We're officially in the analysis phase of the Avengers: Endgame phenomenon now. Since the film cleared more than $1 billion worldwide at the box office on its opening weekend alone, millions of people have now seen the film and are eager to talk about every detail, and directors Joe and Anthony Russo seem glad to finally be able to discuss spoilers without fear of ruining something.
The various chronological quirks of this film — and there are many — coupled with its massive roster of characters mean that there are quite a few lingering threads at the end of Endgame, some of which are only visual nods to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of these, unsurprisingly, concerns Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who's about to get his second solo outing with July's Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Going into the film, many fans had questions about exactly when Far From Home will be set, and how its various supporting characters will factor into the story after the events of Infinity War. If you've read this far, you probably know where we're headed with this, but if you're still somehow in the dark, this is your last chance to turn back.
** WARNING: There are spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below. **
In Endgame's final montage, we see Peter Parker return to his New York City high school, where he warmly greets his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) for the first time since The Decimation took him shortly after the battle on Titan in Infinity War. The two friends have clearly been through a lot, and their return to high school, surrounded by their fellow students, is an attempt to strike a semi-normal existence after everything that's happened.
There's one other complication to the scene, though: Endgame features a five-year time jump. If you were snapped out of existence, you returned after five years having not aged, but if you weren't snapped, you've aged five years. That's something that would be particularly noticeable in a teenager, so why does Ned look the same?
Well, as is usually the case with these things, the simplest answer is the best one, but directors Joe and Anthony Russo have now helped things along by confirming it: Ned was also snapped.
"So... Ned disappeared as well," Joe Russo told Entertainment Weekly. "That's the two of them seeing each other for the first time after having disappeared."
So that clears up why Ned and Peter still both look the same, and the look of amazement on Ned's face when they meet. He's still getting used to the information that five years have passed.
But what does this mean for Spider-Man: Far From Home? If the film is indeed set after the events of Endgame — and Marvel still hasn't been entirely clear on that — that would mean that fellow supporting characters like MJ (Zendaya) and Flash (Tony Revolori) would also have had to be snapped in order to explain their continued presence as Peter's classmates.
In the same interview, Joe Russo confirmed that some of Peter's classmates have definitely aged out of high school, but that doesn't mean the important ones did. After all, Clint Barton was the only surviving member of his own family of five for a while. The Decimation was entirely random, so Peter's closest friends could have all gone with him while plenty of other high schoolers stayed.
We will no doubt learn more about Far From Home's place in the timeline in the coming months ahead of its release on July 5. For now, just know that there's a very good explanation for why Peter and his friends managed to make it through all of this without aging.