The hope of Captain Marvel

Just+like+waking+up+at+the+beginning+of+the+new+day+is+both+a+restart+to+your+goals+and+a+reminder+of+past+mornings%2C+Captain+Marvel+makes+a+great+bridge+between+the+past+Avengers+story+lines+and+any+possible+movies+Marvel+might+create.+%0AImage+courtesy+of+CanStockPhoto.com
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The hope of Captain Marvel

Just like waking up at the beginning of the new day is both a restart to your goals and a reminder of past mornings, Captain Marvel makes a great bridge between the past Avengers story lines and any possible movies Marvel might create. 
Image courtesy of CanStockPhoto.com

Just like waking up at the beginning of the new day is both a restart to your goals and a reminder of past mornings, Captain Marvel makes a great bridge between the past Avengers story lines and any possible movies Marvel might create. Image courtesy of CanStockPhoto.com

Just like waking up at the beginning of the new day is both a restart to your goals and a reminder of past mornings, Captain Marvel makes a great bridge between the past Avengers story lines and any possible movies Marvel might create. Image courtesy of CanStockPhoto.com

Just like waking up at the beginning of the new day is both a restart to your goals and a reminder of past mornings, Captain Marvel makes a great bridge between the past Avengers story lines and any possible movies Marvel might create. Image courtesy of CanStockPhoto.com

Rebecca Barkdoll, Opinion Editor

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There has been quite a bit of talk about Captain Marvel recently, mostly focused on the feminist issues that are addressed in the movie. It seems like everyone has strong opinions about the movie, either loving that it addressed these issues or hating it for being too politically correct.

But being too politically correct isn’t the only complaint I’ve heard about this movie. A couple of people that I know have mentioned that they feel like the plot is nothing special, leaving them somewhat disappointed. As someone who is in love with this movie, I had to disagree, but not simply because it’s one of my favorite Marvel movies yet.

No, the reason that I disagree is because of one specific nuance. Lately, Marvel movies have been incredibly dramatic and intense, from the divide of the Avengers to the fall of Asgard to Thanos’s Snap, plot twists and destruction abound. So, to follow it up with a plot that is more straightforward and positive is a jarring feeling.

But if I had to guess, I’d say that’s the point. Captain Marvel is an origin story through and through, and origin stories, while not completely without plot twists, tend to have a more straightforward base. They have to get the audience attached to the characters, and not the plot, or there is much less chance for a good sequel.

After all, the entire fandom is going insane wondering if their favorite characters are going to die, which would not be possible if there were not movies set in place to draw them in.
The jarring sensation is not simply from the change in the plot structure. It also comes from the overall tone of the movie, one that ends with a dream to help others and to grow as a person, not one where survival and betrayal rule the story. Captain Marvel is about hope.

You can see it throughout the movie. Carol Danvers hopes for her memories to come back and to help others. Nick Fury hopes to protect his planet and the Skrulls hope for safety. And while it’s true that pretty much every movie ever has some themes of hope, the placement of Captain Marvel only emphasizes this.

It’s perhaps the storytelling equivalent to the seasons. Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok were the fall, Avengers: Infinity War was winter, and now, Captain Marvel is the first buds of spring. Things may look grim, but not everything has been accounted for and surprises are sure to arrive.

Also, Captain Marvel’s placement in the series of movies may serve another subtle—or not so subtle—purpose. As it stands, Marvel has given us a quieter movie to not only bridge the gap between Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame but to bridge the gap between this story arch and any following arches they create. It would be even more jarring of a switch from Endgame to whatever new superheroes they introduce—because I seriously doubt that they’re going to stop after Spiderman: Far From Home—if they had not put movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel into play right then.

Even so, Ant-Man and the Wasp is still a bit gloomier than Captain Marvel, simply from the knowledge of where the characters and plot were in the timeline. Thus, it falls to Captain Marvel to give us a story where we can feel safe, to give us another hero to hope for when the end game starts.

Captain Marvel is not simply a story where a woman recovers memories. It’s about a bad situation gone worse and dark things suddenly becoming bright. And yes, it is a challenge against a system of oppression too. After all, hoping for a better life for future generations is exactly what a superhero would do.