The Avengers: Endgame directors explain why Falcon was chosen to be Captain America
In one of the last scenes of Avengers: Endgame, Chris Evans’s Captain America is tasked with traveling back in time to return the Infinity Stones to their original homes. And when the Hulk, Bucky Barnes, and Sam Wilson try to bring him back to the present? Crickets.
Instead, the crew finds Joe Biden’s lost twin/Old Man Steve Rogers chillin on a nearby park bench. Sam Wilson (AKA Falcon) walks over, catches up on 50 years of Steve’s life in roughly two minutes, and then is offered Captain America’s shield—and presumably the mantle itself. “Try it on,” OG Cap says.
It's a somewhat surprising choice, considering Bucky was long presumed to be the next iteration of Captain America, as he does in the comics. And, since Bucky already has some of the superhuman powers as Steve Rogers, it would be a pretty fine decision.
However, Steve gives the iconic shield to Sam, while Bucky is awkwardly standing right there. Bucky gives Sam a reassuring nod and everyone moves on with their lives. Sam has certainly proven himself a capable member of the Avengers and a worthy hero to pick up the shield, but it's never explained why Steve gave Falcon the shield over the Winter Soldier.
Thankfully, Endgame’s directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, are on a bit of a J.K. Rowling streak, popping up every few days to explain the gaps in their almost three-hour-long movie. While answering Twitter questions in a Wired video on Monday, Anthony Russo addressed Cap’s decision to roll with Sam.
"The thing we’ve loved exploring about Bucky is he’s got a very complicated history," he said. "He has a damaged mind.... You don’t want to hand a very powerful weapon to somebody who is vulnerable like that."
Decent point, but this still feels like something that will be explored in Sam and Bucky’s upcoming Disney+ show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We hardly know anything about the plot, except that it’ll follow the duo after Endgame, and will see the return of Daniel Bruehl’s villain, Baron Zemo. But don’t worry—it looks like we won’t see any retconning when the show hits the streaming service in Fall 2020.
"Falcon is an amazing character who is certainly very deserving of the shield," said Joe Russo.