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Reasons We Don't See These Characters In The Endgame Trailer

Finally, the Avengers: Endgame trailer is here, and we now know a few things we didn't know before. We know Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is lost in space. We know that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) are missing and likely presumed dead. We know eventually Lang will find his way to the rest of the Avengers, and we know they have a plan, though we don't know what it is yet. We also know that in his post-Decimation retirement, Thanos (Josh Brolin) has taken to walking through fields and making like Russell Crowe at the end of Gladiator, but that doesn't really tell us much. 

There's still so much we don't know and, in particular, a lot of characters we didn't get to see. No M'Baku (Winston Duke), no Okoye (Danai Gurira), or really any of the Wakandan characters. No Rocket (Bradley Cooper), the only surviving member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. No Wong (Benedict Wong), no Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), and no War Machine (Don Cheadle). We know they're all going to be in Endgame, so where are they? Why didn't they make the cut for the first trailer? 

We'll all find out in April what the missing heroes are up to, and we may learn some things sooner from upcoming trailers and spoiler leaks. In the meantime, here are our best guesses for the reasons we're not seeing these characters in the long-awaited Endgame trailer. 

Rhodey's a little busy

Rhodey is in a unique position among the heroes appearing in both Infinity War and Endgame. He's one of the only surviving earthbound heroes who signed the Sokovia Accords back in Captain America: Civil War. He's an Avenger and a colonel in the U.S. Air Force (though possibly not for long). 

When he dismissed Secretary Ross' (William Hurt) hologram and refused to arrest Captain America (Chris Evans) and company in Infinity War, Rhodey declared, "That's a court martial." If he's right, then the reason Rhodey doesn't show up in the trailer may have to do with the consequences of his refusal to follow orders. He may have even been arrested. With his War Machine outfit, he could likely fight off and/or evade any pursuers, but considering his sense of duty, Rhodey would likely submit to the authorities with his head held high. 

Ironically, it could also be because Rhodey is the only Avenger not under threat of arrest. Vision (Paul Bettany) is dead and it's unclear whether or not Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is considered AWOL after her betrayal in Civil War. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) weren't even around for the Accords, and the latter is wanted for the destruction that the rampaging Hulk doled out in Johannesburg. As the only pro-accords Avenger left alive, Rhodey might be playing interference with the authorities, begging them to not arrest the Avengers so they can find a way to bring the dead back to life.

Unsure about Shuri

You might argue Shuri doesn't belong on this list. She appears briefly in the trailer, as one of the faces Banner is reviewing among the post-Decimation missing. But there are three reasons we think she's still alive. 

First, because Avengers: Infinity War's ending was so thorough in showing us all the major players who got dusted. If Shuri was one of the victims of Thanos' Decimation, then why did the Russo brothers skip her? Second, because back in July Angela Bassett, who plays Ramonda in Black Panther, told Screen Rant both her character and Shuri survived the Decimation. Third, Scott Lang's face is in the same shot, and we know for a fact he wasn't a victim of Thanos' snap. Why would he necessarily be the only character who's missing but alive?

If Shuri survived, then there's another reason why she didn't appear in the Endgame trailer. It could have something to do with one of our theories that Shuri managed to save Vision's consciousness before Corvus Glaive's (Michael James Shaw) attack stopped her from her work. 

Her absence could also be due to something much more disturbing. It could be that with the death of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), the royal family is in hiding like they were in Black Panther after Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) took over. 

Long live the king?

M'Baku wasn't the biggest character in Avengers: Infinity War (though he had some great moments in the Battle of Wakanda), so it may not be a surprise that he wasn't in the Endgame trailer. But the reason for his absence may have less to do with his prominence and more to do with the post-Decimation state of Wakanda. 

While M'Baku fought alongside T'Challa in Infinity War, there are signs the leader of the Jabari tribe wasn't happy about it. When he saw the grotesque Outriders, M'Baku gravely stated, "This will be the end of Wakanda." When you consider exactly what brought the monsters to Wakanda's doorstep, it doesn't bode well for the Wakandan people's attitude toward T'Challa's edict of transparency. Put yourself in the shoes of a Wakandan. Months after your king makes the radical decision to open up the nation to the rest of the world, a bunch of Western superheroes attract an army of aliens and — not even counting those dead on the battlefield — half the people in the country fade into dust, including the king. 

M'Baku is in the perfect position to grab power if he wants it, and considering he challenged T'Challa for the throne even before Killmonger did in Black Panther, he almost definitely wants it. Considering how xenophobic M'Baku and his tribesmen were initially even towards fellow Wakandans before the end of Black Panther, a M'Baku-ruled Wakanda would not be Avengers-friendly. 

Captain Marvel has her own stuff to do

We know Captain Marvel is going to be in Avengers: Endgame, so where was she in the trailer? Likely, there are two reasons for her absence — one reason is to mitigate spoilers, and the other is purely a matter of marketing. 

The very appearance of Captain Marvel's logo in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War was a big crowd-pleasing moment. Multiply that by about a hundred, and that's what it's going to be like in the theater whenever Captain Marvel first joins up with the Avengers. That moment — no matter how it unfolds — is going to be huge and in all likelihood, the Russo brothers don't want that moment to be spoiled in a trailer or a TV spot. They want us to experience it as it happens.

The other reason? Well, we haven't even seen Captain Marvel yet. We're still getting new trailers for Carol Danvers' solo debut, and it's likely the marketing team doesn't want to confuse audiences about which movie is which. Sure, to us dedicated Marvel geeks, featuring Captain Marvel in trailers for both her own film and for Endgame wouldn't be a big deal, but a wider mainstream audience could be another matter. Plus, no one knows how audiences are going to react to Captain Marvel yet, so we don't know whether advertising her presence will sell more or fewer tickets to Endgame.

Rocket isn't ready

There are a few potential reasons for Rocket's absence from the trailer, though we missed the little trash panda regardless. First, Rocket is likely going to be heading into space the first chance he can get. He was there for Groot's (Vin Diesel) heartbreaking death, but has no way of knowing what happened to the rest of the Guardians, and he's going to be desperate to find out. The Endgame trailer already showed two characters in space: Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Tony Stark. Showing them all in space might confuse audiences, particularly since Stark is adrift and it's unclear if anyone's with him. 

Second, it may very well be Rocket who saves Tony Stark from asphyxiating in space, and the Russo Brothers may not want to give any hints that would spoil that. Sure, it seems likely Rocket would rather go find his friends in space than hang out on Earth with a bunch of giant monkeys, but as long as we don't see where he is, we can't know for sure. 

Third, and finally, Rocket may simply not be ready for public consumption. As a CGI character, he will be a big part of the post-production process on Avengers: Endgame, and it may simply be that there weren't enough shots of him ready in time for the trailer.

Valkyrie needs to make an entrance

We're pretty sure Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is going to show up in Avengers: Endgame. While she was nowhere to be seen in Avengers: Infinity War, we know her character survived Thanos' attack on the Asgardian refugee ship. And we know that Thompson posted pictures of herself with Chris Hemsworth disembarking from a plane in Atlanta while Avengers: Endgame reshoots were happening in the same city. The fact that Thompson and Hemsworth worked together on the upcoming Men in Black reboot could explain them traveling together, but it's still noteworthy that they both traveled to a city where Avengers stuff was going on. 

Still, if she's in the movie, then why wasn't she in the trailer? Well, for one thing, while we're pretty sure she's going to show up, we won't know until we know... you know? For another, much like the inevitable appearance of Captain Marvel, the return of Valkyrie is going to be a big, applause-ready moment. Hopefully they won't give her super-important dialogue straight off, because it will be drowned out by the cheers. That's not a moment the Russo brothers are going to want revealed in the trailer. 

Wong's reasons are his own

Wong's absence from the Endgame trailer was another big disappointment. With Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) dusted in Infinity War, Wong is the most prominent member of Kamar-taj left. Maybe

And that "maybe" leads us to one of the reasons Wong might not be in the trailer — he might not be alive. The last time we saw Wong was right after the New York City fight with the Black Order, when he excused himself to reinforce Kamar-taj's sanctums. He had nothing to do with the battles either on Titan or in Wakanda, so we have no way to know if he survived the Decimation. He will be appearing in Endgame, but so will just about every major character the Decimation killed, so that doesn't tell us much. 

His absence could also lend weight to the theory that Wong has been replaced by the Skrulls, inspired by the ambiguous make-up chair shot Benedict Wong posted on his Instagram in September. It doesn't seem like the most likely outcome — with everything that will already be going on in Endgame, it seems like it would be strange for the Russo brothers to randomly out different characters as aliens in disguise. But if the theory is true, then avoiding spoilers could be why Wong wasn't to be found in the trailer.

Okoye serves at the pleasure of the King

You could argue that Danai Gurira, who played Okoye in both Black Panther and Infinity War, is already getting plenty of time in the spotlight. She made news in December when she was named the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Still, the proud warrior's absence from the Endgame trailer was noteworthy, if for no other reason than that it could point towards a possibility we've already had on our minds. 

We know that warriors like M'Baku and Killmonger were given the opportunity to challenge T'Challa in combat for the leadership of Wakanda and the title of Black Panther. What we don't know is how the transfer of leadership in Wakanda works if the king dies outside of ritual combat and without any heir. Even if we're wrong about M'Baku possibly seizing control of Wakanda, it's possible — even likely — someone else will. And just as she was forced to do when she believed Killmonger had killed T'Challa, Okoye will likely choose to serve whoever takes the throne. 

True, Okoye did ultimately turn on Killmonger in Black Panther, but that was only after T'Challa turned up alive, thereby forfeiting Killmonger's claim to the throne. If the new king or queen takes the throne legally, Okoye would feel obliged to serve them. And if that's the case, that may be why we don't see Okoye in the Endgame trailer — the Russos would rather we remain ignorant of what happened in Wakanda after the Snap.

The dead are, you know, dead

There were a lot of heroes we didn't see in the trailer. In particular, we didn't see any of the dead ones. The reason isn't that mysterious. We didn't see the dead ones because, you know... they're dead

We know that just about all the heroes from Infinity War — dead or alive — will be returning in Endgame. We know dead characters like Black Panther, Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and the Guardians have confirmed sequels in the works. Unless Spider-Man: Far From Home is going to be all about Miles Morales and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is going to be Rocket and a bunch of new aliens (unlikely, considering that he isn't that great at making friends), most of the dead of Infinity War will, in true Marvel Comics fashion, not be dead for long. 

So, why no dead heroes in the trailer? While there's a good chance heroes like Heimdall (Idris Elba) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who died outside the Decimation are dead for realsies, probably most if not all of the "Decimated" will be un-Decimated. Obviously, the Russos don't want to spoil how or when in the film that's going to happen. They also know every trailer and TV spot released is going to be scrutinized by fans like a fresh crime scene, so why give away glimpses of the dead when there are plenty of living heroes for Endgame to feature?