The Eye Has It: Why Continuity is the MCU’s Most Powerful Storytelling Device

The entire story as to why the Marvel cinematic universe is great can be told in a single object — a prosthetic eye.

If you sto\ill haven’t seen Marvel Infinity War, or for that matter, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1 or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 or Thor: Ragnarok, turn back now. Spoilers ahead.

For anyone who is a fan however, you may recall that in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, when Rocket and Peter were preparing for the battle to protect Xandar, Rocket said, “Oh yeah, I’m going to need that guy’s [prosthetic] eye.” An embarrassed Peter hurriedly told everyone to ignore Rocket.

Fast-forward to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Yondu and Rocket send Baby Groot to go fetch a new fin for Yondu. Groot comes back with — what else? — a prosthetic eye. Rocket is delighted and takes it. Nothing more is said in Vol. 2 about this item.

In Thor: Ragnorak, Thor battles his sister, Hela, and loses an eye. He dons a rakish, Odin-like eye patch for the rest of the movie. We assume this is his new look.

Finally, we get to the devastation that is Infinity War. Rocket rescues Thor. Seeing that a half-blind demigod might be a handicap, Rocket offers Thor, yup, you guessed it, a prosthetic eye.

Avengers-Infinity-War-Rocket-Raccoon-Mantis-Thor-Photo

This is just one tiny detail in the care and continuity that the MCU puts into its storytelling. It may seem insignificant, but these details do more than delight the geek within us – they establish a rich foundation that underpins all of the excessive embellishment that happens on the surface. We know we can trust and invest in the MCU’s world building because the fantasy is based on a reliable framework that allows us to suspend our disbelief. And it creates arcs within arcs so that we can delight in the growth of not just one or two characters, but all of the various creations within the universe.

Isn’t it nice to know that Marvel is keeping its eye on the story?

 

 

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