High up on the long list of questions surrounding Marvel's Avengers: Endgame is the potential rescue, and ultimate fate, of Tony Stark, fueled by the solemn footage in the sequel's first trailer. Theories have ranged from a timely arrival by Captain Marvel to Pepper Potts suiting up as, yes, Rescue. Heck, NASA has even been drawn into the discussion. However, the biggest clue yet may come from one of Marvel Studios' longtime marketing partners, Audi.
The automaker arrived this week at the Consumer Electronics Show with an "in-car VR experience" that will allow backseat passengers to enjoy immersive video games, films and interactive entertainment. The futuristic element at play here is that the technology adopts virtual reality to the movements of the vehicle, so that if the driver takes a right turn, so too does the, say, spaceship in the VR experience.
The demo is an apparent Avengers: Endgame tie-in called Marvel's Avengers: Rocket's Rescue Run, developed by Disney Games and Interactive Experiences, in which the Audi e-tron electronic vehicle effectively functions as a ship piloted by Rocket Raccoon. As the car moves, the vessel piloted by the fan-favorite Guardian of the Galaxy maneuvers through an asteroid field.
The Audi references Rocket's appearance in Endgame but, of course, doesn't specify the nature of his role. Voiced by Bradley Cooper, he was one of only a handful of heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe left standing following Thanos' devastating finger-snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Toy packaging leaked in October depicted Rocket and Chris Hemsworth's Thor in new, matching costumes, spurring theories that the odd couple might head back out into space, or else, into the Quantum Realm.
Of course, Rocket's Rescue Run may not have any direct connection to the events of Avengers: Endgame, but may merely capitalize on the character's popularity and the obvious appeal of a VR experience set in space. Still, we can't completely dismiss that an adrift Tony Stark may be the target of the rescue plan.
The partnership between Audi and Marvel dates back to 2008, with the birth of the MCU, in Iron Man, with an appearance by the Audi R8.
Avengers: Endgame will arrive on April 26, 2019. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.