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In Infinity War, Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, and Spider-Man find themselves on a spaceship, having just ejected The Maw into Space. Strange asks Tony if he (Tony) can get them home by using the ship.

Why doesn't Strange just open a portal and jump through as he demonstrated he could do on earth earlier in the film, and again later when they are on Titan? Previously there were no hints that distance is a factor - in Dr Strange he is able to open one to an alternate universe so surely opening one to somewhere in his own galaxy or universe should be no problem.

marked as duplicate by Skooba, TheLethalCarrot, Irishpanda, Edlothiad, Machavity Mar 1 at 13:50

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    Remember, Strange was tortured by Ebony Maw and during the short fight where they eject Maw into space, Strange was completely helpless. Maybe Strange wasn't strong enough to open the portal to Earth and that's why he asked if Tony could do it. – Shreedhar Aug 11 '18 at 19:30
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    There is no reason to assume sling rings have infinite range? – Ummdustry Aug 11 '18 at 19:37
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    Was it Stark or Strange that proposed going to Titan anyway to beat the stuffing out of Thanos before he could get to Earth? – IG_42 Aug 11 '18 at 20:15
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    @IG_42: Stark's idea. Strange finds the idea crazy at first, but finally got convinced. – Taladris Aug 12 '18 at 5:05
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    Maybe, his mind wasn't working fine after getting tortured by a scary alien.. – Lobo Aug 20 '18 at 11:12

Copying from my own answer from Movies & TV Stack Exchange

In a Q&A with Collider, Joe and Anthony Russo answered a question regarding Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War.

Audience member: Why couldn't Doctor Strange use the Sling Ring on the Donut to get them back home?

Joe: Why couldn't he use it to get back home? Because, uh, he doesn't want to get them back home.

Full video:


You may have just found a plot hole!

In Doctor Strange (2016), Mordo clearly states that the ring is used to travel throughout the multiverse.

Mastery of the sling ring is essential to the mystic arts. They allow us to travel throughout the multiverse.

There is a but.

Mordo continues as:

All you need to do is focus. Visualize. See the destination in your mind. Look beyond the world in front of you. Imagine every detail. The clearer the picture, the quicker, and easier, the gateway will come.

We know that Strange knows Earth and as an Earthling he can visualize places on Earth. But during that scene where he asks Tony Stark if he can control the ship, he knows they are going somewhere which is not The Earth.

They were going to Titan. That’s why he is not able to open a portal. He doesn’t know anything about that place.

After arriving, he used this ring-power of his to aid Spider-Man and Mantis on multiple occasions while they are fighting Thanos.

Which brings us to the final part of this answer. It is either related with future plot line which the directors will point out in Avengers 4, or there is literally a plot hole because Strange was supposed to be able to open portals throughout the multiverse.

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    The question is if Dr Strange can open a portal to anywhere on Earth, which should be possible, not on Titan. – Rebel-Scum Aug 11 '18 at 13:57
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    "..asks Tony if he (Tony) can get them home using the ship. Why doesn't he just open a portal". Home is Earth, not Titan. – Gnemlock Aug 11 '18 at 14:13
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    Depending on the full dialogue of the scene this answer may still work with some tweaking. The answer clearly indicates that he could get them home just by visualizing, so obviously they were not going home yet... If Tony asks to go home and then Dr. Strange says, 'No, we must go to Titan' or something similar then the answer would simply need to be adjusted to say, 'Sure, he could have, but they needed to go to Titan.' – Odin1806 Aug 11 '18 at 14:24
  • Edited the answer based on the comments. – apollo Aug 11 '18 at 14:58
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    The multiverse may be very close (think infinite realities separated by a thin skein) whereas the real universe is separated by vast distances – Valorum Aug 19 '18 at 19:39

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