Wonder Woman was one of the DC Cinematic Universe's biggest hits when it released in 2017, and of course, with big hits comes big sequels. It was no surprise when Gadot was confirmed to return for the sequel, titled Wonder Woman 1984, but Patty Jenkin's confirmation of another character's return in a tweet took many by surprise:
Yes, indeed, that is Chris Pine as the pilot Steve Trevor, who supposedly died in a fiery plane explosion in the first film (ergo, the shock). The posting of this tweet predictably led to a flurry of theories about how Steve Trevor could possibly be alive in the next film (not to mention at the same age as he was in the first movie). Today, I'm going to evaluate some of the internet's best guesses at how Steve Trevor survived. Let's get to it.
It's a flashback/he's the original Steve Trevor's son
I lump these together because it seems to be that Patty Jenkins' tweet discredits both of these theories when she says, "Welcome to WONDER WOMAN 1984, Steve Trevor!" Let's talk about these theories individually and what this statement means for them.
Is it just a flashback? It not only seems cliché, but also unlikely. As Nerdist points out, Trevor is dressed in 80s attire, which would be odd for Wonder Woman to remember him in. (Plus, pictures of the filming currently taking place for the film shows Diana and Steve talking together on a balcony outside the Watergate Hotel in D.C. Kind of a cheat, I know, but...) The fact that Jenkins says, "Welcome to [Wonder Woman] 1984," would apparently discredit this notion, too, although she could just be referring to the film itself and not the year 1984.
Is he Steve (Sr.)'s son--that looks exactly like his father? While it might sound outlandish at first, the 70s Wonder Woman TV series used the same actor (Lyle Waggoner) for Steve Trevor Sr. and Jr. On the flip side, there's no precedent for Steve Sr. and Jr., especially not as twins, in the comics. Frankly, I feel it would be a strange, and certainly awkward, choice to use Chris Pine for both characters. Aside from the genetic unlikeliness, Jenkins refers to the character in the photo as just "Steve Trevor," leading us to believe that this is the man himself.
He was frozen in ice
Our next theory is, yes, that Trevor was frozen in ice, à la Captain America. I'm just gonna pretend no one ever suggested this. While it's true that Wonder Woman was a fabulous film that managed to stand out in the crowded mix of superhero movies, it's aesthetic was already similar enough to Captain America. Is DC going to start borrowing Marvel plot points too? This idea doesn't have any basis in the comics, in any case. I think we can safely establish this as very unlikely.
A god/goddess is involved
I'm also lumping this into one theory, but it's really two separate ones--that either some Amazonian deity is toying with Wonder Woman or that Wonder Woman herself resurrected Steve Trevor. Let's look at each individually.
Is it possible that some god or goddess is messing with Diana? Possibly, but I think there are a couple of things that weigh against it. For one, we are given the idea that most of the gods are benevolent towards mankind (an idea that is perhaps not true in Greek mythology generally, but seems to be so in this case). Additionally, Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) has been confirmed as the primary villain for Wonder Woman 1984. Could a god be a minor antagonist/even a surprise major antagonist? Sure, but, at least in the latter case, not without risking a feeling of plot recycling from the last movie. Plus, a god doesn't seem like a minor antagonist.
The second theory is more tantalizing. Diana resurrecting Steve from the dead is possible as the superhuman she is, but it would open DC films set in the future to possible major plot holes (like why didn't she resurrect Superman?). What seems more likely is taking a page straight out of the comic books, pun intended. In the comics, Steve is resurrected by the goddess Aphrodite, is killed, and subsequently comes back as his twin from another dimension. Both of these are good explanations for his mysterious return, mostly because it takes the choice out of Diana's hands and saves the rest of the movies from the typical "Why didn't she..." criticisms.
It's actually Martian Manhunter
Here's an interesting one: the Steve Trevor we see in the photo is actually a shape-shifted Martian Manhunter, hoping to enlist Wonder Woman's help by reminding her of her old lover. It's hard to be objective on this one, because I really would like to see this happen. Not only would it bring a fan favorite to the big screen, it would also be a really interesting and unexpected plot device. The chances of it actually happening though--it's hard to say. I'm labeling this as a good possibility, but if true, it does make me wonder where Martian Manhunter is in future movies. Maybe that, too, would be explained later? We'll see...
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I'm a sci-fi/fantasy lover & writer who especially likes talking about Star Wars and futuristic tech. I like finding new things & finding the beauty in old things, especially in my "Everyday Snippets" series. I hope you'll join me on my blog and unleash your imagination!