Mass Effect Andromeda is coming this year, provided the game doesn’t see any delays or setbacks before release. While we don’t know much about Andromeda, BioWare has announced that it takes place long after the events of the first three Mass Effect games in a galaxy far, far away. They’ve also confirmed that players won’t be controlling Commander Shepard this time around, instead creating a new character to explore the Andromeda galaxy with.
They’ve left us with plenty of room to speculate and speculate we have, with plenty of fan theories surfacing about where Andromeda is going to take us, as well as how it connects back to the original trilogy. Here’s some of the best ones so far.
The 50,000 Year Cycle Theory
Taken from reddit user PeterGot, the 50,000 year cycle theory focuses on the concept of cycles in the Mass Effect universe and more importantly, how each one is closely related. In each of these cycles there’s been a similar timeline of events; each containing a fight against the Reapers and a ‘Shepherd-like’ individual trying to defeat them while a Cerberus-like organization has tried to control them. In every cycle before the one we play through in Mass Effect, the Reapers have come in from the Citadel and accomplished their mission — but in the one that takes place in the game? We were able to delay them and in the end, put up a fight against them, including one battle which resulted in the cycle officially ending. Essentially: The Protheans delayed the return of the Reapers and the ‘Shepherd’ of our cycle didn’t stay dead as a result, coming back to break the cycle. As a result, humanity and the other races were able to survive and rebuild, leading into the exploration of new systems that takes place in Mass Effect Andromeda.
The Black Ark Theory
Taken from YouTube user Gamedam Meister, The Black Ark theory focuses on how humanity and the other races in Mass Effect got to the Andromeda galaxy from our own. In Mass Effect, all of the societies have developed interstellar travel. But, we haven’t been able to go more than a few dozen light years without the mass relays in the game — and even then, we’ve only been able to travel a few thousand light years at a time. Unfortunately, the Andromeda galaxy is over two million light years away, meaning that we wouldn’t be able to reach it without developing a new system of travel or by harnessing technology from the Collectors and Reapers. In his theory, Meister suggests that we harnessed the power of the Collector’s ships, known as ‘Black Arks’, to create a hybrid that would then be used to send the team and player character in Andromeda to a new galaxy in order to continue on the legacy of civilization before the end of Mass Effect 3 and the onslaught of the Reaper War.
The Wormhole Theory
Posted by the tumblr coundownandromeda, the wormhole theory focuses on destruction of the mass relays at the end of Mass Effect 3. They suggested that the destruction of all the mass relays had unintended effects on the fabric of space-time — and those who remained behind from civilization worked to study, rebuild and then create new relays that more powerful than their predecessors. These relays could then harness those unintended effects on the fabric of space-time to shoot our technology years into the future, resulting in a form of wormhole travel. They further suggested that the events of Mass Effect 3 had caused us to lose most of the Milky Way galaxy, making new colonization the only option to preserve civilization. As such, explorers were sent to the Andromeda galaxy to search for planets to colonize and clear the way for those who follow.
The Stargazer Theory
Similar to the wormhole theory, the stargazer theory focuses on the end of Mass Effect 3, namely where the Stargazer and child are having a conversation about the events on the first three games and when Joker lands the Normandy on an unknown planet. The base idea behind this lies at the end of Mass Effect 3, when Joker is piloting the Normandy through a wormhole generated by the destruction of the crucible — forcing him to land on a planet we’ve never seen before. The Stargazer theory claims that this planet is in the Andromeda galaxy, and that the resulting wormhole brought them there.
Now, during the Stargazer scene, there are various lines of dialogue insinuating that space travel doesn’t exist and that Shepard has become a fantasy figure, referred to as ‘the Shepherd’. Eventually, the child asks, “When can I go to the stars?” and the Stargazer responds by saying “eventually”, discussing all the wonders in the stars as if they were a distant memory. At this point, it’s obvious that the Stargazer know stories from being close to Shepard, but how? Many people are saying it’s Joker, who survived after the explosion and has now gone on with the crew of the Normandy to establish a new life in the Andromeda galaxy. Furthermore, this theory discusses the possibility that the child had now grown up, idolizing Shepard and as a result has copied his armor; becoming the male figure we see in the Mass Effect Andromeda trailer. Wouldn’t that be wild?