Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Wonder Woman's Powers Weaken In WW 1984

2017's "Wonder Woman" was a breath of fresh air in the world of comic book films. Not only did it have a strong female superhero at its center, but it also boasted a female director in the form of Patty Jenkins. Jenkins' bold and fun take on the DC character translated with critics, and the film currently holds an impressive 93% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The paying public also took note, with "Wonder Woman" bringing in $822 million at the box office (via Box Office Mojo).

So it goes without saying that expectations were extremely high for the sequel, "Wonder Woman 1984." Released on Christmas 2020 on HBO Max, "Wonder Woman 1984" was sadly met with a tidal wave of negative reviews from critics and a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes as well as swift backlash from fans. Some of the criticism involved messy story elements and plot holes. One story beat that had fans scratching their collective heads is the weakening of Wonder Woman's incredible powers.

Steve Trevor

Set in 1918, a big plot point in "Wonder Woman" is the romance between Diana (Gal Gadot) and US pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), although he heroically sacrifices himself to help defeat the Germans in World War I at the end of the film. Flash-forward to 1984: Diana Prince is now working at the Smithsonian Institute while moonlighting as Wonder Woman. Shady business tycoon Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) unleashes chaos when he wishes to become the Dreamstone, an ancient artifact that grants wishes. The Dreamstone yields a second villain when Diana's meek co-worker, Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), becomes the supervillain Cheetah after she, too, wishes on the stone.

Barbara isn't the only one meddling with the Dreamstone — a still heartbroken Diana wishes for Steve Trevor to come back to her. This is granted in the form of Trevor inhabiting another man's body (Kristoffer Polaha). The catch to her wish, and indeed all the wishes in the film, is that the Dreamstone cannot give without taking something else away. Her mission to stop Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah and restore world order has been thrown out of whack.

Diana's sacrifice

Oftentimes, to raise the stakes in a book or film, the hero will lose their powers. After all, it's not much of a challenge if the protagonist can just crush their enemies with little to no effort. This is the hook for "Wonder Woman 1984." But there is, of course, an in-universe reason that some fans may have missed: It is in fact Diana's own wish that ultimately leads to her weakened state. Blinded by heartache, she initially refuses to give up her wish. However, in her weakened, mortal state, Diana is unable to defeat the Cheetah. Steve convinces Diana to let him go, and only then is she able to regain her strength and stop the two villains.

One of the main themes of "Wonder Woman 1984" is sacrifice. And in a very real way, Steve and Diana once again make the ultimate sacrifice, letting each other go for the good of all humanity. Ultimately, it's in this lesson that Diana is able to not only set everything in the world right but also restore her powers in the process.