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In Avengers: Endgame, Nebula and War Machine

traveled back in time to get the Power Stone from the planet Morag, along with Hawkeye and Black Widow who went to Vormir.

Why did they wait for

Quill's arrival? They didn't need him to steal the Stone and neither did Hawkeye and Black Widow need to be on Vormir at that precise time.

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    I believe it is because they were unsure the exact time he would arrive. If he walked in as they were trying to get the stone it would have been dicey... My impression of why they waited was to ensure he would not catch them in the act... – Odin1806 May 7 '19 at 23:36
  • @Odin1806 they could have arrived way sooner (e.g. few months) to avoid being catched. – kocica May 7 '19 at 23:38
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    It's worth noting that the out of universe reason is that those scenes are essentially a greatest hits send off to the previous mcu movies. With that in mind, it wouldn't make sense to go any other time, though it might have made more sense plot wise. – Alarion May 8 '19 at 2:24
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    @FilipKočica the oceans only briefly recede to expose land masses once every 300 years. Even if they knew that, and knew the exact period of the cycle, they'd still be less sure that the Power and Soul stones were still in those locations then. – OrangeDog May 8 '19 at 12:23
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    @FilipKočica in an interview the directors said they'd originally planned to arrive far sooner than Quill, but have the planet be underwater at the time because of tides, leading to a complex underwater sequence to get it. So from that, maybe you can imply the planet is unstable and they ended up choosing a time they knew was safe. – IronSean May 8 '19 at 16:49
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Because they don't know exactly where the stone is.

Rhodey states they will wait for Quill to lead them to the Power Stone. This indicates they don't actually know where on Morag it actually is and so waiting saves them searching the whole planet themselves.

Once Quill is knocked out, Nebula takes a tool from him to use to open the crypt/temple/whatever you call the place the stone is being kept, but they needed to see exactly where he was going first in order to be able to intercept.

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    How did they know where Quill would show up? – xiaomy May 8 '19 at 16:52
  • @xiaomy They probably looked for the arrival of the Milano. – zovits May 9 '19 at 7:25
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    As an aside, one might note that they got a little lucky with the Time Stone. They assumed that Dr. Strange must have had it in New York, because they knew he had it eventually and operated out of a building in New York. Professor Hulk goes to that sanctum looking for him, and luckily finds the actual Sorcerer Supreme and bearer of the Time Stone. Who may or may not have been anticipating him, it's a bit unclear; knowing he'd show up would make for extra time-travel weirdness. I think she was just there due to the invasion. – zibadawa timmy May 9 '19 at 7:44
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They needed to steal his lockpick. They used it to open the door. Nebula calls it the "Tool of a thief"

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    They steal his lockpick but don't steal the "magnetic" triangular thing that Quill uses to get the orb out of the prism, and instead Nebula sticks her arm in and hurts herself? Idk if it's very important, but I'm not sure why they needed to wait for him if they were just going to brute force their way in. – adickinson May 8 '19 at 10:38
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    @adickinson Maybe she didn't know about the triangle thing, only the lock pick. – Möoz May 9 '19 at 1:03
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    @adickinson it's harder to stick your arm through a solid vault-like door than through a skin melting every beam. – user97938 May 9 '19 at 17:11
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What they didn’t show you in Avengers: Endgame is that not only did the tool Quill was carrying serve as the key to the vault, it was also able to project a map showing the location of the vault. This is shown in the matching scene in Guardians of the Galaxy.

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    Yeah I was disappointed that they didnt include that virtual mapping done that you saw in the opening scene for GotG 1, it would've been easier to explain the reasoning there. – enorl76 May 8 '19 at 19:52
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They didn't know precisely how the Stone retrieving would go; this is evidenced by War Machine expecting spears to rise from the ground, à la Indiana Jones, when entering the temple. Nebula might have known a bit more, having spent some time with Quill since GOTG2, but she didn't seem to have much more info either.

What they knew, on the other hand, is that there was a possibility of Peter Quill incoming1. He would not have been expecting to find anyone on the planet, and things could have gone very awry, very fast.

By waiting a bit more and knocking him out, they were ensuring their retrieval of the Power Stone wouldn't be jeopardized.


1 Memory says some door was closed, meaning he hadn't entered yet, but I'll have to check that.

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