We’ve been doing a lot of speculation–as has the entire internet–for a year now about what could happen in Avengers: Endgame. Theorizing is fun, after all. And we have only a few snippets of evidence to go on from the teasers. We learned last year with the Infinity War trailer that just by showing something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Case in point: Pepper Potts.We learned last week with the living/dead poster sets that Pepper is among the living. Yay for Pepper. And now in the latest “special look,” we see a moment of Pepper hugging Tony. One might assume this comes as the moment Tony returns to Earth following his marooning in space. We have another theory, however. In the original teaser, Tony leaves a message for Pepper as he’s adrift in space. He mentions “no promise of rescue.” Seemingly, someone comes to rescue him because we see him on Earth with the other Avengers. We assume it’s probably Captain Marvel who rescues Tony, but what if it’s not?
Tony’s use of the word “rescue” is the kicker. In the comics, Pepper Potts dons an armor suit and adopts the hero name Rescue. If Pepper is unsnapped, I can’t imagine she’d just wait around if Tony’s still out there. She might seek Captain Marvel’s aid, but Pepper will definitely be Rescue. Probably even right after that moment when all hope is lost.
Adding to our theory is that Gwyneth Paltrow shared some photos on Instagram of her in green screen/armor suits. They have since been taken down, but you can find them if you look for them.
So then that leaves us with that moment of them hugging in the special look. We think it’s not a hug of “yay, you’re back!” It’s a hug of “Sorry, I have to go again.” Tony’s hugging Pepper before the ultimate fight with Thanos, wherein he and maybe all the other Avengers will permanently die.
Not a very uplifting thought, we grant you. But given how dire the circumstances are, at least they’re getting to say a possible proper farewell.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26.
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!