Welcome to Fan Theory Madness, your guide to what fan theories, good and bad, are taking the internet by storm!
With so many fan theories floating around the web, it can be hard to know which ones to take seriously and which ones are wildly off the mark. Some theories are brilliant breakthroughs that reveal a whole new understanding of what a work of fiction means, or they're spot-on predictions about what's going to happen in the next installment. Others are specious bunk, deeply flawed theories that nevertheless get aggregated by some of the less scrupulous news sites.
This week, we'll start with a debunking of a really ridiculous Avengers: Endgame theory. After that, we'll tackle a Mandalorian theory that misses the point of The Mandalorian, and finally finish up with some cravenly irresponsible Doctor Strange theorizing. I'm tired.
CAPTAIN MARVEL WASN'T "SILENTLY" TELLING THOR SHE HAD TELEPATHY
In order for this theory to make even the tiniest bit of sense, you need to pump up the volume, listen carefully, and make sure your tinfoil hat is firmly affixed to your skull. Supposedly, during the scene in Avengers: Endgame when Captain Marvel doesn't flinch as Thor retrieves his axe, you can hear her "speak" the phrase "I have telepathy" if you increase the volume 400 percent.
I'll admit that if you listen to the video above and are expecting to hear that phrase, you can vaguely discern it — although it's faint and unclear enough that you probably wouldn't hear anything if you weren't already expecting it. Moreover, what would the point of this hidden scene be? Does Captain Marvel actually have telepathy? If so, it never comes back into play later in the film, and there's no reason why she'd need to tell Thor about this ability now. Also, what's the point in making this "reveal" of her power impossible for audiences to make out unless they fiddle with the audio? None of it makes sense. You shouldn't have to have telepathy yourself to understand a movie.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Joe Russo debunked the idea that Captain Marvel was conveying a hidden message to Thor (and the audience).
"There's no truth to that whatsoever," the director said. "We buried a lot of easter eggs in these films over the years, but that was not one that we buried."
BABY YODA IS USING THE FORCE TO MIND-CONTROL THE MANDALORIAN
You know how the entire point of the first season of The Mandalorian was the titular bounty hunter taking Baby Yoda (sorry, "The Child") under his wing? How initially it was just a job, but Mando began to genuinely care for Baby Yoda, and how his own backstory made him especially soft when it came to protecting children in need? You know, all that character growth? The relationship that serves as the emotional core of the show?
What this theory presupposes is, what if actually Baby Yoda was just controlling Mando's mind the entire time?
Sigh. This just … isn't how stories work.
SAM RAIMI DIRECTING DOCTOR STRANGE SOMEHOW MEANS TOBEY MAGUIRE'S SPIDER-MAN WILL RETURN
Sam Raimi is in talks to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness after the original director, Scott Derrickson, left the sequel. Raimi is, of course, known for directing the Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man movies. So what this irresponsible theory posits is: Would Raimi joining Doctor Strange mean Maguire's Spidey could appear in the MCU?
No! Sure, you can construct a fiction where Doctor Strange opens portals to the multiverse, and one of the alternate universes is where the Raimi Spider-Man movies took place, but let's think about the real world for just a second. Marvel Studios does not own the film rights to Spider-Man. Sony does. That's why it was such a big deal that the two studios came to a very, very hard-fought joint custody agreement, allowing Sony to make Spider-Man films set in the MCU, and Marvel to occasionally borrow Tom Holland for appearances in other MCU films. Any time Spider-Man appears in an MCU movie, it is the result of a carefully bargained deal between the two companies.
Sam Raimi does not own the rights to the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies. He, as a director, has no power to bring Spidey into the Doctor Strange movie. It's like saying Rocky Balboa could appear in Black Panther 2 simply because Ryan Coogler also directed Creed. To say that Raimi's presence on the Doctor Strange sequel has any real impact on Tobey Maguire's chances to appear in it is to willfully misunderstand how moviemaking works.
When other entertainment news websites write stories like this — and there are a lot of stories like this — they are not writing anything helpful. It's 400 words that argue, "Hey, this could happen," typically followed by one sentence that admits, "It won't, but it would be cool." This does not serve readers. These stories give false hope at best, and are knowingly misleading at worst. But, hey — thanks for the click.