Once again, Marvel fans sees what a difference a detail makes.
Last week, we saw what if Peggy Carter became the First Avenger instead of Steve Rogers.
This week, the Watcher shows us what if an alien named Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his Ravengers took a young boy…from Wakanda.
The episode is dedicated to Chadwick Boseman, who will forever be known as Black Panther. It also shows he is a part of the MCU that may never be replaced. HIs performance will cause a lot of fans (and a Watcher) to shed a tear or two about what we lost.
While Peter Quill made Star-Lord a second cousin to Han Solo, T’Challa is a force that changes the galaxy as a natural leader. It’ll lead to some unexpected consequences, but this switch is a bigger shakeup than last week.
It starts just like Guardians of the Galaxy, where Star-Lord tries to get a certain Orb. He is met by Korath…who is glad to see him?
Well, in this ‘verse, T’Challah is very popular as Star-Lord. Korath is even happy to lose to him.
He even quips well, even if Yondu and his Flying Whistling Arrow are a bit late.
Still, how did this happen?
Cut to 1988 Wakanda, where a young Prince T’Challa wants to see more to the world than Wakanda. HIs dad, T’Chaka, says all his son will find is destruction and pain. That’s his experience.
As the Watcher says, destiny is an equation, and one variable changes everything. That’s why a Wakandan prince is taken by Yondu, not some kid from Missouri who’s about to lose his mom.
This creates a new universe, and the movie we knew gets a big rewrite.
For one thing, Yondu knows he has the wrong kid but will take T’Challa anyway (and the kid doesn’t mind).
Does that make a change?. This is Thanos in this week’s episode. He was talked out of erasing half the universe with a certain gauntlet.
However, there are consequences. T’Challa reveals his homeland was destroyed by war, or that’s what Yondu tells him.
That’s why he’s saving others.
Now, he has a job to get the Embers of Genesis, which can be used to fix eco-systems.
They have to take on The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) , who is now what Thanos used to be. The Ravagers aren’t interested but T’Challa is.
The Embers are in the Collector’s “museum” in Knowhere (just like in the movie). It unfolds like a heist movie with familiar faces in other roles. Believe it or not, a certain bird gets a much bigger role.
A bigger shock comes when T’Challa finds a spaceship…from Wakanda. It includes a hologram from his dad, hoping he’d return.
He’d be torn about this…except Nebula double-crosses him. Yondu did, too, lying about what happened to Wakanda. He says he did it because he considers T’Challa family, and should forget his past. Thanks to Nebula, his present isn’t so good. He’s now an “exhibit”.
Or is he? Turns out Nebula knew the Collector wanted T’Challa, so he gets what he wants while she still gets the Embers. T’Challa just barely escapes, but he gets one last fight with the Collector. He uses a lot of Marvel “movie props” to battle T’Challa, while Thanos actually winds up being a pretty good guy who fights very well.
So what’s next? Maybe T’Challa will go home…and he does with the Ravagers. Yes, that includes Thanos.
They become very welcome in Wakanda. It’s safe to say this could have affected the events in Civil War and a few other films.
What happened to Peter Quill? Well, he works at a Dairy Queen….until he meets someone.
Yeah, it’s Ego (Kurt Russell) from the second movie. Finding his son, who’s just some kid instead of a future Ravager, means Peter will be someone very different. Season 2, anyone?
This last detail shows how one changed event will affect many universes elsewhere. It’s one thing for Peggy to be an Avenger instead of Steve. Having T’Challa as Star-Lord means Ego the Living Planet mold his “son” without any distractions. That, of course, could mean destruction that’s even worse than what the Thanos we know accomplished.
Next week, Nick Fury confronts a king, and it won’t be easy when he tries to get some help.
What If airs new episodes every Wednesday on Disney Plus.