In Wonder Woman 1984, Max asked Barbara what she wanted during their plane trip together, and Barbara said she wished to become an apex predator.

Here's an image of the scene where she made that wish:

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In every other scene where Max granted someone's wish, he either had to be in physical contact with them at the time, or using the Global Broadcast Satellite signal to 'touch' them that way.

Neither was the case here, so how did he grant that wish?

1 Answer 1


I don't think he did grant Barbara's second wish. At least, not using his actual 'wish-granting' power.

About midway through the film, it's stated that the Dreamstone takes a person's most valued possession from them, in return for granting their wish.

STEVE: What? What is it?

DIANA: Dechalafrea Ero.

STEVE: What's that?

DIANA: A very bad God. The God of Lies, Dolos, Mendacius, Duke of Deception. He's been called by many names. But if he's the one who empowered that stone, there has to be a trick.

BARBARA: What do lies have to do with granting wishes? It seems more like a Dreamstone to me.

STEVE: Wishes with a trick. "The Monkey’s Paw." Beware what you wish for. It grants your wish, but takes your most valued possession.

Wonder Woman 1984

Max wishes to become the Dreamstone, and in doing so, gains both its power to grant wishes, and its power to take something from people in return. It's important to note that these are two discrete powers.

MAX: "One great wish." I've been waiting. I wish to be you. The Dreamstone itself.

Wonder Woman 1984

It's also important to note that Max could apparently choose which possession he took from people. So when he granted Emir Said Bin Abydos' wish, for example, he was initially going to take his oil, but when the Emir informed him that he'd already sold the oil to the Saudis, Max decided to take his security team instead.

MAX: Tell me what you wish for, Your Highness, and I will show you how it works.

EMIR: I wish for things one cannot attain.

MAX: Like what?

EMIR: All of my land to be returned. My ancestral realm. The Bialyian Dynasty. And for all the heathens who dare trod upon it to be kept out forever, so that its glory may be renewed.

MAX: You wish for that?

EMIR: I wish for that deeply.

MAX: Your wish is granted. And in return, I will take your oil.

EMIR: You truly delight me. You know so little. I sold my oil to the Saudis. You are a silly man.

MAX: Then I will take your security team and leave you here with nothing to defend yourself against the wrath you most certainly will face.

Wonder Woman 1984

Later on, it's established that Max had to pay a price for his own wish, like everyone else did. In his case, the price was his health.

Judging by the following exchange with Barbara, he couldn't fix this by granting himself a second wish. The 'one wish per customer' rule could not be broken, even for him. Instead, he had to use his other power -- the power to take something from people in return for granting their wishes -- to reverse the decline in his health.

MAX: You made a wish too, huh? They're a bitch, aren't they? Make you pay a price, but I've never been one for rules. Luckily, I have a way to reverse it. The answer is always more.

BARBARA: But you only get one wish.

MAX: But I, my dear, grant the wishes. So I take what I want in return. There's nothing in this world someone doesn't have. I'll rebuild my health, wish by wish, organ by organ... if I have to. I'll be invincible.

Wonder Woman 1984

This is also the scene where Max offers Barbara a second wish of sorts, but neither of them actually uses the word "wish" here.

MAX: Tell me, what do you want? I’m feeling generous.

BARBARA: I don’t want to be like anyone anymore. I want to be number one. An apex predator, like nothing there’s ever been before.

MAX: I like the way you think. Go on.

Wonder Woman 1984

In the other scenes where people made wishes out loud, they almost always said "I wish" at some point, or Max used the word "wish" on their behalf, and got them to confirm it.

Also, in those other scenes, there was usually a small gust of wind to indicate to the viewer that the wish had been granted. This occurred when Barbara made her first wish, for example, but there was no such effect when she made her second wish. As such, I posit that this second wish wasn't granted, at least not in this scene.

It's only later that Max effectively grants Barbara's second wish, but judging by his dialogue, he doesn't use his wish-granting power. Rather, he uses the power to take what he wants from people he's granted wishes to, and gives Barbara the rage and prowess of the people around the world who were making wishes at that time.

MAX: Anything you want. Anything you dream of, have it. Yes. I can hear it. I hear you. Yes, say it. Say it out loud. That's right. "I wish." Take it. Take it. It's all yours. It's all yours for the taking! And I... I take your health and your strength. Give her your rage and your prowess. And I take your power. I take your life force. Yes. Yes! That's right. You're doing great. It's all yours.

Wonder Woman 1984

Since Max apparently didn't use his wish-granting power here, he didn't need to be in physical contact with Barbara for it to work.

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