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In Avengers: Endgame,

it's explained that traveling back in time to change the past creates a new timeline for everyone and everything in that changed universe.

At one point in the past,

Thanos acquires the ability to time travel himself, and he uses it to travel into the future. But he uses it to travel into the future of the main timeline.

But why doesn't he just end up

in the future of his own universe? How does he get back into the main one from there?

  • Careful! You're not supposed to think about movie plots that hard, especially when it's a movie based on comic books... – Zeiss Ikon Sep 4 at 17:39
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He uses the device that was supposed to bring back Nebula to the main timeline to do so. At that point in the movie, main timeline Nebula has been compromised and her device has been stolen by Thanos. Said device is calibrated to go back to the main timeline.

Thanos knows that there is a full gauntlet being built in that timeline (thanks to Nebula's memories), so he chooses to go there to save himself a lot of time.

  • Does that one device intended for just Nebula bring his entire army and all their whole ships through as well? – Admiral Jota Sep 4 at 20:01
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    The one device brings back 2019-Nebula (disguised as 2014-Nebula so the Avengers don't suspect anything). At the point where the Avengers are doing snappy shenanigans, the scene cuts to 2019-Nebula tinkering with the Quantum tunnel, then saying the gateway is now open. You visibly see Thanos' ship come out of the Quantum tunnel, and break through the roof of the building. – DariM Sep 4 at 21:12
  • @AdmiralJota I found a similar question on the movie Stack website and it was apparently further explained by the movie writers : movies.stackexchange.com/questions/99669/… – KeineMaster Sep 5 at 12:08

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