Is classic Loki dead?
Among the episode's many, many Loki variants is one known simply as Classic Loki, played by Richard E. Grant. Older than any of the other Loki variants, Loki Episode 5 reveals that Grant's Classic Loki actually managed to survive his predetermined death at the hands of Thanos. Inverse'Loki' Episode 5 theory retcons 1 major Infinity War moment
12 July, 2021 - 09:26pm
In Loki episode 5, “Journey Into Mystery,” the moment when President Loki loses a hand is played for laughs, but it’s also a fun Easter egg — and continues MCU Phase 2’s Star Wars tribute. While this might sound like a deep cut, Marvel's Star Wars connection is well established behind the scenes. Loki has not held back on Easter eggs so far, with endless references to past moments in the comics and in the MCU.
As the Loki variants face off against each other in the bunker — where they are apparently safe from Alioth — Alligator Loki cuts to the chase by biting off President Loki’s right hand. A Loki losing his right hand could easily feel like vengeance for Thor (a variant of whom, Throg, it seems has been trapped in a jar by the Lokis) as Loki pretended to remove his right hand during the ruse against Malekith in Thor: The Dark World. The show has already set up precedence for these kinds of callbacks as Loki’s pruning was a clear mirroring of Agent Coulson’s The Avengers death at Loki’s hand — a scene that Loki displayed in the Time Theater back in episode 1.
However, this Loki callback goes beyond the connection to Thor: The Dark World. Phase 2 of the MCU contained a running gag that was a larger reference to Star Wars: Back in 2015 (just as Phase 2 was wrapping up), Kevin Feige confirmed to Cinema Blend that not only was a character set to get at least one arm cut off in every movie of the phase, but also that this was an intentional reference to Darth Vader cutting off Luke Skywalker’s hand in The Empire Strikes Back. Talking about the hand-removal scenes and how the running gag came to be, Feige said: “It sort of happens in every Star Wars movie, but I was sort of looking at it, ‘Okay, is Phase Two our Empire Strikes Back?’”
Finally, Alligator Loki is providing part of a series of Peter Pan allusions that run throughout episode 5 of Loki. The Void exists effectively outside of time just like Neverland, and it takes Sylvie thinking of her one “happy memory” to be able to “fly” there as she solidifies her resolve to prune herself. Young Loki serves as a Peter Pan figure as a child who won’t grow up and, unlike Classic Loki, refuses to change. And, last but not least, an alligator removing President Loki’s hand sets him up as the perfect Captain Hook stand-in. While Disney could be using these references as advertising for their upcoming live-action Peter Pan & Wendy movie, they are most likely just the result of the creators having fun with the show, as with Feige and his Star Wars allusion.
Loki releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.
12 July, 2021 - 09:49am
But the most important Loki Episode 5 Easter egg isn’t getting nearly enough attention. Here’s why.
Early in Loki Episode 5, we’re treated to a sweeping view of the Void (an apocalypse at the end of time where the Time Variance Authority sends its pruned variants). This includes some pretty remarkable details, including the first-ever appearance Marvel Cinematic Universe of the notorious Thanos Copter. But what you might have missed was a particularly important helmet from MCU history.
We’re talking, of course, about the Yellow Jacket helmet, which appears in Loki Episode 5. For one thing, Darren Cross’ helmet from 2015’s Ant-Man looks huge, which makes sense given its capabilities. However, this Easter egg becomes even more important when you factor in one new piece of information.
Yellow Jacket (played by Corey Stoll) is reportedly returning to the MCU in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, despite seemingly dying at the end of Ant-Man
Yellow Jacket dies at the end of Ant-Man. At least, he seems to die as his malfunctioning suit shrinks around him, seemingly crushing him in the process. However, according to Vanity Fair senior writer Joanna Robinson, he’s not as dead as we thought.
In a recent episode of her podcast, Still Watching (via Reddit), Robinson confirms that Stoll will return to the villainous role in Ant-Man 3. (This also isn’t the first time we’ve heard these rumors.) How exactly his character can be alive is unclear, but Loki has already set up several possibilities.
One option is obvious: the multiverse. Loki is all about the existence of multiple timelines and variants of every character. If there can be multiple Lokis, why not multiple Yellow Jackets? And assuming Loki ends by blowing the multiverse wide open, we wouldn’t be surprised if some version of Darren Cross shows up in the next Ant-Man movie.
But there’s a weirder (and more interesting) explanation, and it has everything to do with the Ant-Man franchise’s favorite concept. We’ve theorized before that the TVA could exist inside the Quantum Realm (there’s actually a lot of evidence to back this up). So maybe Darren Cross didn’t die at the end of Ant-Man. Maybe he just got stuck in the Quantum Realm.
It would make sense that he’d wind up in the Void, which seems to be an extension of the TVA. We might even see Yellow Jacket in Loki Episode 6. Maybe he’s working for Kang?
The possibilities are literally endless. But, at the very least, this Easter egg confirms that Loki and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania are deeply connected. Unfortunately, we may have to wait a couple more years to find out exactly what those connections may be.