Huge spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984 ahead!
After a three-year wait, the next Wonder Woman installment is here. After the overwhelming success of director Patty Jenkins’ 2017 standalone DC film chronicling the Amazonian princess, played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, we finally have a sequel. This time, Diana Prince, who masquerades as Wonder Woman whenever she needs to save the world, is transported to 1984, taking audiences on a delightful, brightly colored ride.
Living in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s, Diana enjoys a simple life of solitude, working at the Smithsonian as an anthropologist by day who occasionally stops robberies and other crimes in her Amazonian armor. However, when she and her new coworker Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) discover an ancient Dreamstone that can grant wishes, their worlds change, and when businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) learns of the stone’s existence, Diana must take on both Barbara and Maxwell to prevent nuclear war — while reunited with her long-lost love, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).
Wonder Woman 1984 serves as yet another thrilling installment in Diana’s modern-day story, but it still left some pretty pressing questions in its wake. Here are the biggest unanswered questions in Wonder Woman 1984.
What’s the story behind the Amazon Olympics?
Wonder Woman 1984 opens long before 1984 itself, setting its opening on the secret Amazonian island of Themyscira during Diana’s childhood. In an incredibly arduous sort of Amazon-style Olympic games, Diana, despite being years younger than her competitors, easily takes first place before falling behind when the race is nearly finished. Though she finds a shortcut and regains first place, her aunt, the warrior Antiope (Robin Wright) pulls her out of the running, telling her that she cheated and can’t win if she doesn’t do it honestly.
However, the existence of these games in general raises some questions, none of which get answered. What are these games called, and how often are they held? Why is Diana, a literal child, even allowed to compete against adult Amazonian warriors? Also, how are the competitors chosen — are they from noble families, like Diana, or are they chosen from a larger group? — and what do they win when they take first place in these games, if they win anything besides personal glory?
What did Steve look like to everybody else?
After inadvertently wishing on the Dreamstone for her true love, Steve, to return, Diana is shocked when, during a gala at the Smithsonian, a complete stranger (played by Mad Men‘s Kristoffer Polaha) starts quoting Steve himself, saying the words he uttered to Diana just before he died in World War I. Shortly thereafter, the stranger transforms before Diana’s eyes, and Steve, the love of her life, returns.
Ultimately, Diana, whose powers begin to fade, realizes that she has to give Steve up (possibly for good), recanting her wish and parting ways with her love for a heartbreaking second time. However, while Steve is on Earth, he meets plenty of other people, including Barbara, which begs the question: What does Steve look like to anyone who isn’t Diana? Does he look like Steve and then simply disappear later on, or does he look like Polaha’s stranger? This only gets weirder when Polaha’s unnamed stranger reappears again during the film’s ending to flirt with a newly friendly Diana — was this poor man simply hijacked by Steve for several days, unable to inhabit his own body?
Is this movie set before the present-day events in Wonder Woman?
Setting the Wonder Woman sequel in 1984 is appealing for several reasons, from the killer outfits to pure nostalgia, but it does raise one really big question when it comes to the original film — specifically, where the opening scene of the first Wonder Woman falls in Diana’s timeline.
Though the majority of 2017’s Wonder Woman takes place during World War I, the movie opens with Diana working at Paris’ landmark museum, the Louvre, cataloguing ancient artifacts much like she does at the Smithsonian in 1984. However, Diana’s time in Paris, which bookends the original film, definitely seems to be modern-day: She’s dressed in clothing appropriate for 2017 and types an email to Bruce Wayne, who sends her a photo of herself alongside Steve during the war, on a pretty modern tablet. Since Diana is still missing Steve in what seems to be a 2017 timeline — and she loses Steve for a second time in 1984 — this could be set after the events of 1984, but all in all, the timeline is definitely muddied by the Wonder Woman sequel’s setting.
Where did the Dreamstone really come from?
Shortly after she gets started at the Smithsonian, Barbara shows off some of her discoveries to Diana, including a mysterious citrine stone with an ancient language written along its base. Ultimately, the two discover that the Dreamstone can grant wishes — which also attracts the attention of down-on-his-luck businessman Maxwell — but the Dreamstone’s exact origin is never specifically revealed.
Diana and Barbara do discover that the stone was crafted by the God of Mischief and Treachery and will grant any wish — though, in doing so, it steals a person’s most cherished ability, which can only be reversed if the person takes their wish back or the stone itself is destroyed. However, we never learn where the stone came from, and much of its backstory remains a mystery. While this doesn’t affect the story in a particularly huge way, since Diana wants to know where the stone came from specifically, it does seem like an oversight not to include its place of origin.
What’s Trevor Ranch?
As the film introduces us to Diana’s lonely life in D.C., the camera pans across the shelves of her apartment, which contain photos from throughout her life as well as Steve’s watch, which he gave to her right before he sacrificed his life in the war. These photos, which chronicle several adventures in Diana’s life, include one that raises some questions: Diana posing in front of a pastoral area with a sign that reads "Trevor Ranch."
While this is clearly a sweet gesture, it also raises some big questions, the most obvious of which is: What and where exactly is Trevor Ranch? Did the ranch already exist within Steve’s family — and did Diana visit and meet them? — or did Diana start it as a tribute to her fallen love? What does Trevor Ranch do, exactly? Aside from the fact that it bears Steve’s name, we still know nothing about Trevor Ranch, and since it’s obviously such a huge connection for Diana, hopefully the mysteries of Trevor Ranch will be revealed.
What happens to the stone when Maxwell recants?
After Barbara and Diana make their initial wishes on the stone, Maxwell uses an unwitting, newly confident Barbara to gain access to the artifact and does something completely unprecedented: He becomes the stone itself by wishing to be the human embodiment of the Dreamstone. In doing so, he wrecks his body but also earns unprecedented power, using his ability to grant wishes to manipulate people throughout the world into doing his bidding.
Eventually, Diana, with her powers restored, uses the Lasso of Truth to speak through Maxwell as he broadcasts his own image across the world and begs people to recant their own wishes. Maxwell resists, but when Diana shows him an image of his young son alone in the world, he gives in, returning to his child. However, this doesn’t really answer the question of what happens to the stone when Maxwell recants: Does this destroy the Dreamstone altogether, or does it still live within him, ready to grant wishes once again?
Does Maxwell ever get punished for his crimes?
Throughout his time as the human embodiment of the Dreamstone, Maxwell accomplishes a lot, even basically taking control of the president of the United States and nearly beginning a nuclear war after some particularly shady dealings in Cairo. Just like Barbara, Maxwell becomes uncorrupted when he recants after he’s subdued by Diana, reuniting with his son and promising to be a better father.
However, the fact still remains that Maxwell did some pretty abominable things during his tenure as the Dreamstone, and despite being returned to reality, it seems like Maxwell should probably be held accountable for everything he did, from small offenses to actual murder to what could be defined as flat-out war crimes. Does Maxwell ever face any legal consequences for everything he does as the Dreamstone, or is it possible that he’d be cleared of all charges, deemed unable to control himself while his body was more or less possessed by a mythical force?
Do the people who recant their wishes remember what happened?
As Maxwell manipulates unsuspecting people into making rash wishes that end up serving his bottom line, we see people across the world making a ton of crazy requests, including a man who unwittingly kills his wife during an argument. Beyond that, under Maxwell’s Dreamstone rule, the world ends up on the brink of nuclear war, becoming a crazed, apocalyptic place that looks absolutely terrifying.
By the time the film ends, it’s the holiday season, and we see Diana as she happily watches families play together at a local Christmas village in D.C. However, the fact remains that everybody celebrating Christmas this year seems, well, suspiciously happy after the cataclysmic events of the entire film. Frankly, this begs the question: Do humans — exempting Diana, who is an ageless being capable of things no human can do — remember any of their wish-induced lives, or was it wiped from their memory, allowing them to move on?
Will — and can — Steve Trevor return again?
After Steve Trevor sacrificed himself in the first Wonder Woman film, viewers have spent three years wondering if he’d return, and even before Wonder Woman 1984 came out, their questions were answered. Thanks to the Dreamstone, Steve does return, and though his and Diana’s romance is short-lived once again, they still get some time together in the 1980s before Diana makes her own grand sacrifice.
Wonder Woman 3 is still up in the air overall, with Jenkins saying she’ll only return if the film will get a fully theatrical release, but as far as Gadot is concerned, she wouldn’t even want to do the film if Pine doesn’t make another miraculous comeback. "I couldn’t imagine doing another one without him," Gadot told Entertainment Tonight, discussing how much fun they had making 1984. "The fact that they figured out the right way to bring him back that actually helps the story, it was delightful to work with him again and it felt like coming back home, working with Patty and with [Chris] and with our wonderful crew." There’s no word on if Pine would be willing to return, but the question of whether Steve can come back from the dead a second time still remains.
Do Barbara and Diana rekindle their friendship?
When Barbara first arrives at the Smithsonian, she’s meek and shy, flying under the radar thanks to a spectacular lack of confidence. Though Diana initially turns down Barbara’s first lunch invitation, the two begin to bond over ancient artifacts — including the Dreamstone — leading Diana to invite Barbara out for drinks after work. Over wine and cocktails, Diana opens up to Barbara, saying she admires her new friend’s open nature, and even admits that she has largely closed herself off emotionally … which is more than Diana typically gives to anyone in her life.
After Barbara recants her wish and transforms back into a human being — thanks to the Dreamstone, she became a vicious, super-strong creature known as the Cheetah — the audience sees her become the person she once was, but then she’s never seen again. It does seem like Diana and Barbara have a genuine connection, especially after they’ve both been affected by the Dreamstone. Do they ever rekindle their friendship?
Is it possible to use the Dreamstone for good?
The Dreamstone is definitely too good to be true, which is a fact that Maxwell and Barbara both learn pretty quickly, as Barbara gives up all of her humanity and Maxwell’s body literally crumbles under the pressure of being the stone itself. There’s no question that the Dreamstone can be used for evil — specifically, the way that Maxwell uses it to basically take control of the entire world — which leads one to wonder if it could also be used for a significantly less selfish reason.
Both Barbara and Maxwell use the Dreamstone to gain power and strength, but the way Diana uses it raises some interesting questions. Though Diana is already plenty powerful as an Amazonian and doesn’t need the Dreamstone to wish for that, her wish — which she uses to bring Steve back — is extraordinarily personal and doesn’t seem as if it could cause any adverse effects. Based on the fact that Diana uses her wish for such a tiny personal gain that’s likely insignificant for the rest of the world, is it possible to use the Dreamstone for good and not evil?
Will Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot appear together somehow?
If you watch Wonder Woman 1984 closely, you might notice that the actress playing Asteria — an ancient, legendary Amazon warrior whose gold armor helps Diana defeat Maxwell and Barbara — looks pretty familiar. In fact, that actress is none other than Lynda Carter, who made the character of Wonder Woman famous during the television series in the 1970s. As if that wasn’t enough, Carter pops up in a mid-credits sequence, which reveals a stunning fact: Asteria, like Diana, secretly lives among humans.
Naturally, this raises an enormous question: Will Carter ever appear aside Gadot, who took over the mantle of Wonder Woman for the big screen, in a possible sequel? It’s entirely possible that both Carter’s cameo and credits sequence are simply Easter eggs for longtime Wonder Woman fans, but it also brings up the exciting possibility that Carter and Gadot could join forces for a new generation as Asteria and Diana in future Wonder Woman projects.