T’Challa Star-Lord’s universe is simply a better place. In this version, Thanos is a happy-go-lucky dog dad who has a bad habit of talking genocide, Nebula is a blond bombshell, and Drax is a T’Challa fanboy. (Who can blame him?)
But the most interesting parts of this alternate history are the things that haven’t changed: namely, a part of the Collector’s collection that could change the MCU as we know it — and not just its variants. In fact, it could fix one of the biggest losses in Marvel history.
T’Challa Star-Lord’s episode is a good old-fashioned heist, with Nebula recruiting his help in securing the Embers of Genesis, an artifact with the ability to terraform an entire planet with only an ounce. That’s an incredibly useful item and something the Collector treasures.
However, it’s also a powerful weapon, as T’Challa demonstrates when he lets Jack-and-the-Beanstalk levels of huge plants grow all over during his duel with the Collector. In an instant, the severed Celestial head that served as The Collector’s headquarters is overgrown with green vines.
It’s no wonder why this particular tool was the focus of such an elaborate heist. As T’Challa says, it has the power to eradicate hunger on countless planets. However, another use could come in handy in this multiverse or any other — fixing the loss of Asgard.
The development of New Asgard is heartening, but with the Embers of Genesis, any rundown planet can become a lush jungle for colonization by the Asgardian refugees. It wouldn’t be a full-on replacement of the planet, but if future Avengers shenanigans render Earth an inhospitable place, Asgard could just pick up and move again with the help of the Embers.
While a New New Asgard is tempting, there’s another way the Embers of Genesis could fix part of the MCU: Earth itself. There’s no question our planet has its own ecological hardships both in our world and the version within the multiverse. Could the Embers make another appearance later to save the Earth when another villain — perhaps Kang the Conqueror — ruins lives in an attempt to take over the planet?
Regardless of how this item is reincorporated into the MCU later, it’s the perfect item for T’Challa Star-Lord’s introduction: philanthropic, eco-friendly, and capable of absolutely insane amounts of mayhem. Sounds just like a Ravager.
What If...? is now streaming on Disney+.