32

During the events of Avengers: Endgame,

Spider-Man comes back from being snapped, exactly the same as he was five years prior.

At the end of the movie, we see that

he is back in high school, greeted by his best friend Ned Leeds, who expresses relief at seeing Peter Parker, implying that he either knew Peter was "snapped," (and therefore probably wasn't snapped himself) or that he thought he may have been killed in the fight against Thanos.

Additionally,

in the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter and Ned are on a school trip with their peers from the first movie, including Flash and MJ, as well as at least one of their other classmates.

I was wondering if there was a canon explanation for why all of these characters still seem to be in high school? The obvious answer would be that

they were all snapped and so came back the same age, which is plausible, but it could also be that in the societal breakdown in the meantime, schools ceased to function, so everyone resumed where they had been.

While I find either of these to be reasonable explanations, is there a specific canon reason for this? And have any of them officially aged?

  • 6
    It's likely some of their classmates had survived the snap, and were thus 5 years older. It would really suck if the best friend you grew up with suddenly aged 5 years, so Ned's obvious relief could well include the fact that Peter is still his age. – ArmanX May 3 at 9:48
  • @ArmanX "Of course, there are people in his grade whom didn't die and they are probably already in colleges by now" – TheLethalCarrot May 3 at 12:45
  • 1
    @ArmanX: that's a plot point in The 4400. One character that reappears is now the same age/younger than his younger sibling. – Taladris May 3 at 14:16
  • 5
    I don't know, I'd say Ned looked a good 2 years older... – MartianInvader May 3 at 18:57
  • Also note that age isn't necessarily a barrier to attending high school. My high school had a policy that you could attend until age 22 (after that, you were sent to Adult High School or to the GED). The policy existed to accommodate people who had to come back to retake failed classes, for temporary incapacitation, such as being in a coma or in rehab, and for students transferring in from schools with different requirements. As high schools are run by real people, such a policy could even be formally expanded to allow formerly "dusted" students an additional five years. – Robert Columbia May 17 at 16:30
40

The Russo brothers actually answered this in an interview from this Chinese source. As the original article is in Chinese I am getting the quotes from this reddit post, although I think all that's happened is that the user ran it through Google Translate.

From the answer below we can see that all his friends were also dusted and that they have no memory of what happened having it feel like they have "woken up".

Q: What about those people who got dusted? What did those five years mean to them? Why didn't they grow older when undusted?

A: Yes, those people whom was lucky to survive the snap are 5 years older than the people who just got back. The reason Spider Man saw his friend again in high school at the end was simply because his friends was unfortunately also dusted like Spider Man was. Of course, there are people in his grade whom didn't die and they are probably already in colleges by now. To those dusted people, they had no conscious in these past 5 years. They didn't know what happened. It's as if they had just woke up from a long sleep. The only one who was aware about how many years has passed was Doctor Strange, because he has already seen that when he was time mediating on Titan. Parker's reunion with Ned was a touching moment. There are also people whom indeed moved on but suddenly was reunited with their lost ones. Yeah it's kind a complicated world now.

  • 5
    Would make an excellent story arc for a multi-season show: SHIELD helps and witnesses the lives and interaction between the survivors and the "Dusted". Such as divorce, inheritance, rampant unemployment, stolen property, crime and prosecution (death penalty for a "Dusted" who disappeared before his sentence comes back after the scheduled date?), etc – Frank Cedeno May 3 at 18:06
  • 7
    Yeah, TBH I think the sudden death of 50% of the population in a world of 7.5 billion people could actually be less of a global catastrophe than the sudden doubling of the population in a world of 3.75 billion people. Would love to see a serious exploration of that, but it's not really a problem you can punch, so not a great topic for a superhero movie. – Ben May 4 at 4:30
26

According to an unnamed Marvel Studio's source to IGN (warning: spoilers in link):

“Thanos’ snap wiped out 50% of all life -- and 100% of Peter’s friends.”

So officially all of Peter Parker's friends were snapped, and so none of them have aged and they are still in high school as a result.

  • 1
    You don't need to hide the answer behind the spoiler block, if someone's read the question then it's their choice to read the answer. And nice find! – TheLethalCarrot May 3 at 8:34
  • 4
    This would be the sensible position for the studio to take, as it leaves them the most narrative leeway for future Spiderman movies (after Homecoming, which I believe is set pre-snap). For that reason alone, it seems like it would be the sensible assumption for us, even if they hadn't spelled it out like they did. – T.E.D. May 3 at 15:46
0

There is one additional consideration, aside from the interview TheLethalCarrot posted.

The reason Leeds is relieved to see Parker, even though they were both dead, is that some time has passed between the un-snap and their reunion. It's not clear exactly how much time, but even an hour would be enough considering the circumstances. In all likeliness, it was at least a few hours, upwards of a few days, based on the fact that their reunion happens at what appears to be a school day.

We don't know what Leeds knows (since they don't speak in the scene), but none of it would be comforting. At best, he is relieved to see Parker again after having heard that everyone died for 5 years and that Parker did not come back with them. At worst, he heard about the big battle with aliens that Spider-Man was in. Either way, he is relieved to see that Parker is okay after all that.


If you are willing to make some greater assumptions, you could even go further and guess that a significant amount of time has passed. The scene where Parker reunites with Leeds shows a fairly normal looking High School scene, with people rushing to class, etc. However, it would not be unreasonable to expect that the only thing more chaotic than 50% of the population mysteriously dying would be for those same 50% of people reappearing 5 years later.

Oops, suddenly we need to make sure all these people have food and housing and etc etc that would likely have been neglected or re-purposed in the intervening period. We saw the neighbourhood earlier in the movie that was growing over, it would take time to fix everything back up.

Considering that, schools would almost certainly be disrupted for some time, meaning the reunion happened afterwards.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you have any evidence of this, or are you just speculating? It maybe "reasonable" to assume he wasn't quickly returned to New York, but is there any support for that idea? – DavidW May 3 at 22:12
  • Easy: The (smoldering crater remains of the) Avengers compound is not in New York. Thus, it would take time to travel there. Even an hour would be enough to elicit the shown relief. Though, it likely is longer, since it's at the top of a school day, and it's unlikely that Parker would just pack up and head home literally immediately after the battle. – Mike Caron May 3 at 22:17
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    What I'm saying is you need to put details like that in your answer to show that time has elapsed instead of just claiming that it has. – DavidW May 3 at 22:34
  • all the information was in the answer, but I have rewritten it anyway. Does the new version seem better? – Mike Caron May 3 at 22:54
  • This was exactly my assumption of what happened based on watching the movie. The interpretation that Leeds appeared just before we saw him with Peter (and thus wouldn't have known what had happened) is the the one I'd be asking for evidence for, as it seems far less obviously supported by the film. At the very least, he had all the time the full cast of heroes were busy fighting Thanos to have met someone (anyone) who wasn't dusted, and have had a conversation about it. – Ben May 4 at 4:51

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