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Avenger's Infinity War *Spoiler* Discussion

Hussar

Legend
That's because the general idea of reducing a population in order to save them (or their environment) _is_ rational, as has already been pointed out in this thread. It's the over-generalization and scope that turns it into madness.

I recall reading about the 'advantageous' side effect of wars of reducing populations. There's definitely precedence. I think it's more a question of morality than rationality.
I.e. other methods of regulating population growth may be less questionable.

But, that's not how culling works. You don't cull once and then walk away. You cull periodically. That's what hunting seasons in North America actually are. There's a reason that we have those seasons and the limitations on the number of animals killed.

The notion that you can cull once and walk away is completely irrational. And, frankly, wars have never really reduced populations. At least, not in the longer term and even in the short term. Good grief, we've killed more people in wars in the last hundred years than in the past ten thousand and yet we've managed to increase our population several times in the same period.

But, again, do we really need to spell it out in the movie? "Hey folks, I'm amassing god-like powers. I am now literally the closest thing to a god in the universe. What am I going to do with these cosmic powers? I'm going to wipe out half the universe, resulting in massive extinctions throughout the universe as worlds completely collapse in the aftermath and then I'm going to rest beside a lake".

Do we literally need someone in the movie to turn to the camera and say, "Gee, what a nutter"?
 

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OB1

Jedi Master
I suppose that's one interpretation. But, it is easily argued that every character with a spoken line in the movie wants one or more things. Each of the Avengers (and various associated people) collectively and individually want to stop half the universe from being killed, for example. And, in a typical story in Western heroic fiction, the protagonist is reacitve, rather than proactive. The antagonist creates the basic conflict and many of the obstacles. Without the antagonist, there is usually no story, because the protagonist is not challeneged.

You are actively choosing to interpret it with Thanos as the protagonist. As you note, the resulting story does not make much sense. Why, then, hold to that interpretation? If you turn it around, and note the varius superheroes are the protagonists, then the story comes out much more reasonably.

A typical story in Western heroic fiction does have the hero as proactive. It's their quest for something they want that sets them into conflict with the antagonist.

Frodo want's to destroy the One Ring, bringing him into conflict with Sauron
Luke wants to join the rebellion, bringing him into conflict with the empire
Dorothy wants to go home, bringing her into conflict with the wicked witch
Thanos wants to get the infinity stones and murder half the universe bringing him into conflict with the Avengers
Darth Vader wants to turn his son to the Dark Side, bringing him into conflict with the Rebels

In each case, without the protagonist wanting something, there would be no story. If Luke didn't want to join the rebellion, he'd be dead with his aunt and uncle.

Of course other characters in the story can have their own arcs, but the plot of the story comes from the Main Character, the protagonist. Thanos is clearly that in AIW.

The writers really had no choice but to make Thanos the main character once they split the story in two. The problem is they didn't change the character to make him rational, probably because they couldn't think of a way to do that and still get the snap at the end. So they forced it, made Thanos emote as if he were rational, and hoped audiences would just go along with it. The weird result of which is now people arguing that Thanos was rational and that his plan was too!
 

tomBitonti

Adventurer
But, that's not how culling works. You don't cull once and then walk away. You cull periodically. That's what hunting seasons in North America actually are. There's a reason that we have those seasons and the limitations on the number of animals killed.

The notion that you can cull once and walk away is completely irrational. And, frankly, wars have never really reduced populations. At least, not in the longer term and even in the short term. Good grief, we've killed more people in wars in the last hundred years than in the past ten thousand and yet we've managed to increase our population several times in the same period.

But, again, do we really need to spell it out in the movie? "Hey folks, I'm amassing god-like powers. I am now literally the closest thing to a god in the universe. What am I going to do with these cosmic powers? I'm going to wipe out half the universe, resulting in massive extinctions throughout the universe as worlds completely collapse in the aftermath and then I'm going to rest beside a lake".

Do we literally need someone in the movie to turn to the camera and say, "Gee, what a nutter"?

I have no problem with the presentation of Thanos. I think the movie did well in this regard.

As far as the rationality of culling, I readily agree that Thanos's implementation is very inefficient. But is that all that is mad about the plan? What if he had instead created a "Planetary Culling Corp", which scattered across the universe seeking planets on the edge of catastrophe due to unchecked growth, and had the Corp selectively cull just those planets? Would Thanos be then no longer mad?

Thx!
TomB
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Sorry, finally got a chance to see it, so late comments.

* I thought Thanos was supposed to be smart. Yet neither his motivations nor his actions showed INT 20. Litch level this guy is not. And because his motivation is so silly, he doesn't come close to as good a villain as Loki, Ultron, Killmonger or Hydra.
I had the exact opposite reaction - his motivation was extremely believable even if not one you espouse yourself. Me and my wife were talking about that. Much like Killmonger, he's got a valid point and he's a hero in his own story.

* It was a huge mistake not having Dr. Strange reveal the 1 way to win against Thanos to someone. By keeping that in the mystery box, it undercuts the deaths of every single character in the film, because you don't know if that is part of the plan or not. The minute Strange has the plan, the movie has to become a Heist Film to maintain narrative cohesion. Right now, I'm assuming that every single character killed in AIW will come back, and if some don't, that means that I won't really mourn them until the next film. It's weird.

That really depends on what he saw. If he didn't reveal it in his vision of the future that wins, then he couldn't. It very likely would have changed people's actions or will change people's actions.

* And really, that leads me to this. Narratively, the film should have started in the third act. It's not interesting how Thanos get's the stones, it's interesting what the hero's have to sacrifice to eventually triumph over him. Cause, if you are going to do a time travel story, it should be that from the beginning. By starting in the third act and then seeing some of how Thanos gets the stones later in the film via time travel shenanigans, the structure of the film becomes much tighter and you can't be sure whether any death will be permanent or reversed via time travel.

It did this for the stones that weren't held by Earth's heroes - original one was off-screen, and two more captured off-screen, with one having an aftermath to show Gamora's capture which was important plot-wise as well as character-wise for Quill. Defeating Dr. Strange and Vision off-screen would have felt cheesy. As it was, they put a lot of effort into making you think they would stop it destroying Vision's stone and that plot (plus whatever Churi pulls out from what she did get done) would all have to be scrapped.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
May have to add another hero to the mix for part 2 - who here really thinks Loki is dead? I have my doubts.

Loki swore undying loyalty. My money is on that he had a plan and that word choice was his private laugh at the world, a little something so he could celebrate his own cleverness. I'd guess that "the sun has not set on Asgard" line is also related to something he was trying to signal to his brother regarding it.
 

Deuce Traveler

Adventurer
Technically, that could happen, yes, but it is not "equally possible".

The best way to see this is probably with a much smaller example. Imagine a room with 10 people in it when Thanos snaps his fingers. Five of these people are doctors, the rest are not. What is the chance that you lose the five doctors, and none of the others in the room?

The number of different groups of five that might be chosen is given to us by combinatorics - and if I hae my numbers right, there are 252 distinct groups of five you could choose. Only *one* of these is all the doctors. So, the chance that you lose all the doctors is 1 in 252, or just under 0.4%. Not likely.

It is as likely as any other *particular* arrangements (like, say, 4 of the doctors and Fred). But we are implicitly comparing "lost all the doctors" to "not lose all the doctors" - teh ensemble of possibilities where all teh doctors are dead is small compared to *all the other * possibilities, which include some living doctors.

Or, to put it more graphically - There are something over one million doctors in the US. The chance of losing all the doctors is basically the same as the chance of losing specifically the entiretyof Dallas, Texas (which something over 1 million people). When Thanos snaps his fingers, do you expect to then walk into Dalls, specifically, and find it completely and utterly empty? No. That's not a likely scenario. Same thing here.

So there is a chance that there is at least one place in the entire multiverse where an entire population of a geographic region is wiped out? Finally! I always wondered what happened to cause the Mourning in Cyre.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
It's a Part 1. At the end of any part 1, regardless of genre, the villain will have won or at least be in a really, really good strategic position.

Not quite. It originally was "Part 1". But that was scrapped; officially it's just Avengers: Infinity War.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
We have no information that Gamora’s planet was in any kind of risk of collapse.

You mean, we have no information except first hand observation from someone who grew up in poverty on that world, i.e Gamora. It was discussed in the same scene he mentions how it is now. She doesn't disagree with any of his assessments on how it was with the poor living conditions from too many people. She was already telling him off about hating the chair and hating her life, she wouldbn't have kept quiet if she disagreed.

Sure, we don't know that his plan worked except what he said, but we do have confirmation it was in a lousy state beforehand.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
What if he had instead created a "Planetary Culling Corp", which scattered across the universe seeking planets on the edge of catastrophe due to unchecked growth, and had the Corp selectively cull just those planets? Would Thanos be then no longer mad?

Thx!
TomB

Correct, he would no longer be mad, just evil. But you can have an interesting story centered on an an evil character (Empire Strikes Back, Wolf of Wall Street, Goodfellows), because, while their objective is evil, they are rational in the way they achieve their goal and do so in the context of real and relatable human experience and emotion.

It’s also fine to have a character who is mad as the antagonist of the film, like The Joker, or even an uncaring force of nature, like a Sharknado. But these make for terrible protagonists.
 

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