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Character meetings in Avengers: Endgame we can't wait to see

Climactic meetings between characters are often the driving force behind a good movie, whether it's a respectful tête-à-tête, an outright fight to the death, or anything in between. From the confrontation between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Cloud City to Gollum and Frodo's final encounter, from Maximus' shocking reveal in Gladiator's Colosseum to Pacino meeting De Niro in Heat's diner, the power of an anxiously anticipated crossing of paths can have a huge impact. This has never been true on a grander scale than in Avengers: Endgame. Not only is it the epic finale of a decade-long build-up, it's also one of the greatest crossover events in cinematic history.

Of course, the cast of this Marvel epic is bursting with compelling characters, all played by talented A-list actors. The film is a mouth-watering who's who of potential meetings, any one of which could be the central point of an entire story all its own. While the list of possibilities is nearly endless, here are some of the top encounters promised in the post-Infinity War era that we can't wait to see unfold on the big screen.

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Rogers and Stark

It's the elephant in the room: Steve Rogers and Tony Stark absolutely have to come face-to-face in Endgame. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this one. It needs to happen, and the earlier the better. Over the years we've watched the two team up over and over again. From saving New York City from an alien invasion to stopping a runaway machine from dropping a sky-high city, the two brothers in arms have proven that together, they're nearly unstoppable. Of course, the whole Sokovia affair with Ultron proved to have some pretty nasty side-effects, which led to the schism in Civil War.

Ever since that distressingly epic final confrontation that ended with Captain America's shield buried in Iron Man's chest armor, the two have been out of each other's lives. It's not for lack of trying, either — the filmmakers actually attempted to squeeze a reunion scene into the already jam-packed Infinity War script, but found that it couldn't fit. It's an understandable issue, but unfortunately, it had the effect of kicking this particular can down the road into the even more jam-packed storyline of Endgame. At least with the snap out of the way, there should be fewer characters to juggle that could potentially interfere with getting the two superheroes into the same room.

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Stark and Potts

Another meeting that we're all dying to see is that of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. One of the slower moments of Infinity War (and there really were only a few of them) had the engaged couple jogging in New York City and talking about the future. Tony was dreaming about a family, while Pepper wanted her fiance to have shirts rather than iron suits adorning his closet. The conversation had barely gotten started before marriage, kids, even their evening reservations were dropped for more urgent matters. We heard a little bit more as Tony hitched a ride onto the space donut, but the conversation cut out pretty quickly. The first Endgame trailer picked right back up with Tony recording a heart-wrenching message to Pepper, leaving us all begging for more.

Assuming that Pepper Potts survived the snap, a reunion between the two is going to be about as much of a high as Tony can find after the crushing ending of Infinity War. The meeting could have all sorts of surprises attached to it, too. Long-held rumors have suggested that perhaps an Iron Kid could be in the cards at this point, while the possibility of a time jump means the child could even already be born. And then there's the chance that Endgame will finally bring us Rescue as well. Knowing that this is Gwyneth Paltrow's last foray into the MCU also makes the meeting that much more interesting.

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Drax and Thanos

Speaking of families, the currently dusted Drax doesn't have one anymore, thanks to Thanos. His wife and daughter were killed by the Mad Titan before we ever met the Destroyer, and as we know from the events on Knowhere during Infinity War, the guy is ready to switch gears from saving the galaxy to getting revenge at the drop of a hat. In fact, while the situation on Knowhere ended up being a sham anyway, in a lot of ways he and Star-Lord have got some of the same love-induced control issues when it comes to confrontations with the Big Purple Guy.

That's exactly what makes a meeting between Drax and Thanos compelling. While anyone could bump into the Mad Titan at this point and have a laundry list of grievances, Drax is one whose accusations stretch farther back than the audience even remembers. And, while his efforts in the fight on Titan were quite tangential to the larger struggle, seeing Drax finally get a little revenge after all these years would be quite satisfying. Of course, the surviving Avengers first need to figure out how to undo that snap so they can let this guy off the leash.

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Gamora and Quill

Another tear-jerker that we'd all love to see is the reunion of Peter Quill and Gamora. The last time these two saw each other, Gamora demanded that Quill shoot her for the good of the universe, and he actually did it — though the gun turned out to be a Thanos-conjured illusion. The whole situation is about as messed up as it gets. And then, of course, there's the fact that Gamora's subsequent death at the hands of her adopted dad directly factored into Star-Lord screwing things up on Titan.

If Thanos hadn't killed Gamora (or on the other hand, if Quill had killed her initially), there's a good chance Thanos wouldn't have won. Between Star-Lord having the guts to pull the trigger and then following that up with the catastrophic lack of self-control that literally cost half of the universe, the couple is going to have a pretty epic conversation if they manage to get face-to-face again. At least we know it's a possibility at this point — Gamora's non-snap related death left some wondering if she was gone for good. While only Endgame can answer that question directly, it's been confirmed that Zoe Saldana will indeed be showing up again at some point. The question is, will Quill be around too?

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Hulk and Thanos

This is a meeting that goes without saying. Everyone was psyched to see Hulk come crashing onto the screen in the opening minutes of Infinity War, only to watch the dude who literally jump-smashed Surtur in the face go down like a bag of chips after a few well-placed blows. After that, Hulk quickly ducked for cover and kept his head in the sand for the rest of the show.

Except "head in the sand" might actually be the wrong way to put it. It turns out that on the Infinity War commentary track, co-director Joe Russo explained that Hulk wasn't necessarily scared of Thanos. Rather, the whole staying-out-of-the-picture fiasco may have simply been a big middle finger to the Avengers. As Russo put it, "He's tired of playing hero to Bruce Banner."

If that's the case, a rematch between the two would be pretty juicy. After all, according to the Russos, we may not have actually seen Hulk smash in this scenario yet. A truly enraged Green Machine going up against the most powerful being in the universe would be the definition of epic, and it's definitely an encounter that we want to see.

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Banner and Hulk

There's no doubt that Banner and Hulk have had a pretty strained relationship from day one, and the years spent with Hulk in control on Sakaar hardly helped the situation. The question is, can Endgame provide a scenario where these two can stop antagonizing each other and finally work together?

Can we please get Banner and Hulk "into the same room," so to speak, and force them to come to terms with their situation? It's not a tangential issue at this point. Hulk sat back and watched the universe go to hell in a handbasket in Infinity War. Perhaps part of the recipe for the Green Goliath to get his act together is a confrontation with the person he fears the most: Banner. It's a showdown that Mark Ruffalo himself said is coming.

Endgame also marks the final part of a three-movie story arc that Hulk has been going through since Ragnarok, so something climactic is overdue. Promotional art for the movie has already shown Hulk "suited up" for the first time in his MCU history, indicating that perhaps we also may finally get to see the Banner/Hulk duo "Professor Hulk." If that's the case, you can bet your bottom dollar the whole thing is going to start with the two fellas facing some inner demons together.

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Rocket and Groot

The relationship between Rocket and Groot has become an MCU staple at this point. Rocket's tough guy act with his arboreal companion is about as transparent as glass. The two worked as peers until the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, at which point Rocket clearly became one of the top caretakers for Baby Groot. As the twig developed into teenage mutant rebellion Groot, much to the Trash Panda's annoyance, the latter still kept the Giving Tree by his side with indefatigable loyalty.

For all the displays of brotherly love, though, their most endearing moment has to be their last. As the snap took its deadly toll across the battle-scape of Wakanda, Rocket's desperate "No, no, no, no, Groot. No…" has got to be the most moving line he ever uttered. While reversing the snap will bring a lot of important people back into Rocket's life, there's no doubt that Groot is at the top of his list of friends that he wants back by his side, and, judging from their parting, might be the reunion that will get the Sweet Rabbit to actually shed a tear.

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Thor and Thanos

While the Hulk vs. Thanos rematch situation is dripping with unknown potential, one contest we can actually visualize is one between Thor and Thanos. After all, Thor stood out in Infinity War when he became the only person to take on a fully gauntleted Thanos and actually hit him. We're not talking about a drop of blood here — we're talking about an axe to the chest. But, of course, he didn't go for the head, and that's why this rematch needs to happen.

This isn't just a professional pride issue. Thor has badly needed a win for a while now. His entire family has died one after another, Jane broke up with him, his kingdom was destroyed, his people were slaughtered, his hammer was broken… do we need to keep going? Thor has been antagonized by Marvel, and it's about time they handed him a real victory.

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Captain Marvel and everyone

Another new and over-powered element is Captain Marvel. How is Carol Danvers going to fit into the Endgame picture? She's not exactly the kind of character you just slip in through the cracks. She's larger than life, and you can bet that her presence is going to be felt wherever and whenever she shows up.

The question is, how are the Russos going to introduce her? Fans have been all over the place trying to hypothesize how it could happen, and with Danvers' particular set of skills, the playbook really is wide open. She could time travel, fly in from a galaxy far, far away, or come out of hiding — say, on the coast of Maine. However she makes her entrance, though, a meeting between the Avengers and Captain Marvel is sure to be entertaining. Very few protagonists in the MCU are completely unaware of each other at this point, and the opportunity promises for some fun, as we saw when the Guardians of the Galaxy bumped into Stark and company on Titan.

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Barton and the Avengers

While Carol Danvers might be a new face to the Avengers, Clint Barton certainly isn't. The fella we've known so far as Hawkeye has a long and established history as a founding member of the superhero posse. Of course, since Sokovia, the family man has been under house arrest, sitting on the sidelines while everything unfolded around him.

However, the first official Endgame trailer revealed that Barton's time on the bench is up. The guy is about to make a re-entrance, likely under the new persona of Ronin. The shift in the title has long been rumored, with many guessing that Endgame may feature a devastated Barton who lost his entire family in the snap-pocalypse. If that's true, it's a pretty safe bet that his reunion with the team is hardly going to have the sobering effect of old. In fact, quite the opposite. A Clint Barton hell-bent on revenge is going to be something the Avengers haven't really seen before… and neither have we, which is why it makes the list.

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Nebula, Thanos, and Gamora

The trio of Thanos, Nebula, and Gamora has to be one of the weirdest on-screen families ever created. A dad on a power trip to wipe out half of the universe, daughters who literally fight nearly to the death on a regular basis, and the Mad Titan's punishing dismemberment of Nebula scream all sorts of screwed up. The rampant dysfunction makes a meeting of the three estranged family members a prime candidate for an Endgame highlight.

Knowing that Zoe Saldana is returning makes a meeting with Thanos very likely. We already know that she was able to communicate with her adopted father after her death, as seen in the ending of Infinity War. Even if she isn't slated for a full-blown resurrection, she still could end up having an interesting chat with dad about the end of the universe.

A Nebula/Thanos confrontation, however, is even juicier. In the comics, Nebula plays a key role in getting the Infinity Gauntlet away from her abusive father. While the MCU doesn't necessarily stick to the comic storylines, the option is still floating out there… as is Nebula, drifting through space with Tony somewhere. If she happens to come face to face with Thanos once again, the resulting confrontation could spell disaster for one or the other… or even both.

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Ant-Man and Cap

Ant-Man has crossed paths with the Avengers a couple of times now. He paid them an unexpected visit at their Upstate HQ facility, where he and Falcon spiced things up with a fun little duel. He also broke some laws to help out in Civil War, where he made quite a large impression, to say the least. But at the end of the day, Ant-Man has had very little impact on major Avengers film storylines… until now.

The official Endgame trailer ended with a prolonged scene that featured Scott Lang arriving at the Upstate facility, although this time he had the decency to use the front door. While Lang's impact on the story will be interesting, one meeting that will be striking all on its own is going to be the moment when Lang and Rogers come face to face. After all, the former was very helpful in the battle at the airport in Civil War, but we never got to see the two interact much after their first overly-enthusiastic handshake. It'll be interesting to see ex-con Lang jumping into cosmic plans with the Avengers… and resident golden boy Rogers, in particular.

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Parker and Stark

Tony Stark and Peter Parker have a special bond in the MCU. Stark has clearly had an eye on his young apprentice for quite a while now… that is, until Parker evaporated in his arms. Spidey's death at the end of Infinity War was one of the most moving scenes from the entire film, and one that Stark is hardly going to forget any time soon.

The question is, if the snap is undone, what will the two do when they meet face to face again? Will they simply exchange some playful banter? Will Parker try to hug Stark? Will Tony break his sarcasm enough to show his loving and fatherly side for a few seconds? Or will Mr. Stark decide to upbraid his star pupil for ignoring him and jumping on the donut ship in spite of his direct orders to the contrary?

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Romanoff and Banner

Natasha Romanoff and Bruce Banner had one of the most prominent — if fleeting — romances in the MCU, until Hulk went and flew Banner to Sakaar and didn't come back for two years. Even so, it was the memory of Romanoff that finally helped Banner regain the upper hand in Ragnarok, calming the Jade Giant down in the Quinjet with a recording of her soothing voice.

Since then, the two were able to see each other in Infinity War, but the situation hardly called for romance, especially when the two had a Thor and Jane Foster-esque amount of catching up to do. While they may have failed to stop Thanos from snapping his fingers, though, these two did survive the snap, and they also happened to be close to each other when the dust quite literally settled. When Endgame picks up, will they do the same with their relationship? Or will the scarring events that have taken place since Age of Ultron simply be too much of a burden to overcome?