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Why Steve's Watch In Wonder Woman 1984 Is So Important

Contains spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 may have critics and fans divided, but with the return of the series's inspiring hero, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), and the way the film incorporates so much of the beloved DC Comics, it's certainly a worthy addition to the DCEU. Whether it's Wonder Woman 1984's surprise cameos or callbacks to previous renditions of the character, there are plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle details in the movie that contribute to an ambitious and compelling story.

One of the biggest mysteries of Wonder Woman 1984 is the return of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who died in the first film while flying a plane full of bombs up into the sky to save the day. 66 years later and Diana is still mourning the loss of her true love. When she encounters the Dreamstone, an item she doesn't realize has the ability to grant your greatest wishes, her mind goes automatically to Steve, and soon enough, he's back in her life — sort of. Stuck in some random man's body, Steve has to find a way to reconnect with Diana and help her stop Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and her friend-turned-enemy, Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig).

With a new face, Steve has to remind Diana of their past together in order to convince her that it's him. Thankfully, Steve's watch, and the symbolism and importance it holds for the couple's relationship, is the key to proving to Diana that her love really has returned.

Steve convinces Diana of his identity by giving her his watch

After her wish on the Dreamstone, Diana attends a work party and spends her time there looking for Lord, whom she suspects as having a malicious reason for his interest in the museum and Barbara. While there, she gets interrupted by many men clearly interested in her, but she smoothly brushes them off, one by one. This plan is challenged when one strange man, played by Kristoffer Polaha, doesn't take a hint and follows her. Diana warns him off, but he's undeterred.

The man says to Diana, "I wish we had more time." She has an instant reaction, as that phrase is one of the last things Steve said to her before he sacrificed himself. Diana gets angry, warning the stranger not to say that to her, but instead of leaving her alone, he grabs her hand and places a watch in her palm. He tells her, "I can save today, but you can save the world." For Diana, that's all it takes to know that this is really Steve, back from the dead. 

Though it's a different watch, the recreation of their last moment together proves just how important and symbolic Steve's old watch is for them. Diana keeps it close, displaying it next to a photo of herself and Trevor Ranch in her apartment. Without the meaning behind the watch, Steve might've been unable to convince Diana of his true identity.

Steve Trevor's watch is tied to his life

Along with the symbolic meaning behind the old watch, there is also a direct connection between the watch and Steve. The only true possession of the man that Diana still has, the watch is what signals to viewers that Steve has returned. After making her wish with the Dreamstone, the watch, which had likely stopped working decades ago, starts ticking once again.

A small detail in the grand scheme of Wonder Woman 1984, the watch appears to be attached to Steve's life force in some way, ticking when he's alive, motionless when he's not. Though the audience doesn't get to see it, it's likely that Steve's watch stops working once again after Diana renounces her wish. The sequel doesn't directly address this connection between the man and the object and the true meaning and significance of this isn't clear, but it's there on screen for all to see, a deliberate visual motif at the very least. Looking at the twisted way that the Dreamstone grants wishes, Steve doesn't really come back to life, not entirely. Stuck in another man's body, Diana and the audience realize right away — even if she won't admit it — that there's no way this can last. It's a life he's stealing, someone else's time he's stealing. 

Once Steve disappears from Diana's life again, his watch returns to what it was before, a memento of her past and love for Steve. It's possible this connection is more important than you think, and could be explained in the upcoming third Wonder Woman film