Who wants to bet that Wakanda’s resident kid genius, Shuri (Letita Wright) actually managed to download Vision into her database before she was snapped away in the finale of Avengers: Infinity War?
This is just one Inverse String Theory, but it could be true. So consider yourself warned about potential Avengers: Endgame spoilers.
To recap, one thread in Avengers: Infinity War was Vision and Wanda (Elisabeth Olsen) sacrificing their happiness together for a greater good: Preventing Thanos from obtaining the Mind Stone, one of the six all-powerful Infinity Stones that Thanos would use to widespread chaos.
When Thanos plucked the Mind Stone from Vision’s forehead, we’re led to believe it killed Vision. And maybe it did — in his physical form. But as Bruce Banner alluded to in Avengers: Infinity War, there could still be a “whole lot of Vision” left, and Shuri might have succeeded in backing him up to her database drives like he was vacation pics.
Let’s back up on Vision and explain why removing the Mind Stone isn’t a bad thing. As fans know, Vision is a sophisticated program of hybrid construct. Although he first appeared in the flesh (so to speak) in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Vision has been “in” the MCU since the beginning, as Bettany voiced Tony Stark’s A.I. butler J.a.R.V.I.S. (“Just a Rather Very Intelligent System”) that Stark interfaced into his Mark II armor in 2008’s Iron Man.
Stark alone built J.a.R.V.I.S., the backbone for Vision. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Stark and Bruce together inadvertently created Ultron (James Spader), a quippy A.I. system whose programming to protect Earth decided humans were the cause of its imminent demise. As Ultron said, “When the Earth starts to settle, God throws a stone at it, and believe me, he’s winding up.”
Hoping to achieve full power, Ultron kidnapped Dr. Helen Cho (remember her?) and forced her to let him use the Cradle, Dr. Cho’s medical invention that basically 3D prints perfect cellular tissue. Ultron wanted it to give him a new body of vibranium. (“The most versatile substance on the planet, and they used it to make a frisbee. Typical of humans.”)
At the same time, Ultron ripped the Mind Stone from Loki’s scepter and implanted it into the body. While Ultron was downloading into the body, Wanda intervened, interrupting the process.
Following a big action sequence in South Korea, Stark and Banner found J.a.R.V.I.S. was still “alive” (scattered throughout the internet) and uploaded J.a.R.V.I.S. into the body. With a big, big boost from Thor, Vision is born.
Now, let’s fast forward to Infinity War when Bruce reminded the Avengers (and the audience) of just how complex Vision is:
“Your mind is made up of a complex construct of overlays. J.a.R.V.I.S., Ultron, Tony, me, the Stone. All of them mixed together, all of them learning from one another … I’m saying that if we take out the Stone, there’s still a whole of Vision left. Perhaps the best parts.”
So the Avengers head to Wakanda, hoping to split apart Vision from the Mind Stone. But in the climax of Infinity War, the vibranium hit the fan.
We don’t know for sure if Shuri backed up Vision. It’s never mentioned by anyone; every conversation involving Vision is about splitting him from the Mind Stone, which Shuri had been unable to do (obviously).
But Shuri, a bonafide genius, should know the importance of backing up one’s files. And just as J.a.R.V.I.S. “survived” Age of Ultron by hiding itself through the internet — kind of, say, like a back up — it stands to reason that Shuri and Vision had the foresight to copy Vision into a remote database before even starting the failed operation.
It’s hard to tell from zooming into any one of Shuri’s screens, which are unreadable in either English or Wakandan (in the MCU, Wakandans speak Xhosa). But let’s have some faith that our heroes are smart enough to take precaution.
Avengers: Endgame will be released in theaters on April 26.