showed restraint when fighting the Avengers on Titan, and he mostly killed in efforts to secure an Infinity Stone and fulfill his plan. With four Infinity Stones already in his possession, he could have easily killed the Avengers fighting him on Titan. He had Tony Stark on his knees, but he chose to leave him there. While this outcome is just speculation, it disproves that Star-Lord’s actions were necessary to prevent Thanos from obtaining the infinity stones on Titan. He could have done it anyway and destroyed them without any difficulty at a later point.
This is supported by how even without the gauntlet he was able to fend off multiple Avengers in Avengers: Endgame, eventually getting it back. Even assuming they had gotten the gauntlet off of him on Titan and were able to get him in a vulnerable position, it’s still up for debate whether they would have been able to defeat him or not. And if he lived, nothing would stop him from going after the stones, which is acknowledged in the users’ theory, as is the fact that if he was killed, others might seek out the stones later.
This means Thanos needing the stones to destroy them is legitimate, as does him being the only one able to destroy the stones. In Infinity War, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) was able to destroy one, but it’s implied that’s only because she had a connection to the stone as it gave her the powers she has.
So, in the end, Star-Lord’s actions weren’t necessarily vital in letting Thanos keep the stones. If the plan had succeeded he could have gotten them back. However, they were necessary for the Avengers to win. Doctor Strange only saw one outcome where the Avengers succeeded, which means the string of events that happened needed to in order for them to win. Star-Lord hitting Thanos, allowing him to break free of Mantis’ hold on him, was necessary for the ultimate victory in Endgame.
The general premise of the theory is substantial, and some of the reasons cited don’t necessarily hold up, but the ultimate conclusion that Star-Lord’s actions were necessary for the Avengers to win is legitimate. No matter how enraging it was to viewers, Quill had to do what he did in order to stay in the one timeline in which Earth’s Mightiest Heroes defeated Thanos.
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