One of the reasons why the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become so popular is because of its characters. Every MCU movie has a ton of riveting action sequences and beautiful CGI, but Marvel also makes sure that the characters are likable and interesting.
This is especially true when Marvel makes an Avengers movie, as some of the best moments happen when characters from different parts of the universe interact with each other. On a smaller scale though, this is also the case for Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, as their friendship is extremely important to their characters.
That said, Marvel fans are wondering why Bucky didn’t follow Steve when he went back in time in Avengers: Endgame, and here are a few possible explanations for that.
A recap of Steve Roger’s and Bucky Barnes’ friendship
Steve and Bucky had been friends all their life, but their friendship changed when Steve was injected with the Super Soldier Serum and he became Captain America. Eventually, both of them joined an elite unit of soldiers who’d go on daring missions against Nazi Germany.
Unfortunately, Barnes was seemingly killed during one of these raids. And then, at the end of the first Captain America movie, Steve gets frozen in time for about 70 years.
As it turns out, Bucky survived and he was captured by the Soviet Union. The Soviets kept him alive and enhanced him with a metal arm. Bucky was brainwashed and he became The Winter Soldier.
But of course, since Steve and Bucky were best friends forever, Steve was able to snap Bucky out of his brainwashing. Bucky later joined the Avengers as they fought Thanos’ invasion of Earth.
Steve and Bucky in ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Unfortunately for Bucky, he got the short end of the stick once again. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos won and snapped half of all life in the universe away. Bucky was snapped away, while Steve survived.
In order to fix things, the surviving Avengers hatched a plan to steal Infinity Stones from the past. The team split up in order to get each five stones as fast as possible, and while Steve was on his mission, he caught a glimpse of what he lost by being frozen in time. He saw Peggy Carter, the woman he loved, working at S.H.I.E.L.D., and that made him feel nostalgic.
So, after the Avengers brought everyone back and beat Thanos, Steve volunteered to go back in time to put the infinity stones back where they should be. By doing this, Steve fixed the timelines but he also got a chance to live a full and happy life with Peggy. He then returned to the present day as an old and retired man.
Why didn’t Bucky go with Steve?
As fans on Reddit wrote, this was a somewhat strange moment. Bucky and Steve were best friends, but they also had a lot in common. Both were men who felt lost in time, as both of them have been, essentially, frozen in time since the 40s.
As a result, it’d make sense for Bucky to tag along with Steve, as he’d get to live in the time that he knew best.
Marvel fans on Reddit aren’t really sure why Bucky chose to stay behind. One fan simply thought that Bucky enjoyed modern life more than Steve did. Another fan thought that Bucky and Steve had a conversation off-screen and Bucky told Steve about his choice to stay behind.
Another plausible explanation is that Bucky, unlike Steve, has no reason to go back in time.
However, some fans think that it was simply because Chris Evans, who played Steve, was leaving Marvel, while Sebastian Stan, who plays Bucky, isn’t. As a result, Bucky still has a future in the MCU, while Steve, in all likelihood, doesn’t.
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