Fans have been excited to see Wonder Woman 1984 for a number of reasons – the action! The emotion! The Pedro Pascal! – but chief among the curiosities has been Chris Pine’s mysterious presence in the movie.
You see, despite his character Steve Trevor dying in the original 2017 Wonder Woman, somehow Pine and Steve are present and correct for the sequel – and despite nearly 70 years passing between the two movies, Steve also looks like he hasn’t aged a day.
So did Steve really die in the original Wonder Woman? Why is Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman 1984, and what does it mean for him and Diana?
Happily, the film itself answers almost all these questions early on – though of course, the details do constitute a spoiler if you haven’t seen the film yet, so please do recuse yourself from the perusal of this article if you’re still waiting to see what Gal Gadot did next.
Final warning, spoilers lie ahead in this article – though at first we’ll be delving a little further back into the Wonder Woman movie catalogue for some context.
How did Steve Trevor die in Wonder Woman?
Just in case you’d forgotten the tragic conclusion to the original Wonder Woman movie (or you've just got over it), this seems like the perfect time to refresh some memories.
The first film’s plot partially revolved around the development by German scientists of an even deadlier mustard gas, and while Diana (Gal Gadot) battled Ares (David Thewlis) for the fate of the human race, Steve stole a plane filled with bombs that contained the gas.
Steve then flew the bomber out of harm’s way, before detonating it (and killing himself) to remove the threat to humanity. Ares tried to use Diana’s grief over this sacrifice to turn her against humanity, but instead it inspired her even more feats of heroism. The end!
…or so we thought.
Did Steve Trevor really die in Wonder Woman?
First off, let’s clear this up. Despite not seeing him die on-screen and his return for Wonder Woman 1984, it’s not real spoiler to say that Steve’s death in the 2017 Wonder Woman was real – he did genuinely die, and hasn’t just been hiding out somewhere with really good skincare.
What did Steve say to Diana?
In their final conversation, Diana was suffering from hearing loss and couldn’t hear what Steve was saying – though later on she was able to interpret his words, which included him saying “I love you” for the first time as well as offering a couple more thoughts before his final sacrifice.
“I can save today. You can save the world,” he told her, adding: “I wish we had more time.”
And that particular phrase – accompanied by him giving her his watch – ends up being extremely significant to Wonder Woman 1984…
How does Steve Trevor come back in Wonder Woman 1984?
If you’ve been wondering why Chris Pine is back in Wonder Woman, we have your answer – though one last time, we’ll warn you of spoilers after the (parachute pants) jump.
Still here? Then you’ll have seen the movie and already been witness to the unusual details of Steve’s return, which combine magic and possession to bring the character back to the franchise.
In Wonder Woman 1984, the MacGuffin everyone is chasing is a magic rock called the Dream Stone, which grants the wishes of those who hold it but takes a terrible price in return.
Not knowing of its providence, Diana holds the stone when it arrives at the Smithsonian museum and her mind idly returns to Steve’s words “I wish we had more time.” Hey-presto, the Dream Stone does its work, and Steve is back… sort of.
Because one of the strange things about Wonder Woman 1984 is that Steve isn’t Steve – not really. Instead, his mind and soul has been transported into the body of a dark-haired engineer living in Washington DC, who initially has to try and convince Diana of who he is.
Once she does believe him, her and our perspective shifts to see Pine instead of the engineer – but it’s made clear throughout the film that other characters would probably see the “true” face of the human being he’s possessing. (Y'know, like Quantum Leap.)
So that’s how Steve returns – possession and magic. And while we won’t say much more about his storyline or how it concludes for fear of spoilers (beyond the fairly early film spoilers we’ve discussed here already), there isn’t really any more suggestion as to why the Dream Stone chose to bring him back in this way, rather than just in a new body. Magic rules, we suppose.
Does Wonder Woman marry Steve Trevor?
But will Steve and Diana have a happily ever after? Again, we don’t want to spoil too much – but by the time of fellow DC Extended Universe movies Batman vs Superman and Justice League (as well as some flashforwards in the first Wonder Woman) Diana makes it clear that Steve is long gone by the 21st Century.
However, in the comics Steve and Diana do get married – eventually. In one continuity. After decades of Steve not knowing Wonder Woman’s true identity and being killed and resurrected (or brought in from a parallel universe) the pair finally wed in the final issue of the original Wonder Woman run.
However, DC’s company wide event Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985 rebooted the entire continuity of the comic-book universe, and reimagined Steve as a much older man with no romantic connection to Diana – instead they were friends and allies and he married someone else.
After another couple of continuity reboots, one called The New 52 recreated Steve again as a younger man in love with Wonder Woman, though this time his feelings weren’t reciprocated.
In other words, Steve and Diana haven’t had the easiest relationship in many decades of comic book storytelling – and given the context of his many deaths and rebirths in the comics, Chris Pine’s return to the Wonder Woman movie universe doesn’t look quite as unlikely after all.
Wonder Woman 1984 is in UK cinemas now, and will comes to US cinemas (and on HBO Max) on the 25th December. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.