The MCU’s Jane issue was resolved by Thor: Love and Thunder

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The MCU was able to resolve the long-standing problem that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster caused in Thor: The Dark World in Thor: Love and Thunder. The fourth film in the increasingly vast MCU, Thor, which debuted in 2011, included Jane’s introduction. However, Jane Foster gradually disappeared as the series went on, perhaps due to the way the character was portrayed in the first few films.

In the movie Thor, Jane Foster is portrayed as a brilliant scientist who plays a crucial role in preventing Loki’s intentions to have Thor sent to Earth and exiled. Jane receives less autonomy in Thor: The Dark World and mostly acts as a story device to give Thor’s goal some agency. The sequel places Jane in deadly danger due to her being a host of the Aether, which is subsequently revealed to be the Reality Stone, even though she is seen to have continued her investigation into her findings related to Thor.

Jane Foster appeared to vanish from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) after Thor: The Dark World; she was only passingly mentioned in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor: Ragnarok until being identified as a victim of Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Endgame. In-universe justifications for Natalie Portman’s absence as Jane Foster were frequently provided, however Natalie Portman stated in an interview (via WSJ) that she was through with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There have been rumors that she left because she didn’t like the path Jane’s character was going in and because the director of Thor: The Dark World changed after she had already agreed to work on the film.

Why the Thor: The Dark World plot by Jane Foster remained problematic

There weren’t many significant female or non-male characters in the early Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other than Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow, Jane Foster played by Natalie Portman was a shining example of a woman respected for her brilliance and autonomy in the early Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was a disservice to the character for her to go from a strong-willed character to one whose primary function was to propel a male hero’s storyline. The larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) had difficulties as a result of losing a significant portion of the ensemble and having to explain Jane’s absence in subsequent films.

How Thor: Love and Thunder Corrects the Jane Error in the MCU

The MCU's Jane issue was resolved by Thor: Love and Thunder 1

Thor: Thunder and Love Natalie Portman’s appearance as the scientist and hero Mighty Thor marked Jane Foster’s triumphant comeback to the MCU. Thor: Love and Thunder made a subtle gesture to emphasize how significant Jane’s scientific background is while having her take up Mjolnir and acquire superhuman abilities like she does in the comics. Early in the film, Jane is seen undergoing cancer treatment. She discovers that another patient is reading a book she created and finding the science difficult to grasp. After ripping a page out of the book, Jane uses some folded paper and a pencil to demonstrate how wormholes function.

Thor: Love and Thunder turns this sequence into one of the most crucial ones in the film, making it far more significant than it may have been just a throwaway bit to remind viewers that Jane Foster is a scientist. Thor appears to be going down in the last battle with Gorr the God Butcher, but Mighty Thor shows up just in time to save the day. The movie never explains how Jane gets to the gate of Eternity so rapidly, but the scientific sequence from earlier in the film and a passing mention of Valkyrie’s horse being able to create portals help to explain it. 

Since a portal connects two locations in space similarly to a wormhole, Jane’s earlier statement was really predicting and describing how she would arrive at the conclusion of the film. Jane’s technical expertise was once more vital to the character in Thor: Love and Thunder, allowing her to save Thor and avoid clichés in the process. While Jane’s death leaves the MCU’s future uncertain, her appearance in Valhalla in the Thor: Love and Thunder post-credits sequence raises the possibility that she may develop into a superhero capable of appearing independently of Thor and undoing the harm caused by Thor: The Dark World.


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