When Mobius showed Loki footage of his life, they watched actual clips of Marvel movies. The TVA’s technology turns out to be a brilliant meta-joke.
Warning: SPOILERS for Loki Episode 1 – “Glorious Purpose.”
In Loki‘s premiere, agent Mobius M. Mobius showed Loki holograms of his life (and death) in the TVA headquarters, but that footage was in the form of Marvel Studios movie footage. He was apprehended by the TVA for creating a nexus event, i.e. an alternate branching timeline, when Loki used the Tesseract to escape S.H.I.E.L.D. custody in Avengers: Endgame. Loki was identified as a dangerous variant by the Time Variance Authority but Mobius opted to recruit the God of Mischief’s help to stop what he believes to be another Loki variant causing chaos throughout the Sacred Timeline.
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Loki has appeared in six films: Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. However, the variant God of Mischief in Loki technically only appeared in Thor, The Avengers, and in Endgame‘s 2012-set aftermath of the Battle of New York. Loki used a distraction during the Avengers’ time heist to swipe the Space Stone and vanish. Therefore, he never lived the life of his Loki counterpart, who faked his death in Thor: The Dark World, posed as Odin (Anthony Hopkins) to rule Asgard for four years, fought alongside Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in Ragnarok, and was finally killed by Thanos (Josh Brolin) at the start of Avengers: Infinity War. That Loki was is considered the original Loki by the Time-Keepers, and he was meant to die at Thanos’ hand.
In Loki, Mobius brought the God of Mischief to Time Theater 5 in TVA headquarters to talk but he also showed Loki hologram movies using a device labeled Holo Projector 35. What’s curious is that all of the holograms Loki watched were from the Marvel movies he starred in, and this not only included footage (including the famous rotating establishing shot of the original six Avengers) from the films as audiences saw in our real world but even a few different angles that haven’t been seen before. Of course, in-universe Loki didn’t realize this but every Marvel fan recognized the footage. Mobius also showed Loki footage that revealed he was D.B. Cooper. Later, Loki returned to Time Theater 5 after briefly escaping Mobius’ custody and he watched his own death in Infinity War. So, essentially, Loki can watch any MCU movie anytime he wants in the TVA’s Time Theaters and he doesn’t know they’re movies to audiences watching at home.
The TVA clearly has unusual and outdated-looking technology but by the end of “Glorious Purpose,” Loki came to realize how incredibly powerful these time cops are. The TVA exits outside of the proper MCU and can enter/exit any point in the timeline at will with their tech, as well as completely erase any alternate timelines caused by nexus points. It’s possible, then, that the TVA’s technology translates what happens in the MCU to watching a movie and the events of the Sacred Timeline play out like films projected as holograms. It’s also a different spin on how the events in Westview during WandaVision played out like a TV sitcom subconsciously controlled by Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen).
The fact that the lives of the Avengers and everything in the MCU plays out like movies to the TVA is a brilliant meta-joke. In reality, of course, Loki watched footage of MCU movies because that’s the footage that’s available to Loki‘s producers, who couldn’t reshoot entire sequences of past Marvel movies. So the effect of Loki’s MCU holograms makes the Sacred Timeline almost seem like a fictional narrative to the TVA, who exist outside of the MCU proper. After all, the Time-Keepers can’t interfere in the predestined flow of time, they can only act to ensure that the Sacred Timeline unfolds as it’s meant to.
Meanwhile, Loki doesn’t even realize that he can basically watch every Marvel Studios movie ever made as holograms with no cumbersome 3D glasses required. Except for the God of Mischief, it’s not fiction, it’s all part of the MCU’s history just like Loki, the show Loki Laufeyson doesn’t know he’s the star of, is.
Next: Why Loki Always Says He’s Burdened By Glorious Purpose
Loki releases new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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