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The Real Reason Wonder Woman 1984 Opens With Two Action Scenes

Fans who've already seen Wonder Woman 1984 may have noticed that the film absolutely hit the ground running — twice.

This article contains spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984, proceed at your own risk.

The film opens with a young Princess Diana (Lilly Aspell) lining up with several adult Amazons to compete in what amounts to the Themyscirian equivalent of the Olympic pentathlon, but, like, harder. There's running, jumping, swimming, climbing, horseback riding, shooting, obstacle-ing, and much more; seriously, we're tired just recalling it. After the dust settles on that athletic insanity and Diana learns a life lesson from Aunty Antiope (Robin Wright), we see an adult Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) foil a jewelry store robbery in a shopping mall. As one might expect, such a scene is packed with action as well, with more shooting (from the bad guys, of course), lassoing (by Diana), rope swinging (technically by both parties, respectively) and some hand-to-hand combat mixed in for good measure. With two adrenaline-infused scenes back to back, audiences may have been a little breathless at the onset of the film.

It turns out, that dual-intro juxtaposition was deemed absolutely necessary by Wonder Woman 1984's director, Patty Jenkins. Here's why.

Why does Wonder Woman 1984 start with two action scenes?

WW84 director Patty Jenkins recently participated in a Zoom call with star Gal Gadot and members of the media. During the chat, Jenkins let on (via JoBlo.com) that she went back and forth with the studio execs, who insisted that she cut either the opening scene on Themyscira or the mall scene in the '80s. She explained that she felt that just wasn't doable.

"I was like, we can't, we can't cut either," Jenkins said. As she lays it out, the scene on Themyscira was essential for anyone who might be familiar with the first movie. "The reason that I ended up realizing that you need the Amazon [scene] is because I suddenly [thought], 'Wait, you have to remember all the people that haven't seen the first Wonder Woman who watch this on a plane.' And suddenly [you remember], 'Oh, it's super hard to understand who Diana is and what's going on without touching base there.'"

In addition to setting the scene to remind viewers of the title character's background, without that scene reaching back to Diana's roots and origin, we would also be left without an essential bit of insight from Queen Hippolyta's (Connie Nielsen) sister. "I love the fact that you hear [Antiope saying] all of the [lines about] being a great hero takes your whole life, you know?" Jenkins added. "So there was this wisdom there that they were trying to tell [Diana] — which is not about being the strongest or the fastest, it's about these complex observations you have to make during life in order to become a true hero. I love that she doesn't understand that until that final speech."

Now that you know why the movie began how it did, do you know the meaning behind the Wonder Woman 1984 post-credits scene?