How 'Captain Marvel' Moment Is Reflected in 'Avengers: Endgame' Trailer

Carol Danvers must look to her past to move forward, and so too must Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Thor.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Photofest

[This story contains spoilers for Captain Marvel]

With great power comes great moments of learning how to wield it.

There comes a time in every superhero origin story when they discover the power within themselves, stand up to their enemy and truly become a hero. The new trailer for Avengers: Endgame evokes those moments for the founding heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“It seems like a thousand years ago, I fought my way out of that cave and became Iron Man,” Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) says in the opening moments of the trailer before flashing back to scenes that made the Avengers who they are now. For Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) the emphasized moments were him signing up for the army in Captain America: The First Avenger and carrying Peggy Carter’s (Hayley Atwell) coffin in Captain America: Civil War, while Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) flashback focused on his relationship with his now-deceased father. So, why were these specific memories in the hero's lives highlighted?

Moments like these — when heroes discover their true meaning and path — are a staple in superhero films. Recently in Captain Marvel, that “stand-up” moment in her story was taken quite literally.

In the beginning of the film, both audiences and Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) learn that the Kree strength and power she possesses can be taken away — as evident by the little chip on the side of her neck. So, when the Kree ambush her during the climax of the film’s action after Danvers finally reunites the Skrull families and collects the tesseract for safekeeping — fears that her powers will be taken away start to rise. The fears are valid as the warriors weaken her powers and force her to commune with their AI leader —the Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening).

It is during this chat — which includes the moment of Bening dancing to Nirvana — that Danvers realizes that this power she has wasn’t given to her by the Kree, but sprung upon her by accident and that she controls it — not the Kree. Through a montage of Danvers at various stages in her life standing back up to try again after being told she can’t do something or she’s weak, she realizes that her humanity is what truly makes her a hero. Recognizing her gifts come from herself not this leader, she rips off the Kree’s chip causing the powers that she accidentally gained to flow through her and transform her into the hero that she is. And, right on cue “Just a Girl” by No Doubt begins to blare as audiences see Danvers take on and single-handedly defeat a small army.

Captain Marvel’s “stand-up” scene strikes a specific resemblance to the 2003 series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when the show’s main heroine Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) gives a passionate speech about how she is going to share her “slayer” powers with all those who could potentially wield it. “Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up,” Buffy says. In a comparable montage to the one in Captain Marvel, Buffy shows all the girls — who suddenly feel their slayer powers coursing through them — stand up to whatever repressive force is trying to knock them down.

In some cases, the heroes know how to control their powers, but have to be reminded why they are fighting in the first place to truly use the full force of their gifts. In Wonder Woman Diana (Gal Gadot) had her “come into powers” moment during the culminating battle with Ares. After Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) sacrifices himself to save the lives of many, Diana realizes that while humanity can be ugly and cruel there is still good in the world and that’s worth saving. It’s in this moment of realization that Diana truly hones her powers and becomes unstoppable. Akin to Danvers, the two were raised warriors and raised to put battle over emotions; however, in the end, both realized the humanity within themselves and that humans are worth fighting for.

Will Carol Danvers and the Avengers successfully be able to use their powers to stop Thanos in Endgame? Perhaps that is why the Endgame trailer features so many of the Avenger’s poignant moments — because they will have to remember where they come from and who they really are in order to defeat this seemingly unstoppable force.

Endgame opens April 26.