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Why Avengers: Infinity War Didn't Show Thanos Obtaining The Power Stone

Contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War

At its most basic, Avengers: Infinity War is a movie that follows the intergalactic despot Thanos (Josh Brolin) getting his meaty purple hands on the Infinity Stones so he can activate the Infinity Gauntlet, snap his fingers, and wipe out half the universe's population in an act of genocide he thinks is merciful, all while the Marvel's biggest and best heroes try their turn at taking him down. But that's not entirely true: The film didn't actually show the tyrannical Titan obtaining all six Infinity Stones, as he already had the sparkly amethyst Power Stone plugged into his Gauntlet when the movie opened.

Infinity War explained away the glossing-over of Thanos' acquisition of the gem through Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who detailed that the Titan "decimated" Xandar, the war-torn planet in the Andromeda Galaxy, and captured the Power Stone from the Nova Corps. So why didn't fans get to see Thanos actually do this in the film?

Co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo have the definitive answer: There were too many Infinity Stones to focus on, and one simply had to go.

During a Q&A session with students at Iowa City High School, Joe Russo explained that he and his brother thought the Power Stone would be "one too many" to include in the already super-sized flick. "There's so many stones [Thanos] has to collect and you get into a trap and we thought — we knew where it was in [Guardians of the Galaxy], so it was easy to deal with it off screen," the filmmaker stated (via Reddit).

The Power Stone may not have been a huge plot point in Avengers: Infinity War, but it was a crucial element in director James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, with the titular universe-savers traversing through space to acquire the gem and keep it away from Kree militarist Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). Ultimately, the intergalactic military and police force known as the Nova Corps (which included Glenn Close's Nova Prime Irani Rael, John C. Reilly's Rhomann Dey, and Peter Serafinowicz's Denarian Garthan Saal) wound up protecting the stone at the end of the film, unaware that Thanos was coming soon. 

Anyone hoping to see Thanos' ravaging of Xandar on the silver screen will be pleased to know that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previously teased it might be a possibility in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, since it's part of the origin of Richard Rider, better known as Nova.

"Nova is ... if we have a big board with a bunch of characters that have more immediate potential, Nova is on that board," Feige once told ComicBook.com. "Because of the connection to the Guardians universe, because there are more than one examples to pull from in the comics that are interesting. And you're absolutely right, he was in the earliest drafts of the [Guardians of the Galaxy]."

Whether or not Marvel fans will ever get to witness Thanos snatching up the Power Stone — either in the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie or elsewhere — remains a mystery that only time can solve.